The Chamber
US Chamber
NC Chamber

A critical part of the Chamber’s mission statement is to support constructive initiatives on major issues of public policy.  We are a strong advocate for businesses at the local, state, and federal levels of government.  Working closely with member businesses, the Chamber strives to make government more business friendly and to stimulate the economic environment of Greenville-Pitt County.  We hope you find this site to be most informative as we help to educate and advise Chamber members and the general public of all governmental activity at all levels which in turn holds the area’s elected officials accountable and spurs on grassroots advocacy.

Economic Development
The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce is strongly committed to investments in infrastructure that will enhance economic growth and workforce training and further supports additional programs to stimulate job creation.

The Chamber requests the General Assembly of North Carolina to consider legislation that will:

  • Promote Job Creation: Support efforts to attract jobs and fully fund job recruitment efforts including Economic Development Partnerships.
  • Promote Tax and Regulatory Reform: Advance tax and regulatory reform plans that increase the ability of the business community to create and retain jobs, while continuing to invest in the growth of North Carolina.
  • Oppose Collective Bargaining: Oppose legislation authorizing local governments to enter into collective bargaining agreements with public employees.

Transportation & Infrastructure
An efficient transportation system is in an indispensable component of economic development and commerce.

The Chamber requests the General Assembly of North Carolina to consider legislation that will:

  • Support Sustainable Funding Sources: There are transportation improvement projects that are needed throughout the State, including some in eastern North Carolina, that are critical for safe, efficient citizen mobility, and that will further economic growth.
  • Designate US264 an Interstate Highway: Connecting from the SW Bypass project (US264 in Greenville) to I-795 in Wilson County.  The City of Greenville is the 10th largest city in North Carolina and the only city of the top 15 without an interstate highway.  This designation will better equip Greenville to compete economically, both statewide and nationally.

Healthcare
Hospitals do more than their fair share for communities every day and favorably impact the economy of eastern North Carolina.

The Chamber requests the General Assembly of North Carolina to consider legislation that will:

  • Preserve Hospital Sales Tax Exemption: Vidant Health provided more than $161 million in unreimbursed care last year, including charity care, bad debt and the shortfall in Medicaid reimbursement.  Changes to the tax code jeopardize Vidant Health’s ability to provide health care in low-wealth counties, harming the quality of life in eastern North Carolina.
  • Preserve Certificate of Need: Certificate of Need should be preserved, and efforts should be made to help assure that there is not erosion in carving out services for niche providers.
  • Reform Medicaid: An effective and sustainable Medicaid program is essential because Medicaid is a critical payment source for essential medical services for North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations.
  • Promote Medicaid Expansion: Expanded coverage improves health, stabilizes the insurance market and lowers costs to small businesses.

Education & Workforce Development
The Chamber recognizes education as the foundation for a productive and diverse workforce and believes that life-long education is a driver of economic development.  Sustained funding for educational programs at all levels is vital to maintaining and developing new and innovative workforce and job development initiatives.

Higher Education

The Chamber requests the General Assembly of North Carolina to consider legislation that will:

  • Support The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University: Support state funding and policy changes that ensure fiscal sustainability.  The BSOM is now 72% self-funded (up from 38% in 1990) through its clinical practice, ECU Physicians.  Thus securing recurring revenue streams for the School of Medicine is vital to its ability to deliver on its mission now and in the future.
  • Eliminate the Private Fundraising Cap (UNC System): The enacted 2015 Budget Bill capped campuses state spending on fundraising activities to $1M and cut an associated $16.4M from the UNC System budget.  This cap and associated budget reduction would have a significant impact on a number of our universities.  East Carolina University would sustain a cut of up to $4M to current fundraising operations.
  • Increase Student Enrollment & Completion(NCCCS):
    1. Improve student completion rates by investing in student supports - $26.2M (R)
    2. Increase enrollment in key community college programs - $2M (R)
    3. Support development of competency-based education - $500,000 (R)
  • Address Equipment Needs (NCCCS) - $15M (NR): To be ready for 21st century jobs, students must be trained on 21st century equipment.

Pre K-12 Public Education

The Chamber requests the General Assembly of North Carolina to consider legislation that will:

  • Increase State Investments in Early Childhood Education and in Public Schools to Improve Student Learning: A high-performing Public Education system is crucial for North Carolina to develop and attract sustainable, well-paying jobs.  Strong public schools ensure North Carolina’s students are strong competitors in our global economy and are prepared to become the local, state and federal leaders essential to the future.
  • Refine the A-F School Performance Grades: Many high-performing schools now viewed as “A” schools in local communities will be relabeled as “C” schools under the current school grading law, even though they will experience no dip in performance. The A-F grading model will hurt efforts to recruit new industry and create jobs.
  • Allow Public Schools to Establish an Academically Sound Calendar: North Carolina public schools need the same school calendar flexibility afforded to private schools and charter schools to address the specific needs of students and the local community.  Students learn best when a school calendar is designed to enhance learning gains and retention.
  • Support Advancements in Early Childhood Development: Early childhood development is the foundation for strong schools and a strong economy.  It must be a critical component of our state’s economic development strategy. It prepares tomorrow’s workforce for global competition while ensuring that the children of today’s workers enter school ready to succeed.
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