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RLACC 2019 Business Plan: Government Affairs Division

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Thursday, February 28, 2019

As seen in the March edition of the Chamber Voice, the 2019 Business Plan was created to introduce you to the Strategic Plan’s Critical Success Factors and supporting Program of Work. Our mission is “to be the voice of business, to promote and initiate responsible economic growth, and to address community challenges in the Rogers-Lowell Area and region.” We’re celebrating our 97th year as the premier advocacy organization for business and we take our leadership role of being the Keeper of the Community Vision and Voice of Business seriously.

To accomplish our mission, we’re growing business and building community through mission-based strategic focus areas and increased collaboration with our members, partners and investors. Strategic areas of focus include economic development, downtown development, workforce recruitment and retention, government affairs, small business outreach, destination marketing, community education and leadership programs, and long-range community planning to improve quality of life. Below is the Business Plan for the Government Affairs Division.

Government Affairs

The Government Affairs Division serves as the link between members and local, state and federal government. We advocate for pro-business and quality of life issues that are important to Northwest Arkansas. Additionally, Government Affairs engages in activities that produce long-term positive impacts including voter registration and education, engagement of members in the political process and continuously improved outreach efforts.

Strategic Focus Areas:

  • Develop relationships with area legislators based on the needs and support for the important issues affecting the Northwest Arkansas Business Community
  • Increase in Podcast content, Emphasis on Maximizing Social Media, Buildout of InfluenceNWA Brand in 2019
  • Increase Legislative and Local Candidate Recruitment Efforts
  • Fundraising
  • Communicate Simply and Completely, becoming the Voice of Business for the NWA Region
  • Expanding influence on Federal Issues affecting business in Arkansas

Division Goals:

  • Implement Measures To Drive Support For Key Issues Contained in the Northwest Arkansas Regional Legislative Agenda

SMARTY Objective:
1. Hold Pre-Session Meetings with the Governor and Legislative Leadership to familiarize them with elements of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Legislative Agenda.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Develop a NWA Regional Legislative Scorecard based on legislator’s support of 75% of identified key provisions of the Northwest Arkansas Legislative Agenda
-Schedule Legislative Forums to be held in partnership with the Rogers and Bentonville School Districts
-Special emphasis placed on an increase in social media posts covering legislative issues throughout the session
-Maintain a healthy working relationship with the NWA business lobbyists to maximize effectiveness on issues presented during the legislative session

  • Expand the Advocacy Efforts of the Government Affairs Division Through Social Media Platforms

SMARTY Objectives:
1. Strengthen, Increase, and Enhance Podcast Content.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Produce a Weekly Governmental Affairs Podcast Update to air during the Legislative Session
-Include Podcast of Legislative Forum program content to the Chamber Blog, YouTube Channel, Facebook, and LinkedIn Account

2. Maximize Social Media.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Increase social media posts on legislation and issues of interest that occur during the Legislative Session

3. Build Out InfluenceNWA Advocacy Platform in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Develop and refine Chamber contact lists for targeting during advocacy efforts
-Develop a content-driven, weekly, digital newsletter that highlights policy areas and issues affecting the NWA Business Community

  • Increase Future Legislative and Local Candidate Recruitment and Prepare the NWA Chambers and Business Community for the Redistricting Process in 2021

SMARTY Objectives:
1. Recruit and Develop Quality Candidates for Local and Legislative Races.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Form a Candidate Recruitment Committee to Examine Current Office Holders Responsiveness to the Needs of the NWA Business Community
-Create the NWA Regional Business Institute in 2019 to begin training candidates for the 2020 and 2022 election cycles

2. Engage and educate the members of the Board of Apportionment on the needs of the NWA Business Community before the redistricting process begins in 2021.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Create a regional redistricting committee that will examine all local offices and legislative districts and begin to approach possible candidates about running for office beginning in the 2020 election
-Host members of the Board of Apportionment and update them regularly on the intentions and progress of the redistricting committee

  • Prepare for the 2020 and 2022 Elections with an Emphasis on Fundraising for Northwest Arkansas Political Action Committee in 2019 and 2020

SMARTY Objective:
1. Increase fundraising efforts by prevailing upon the business community to recognize the need for and contribute to NPAC.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Begin one on one meetings with members of the NWA Business Community about NPAC
-Host two fundraisers in 2019 with special guests (Governor, Congressman Womack, Senator Boozman) to increase interest and maximize contributions to NPAC

  • Continue to Expand the Influence of the Chamber through Regional and Statewide Strategic Partnerships

SMARTY Objective:
1. Grow Influence: Focus efforts to explore possible partnerships with chambers located in Central Arkansas, Northeast Arkansas, Southwest Arkansas, and the Fort Smith area.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Develop a coalition of chambers across the state that can explore common business interests, share best practices, and become a nimble force in advocacy for businesses in Arkansas
-Coordinate and schedule semi-annual meetings of the coalition
-Create an organization that will educate legislators, local officials, and the general public on business issues and concerns on a regular basis

  • Expand the Interest and Influence of the Chamber as a Regional and Statewide Voice on Federal Issues Affecting Business

SMARTY Objective:
1. Increase influence with the Federal Delegation.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Organize a coalition of chambers to make an annual trip to Washington
-Organize regular educational briefings for the federal delegation in their districts

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