2016 Elections: The Case for Business Engagement

SL Chamber LogoWhat’s at Stake for Business

Many Utah voters have become disenchanted with the political system. Mistrust, disappointment and frustration have deterred many from the political process and civic participation. The nation is filled with a high level of discord and political ill will; conditions which yield unpredictable results. This year the country has already witnessed the result of unpredictable electoral outcomes as the electorate has embraced unconventional, outsider candidates; individuals who have masterfully tapped into the anger and frustration of the status quo. The presidential primaries have foreshadowed an anticipated jump in voter turnout this year. To achieve favorable electoral outcomes the business community, reacting to higher voter turnout, will need to elevate its political engagement. A volatile election season yields many risks for business, chief of which includes the election of anti-business individuals to office. The election of anti-business candidates would result in serious negative consequences for the community, state and national economies.

Why Business Should be Engaged

The private sector drives innovation and powers the economy, while government makes and executes public policy. A strong relationship between the business community and government is essential for effective economic development. The Utah community as a whole desires a healthy and vibrant economy leading to the creation of additional jobs, increased revenue, higher wages and a better standard of living. Because of this, advocates are needed at each level of government to best represent the business community’s interests on issues ranging from regulations and taxes to infrastructure and education. The business community cannot afford to take a step back without fighting to ensure advocates for healthy economic and pro-business interests are elected to each level of government.

A Business Call to Action

There are multiple ways in which the business community may act to ensure pro-business candidates are elected. Every year the Salt Lake Chamber in conjunction with its Executive Board creates a Public Policy Guide to outline the business community’s policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session and calendar year. At the end of each legislative session, the Salt Lake Chamber publishes a Legislative Scorecard which outlines the priority bills that the Chamber tracked during the session. In addition, it designates those state legislators who demonstrated a willingness to prioritize the success of Utah’s economy as “Business Champions,” as well as a stand-out “Legislator of the Year”.  Businesses and citizens alike are invited to read and assess these publications to know who best to support during this year’s elections.

The following list provides additional ways to get involved this election cycle:

  • Contribute/Donate to Campaigns
  • Sponsor Campaign Events
  • Sponsor Candidate forums/debates
  • Publicly support endorsed candidates
  • Learn how to become a county/state Delegate: HERE
  • Recognize pro-business candidates by reading the Salt Lake Chamber 2016 Public Policy Guide: HERE & Legislative Scorecard: HERE
  • Provide candidate information to employees
  • Allow adequate time for employees to participate civically
  • Become a member of the Salt Lake Chamber

*To read additional articles on the 2016 elections or to learn more about the election process please visit us at www.slchamber.com. There you will find information on how, when, and where to vote in the primary and general elections.