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July 15, 2014   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube
 
   

On the Federal Front: Highway Funding and the Ex-Im Bank

   
   

Congress has several issues it should address before it breaks for August recess, but two pressing issues on the table with clear deadlines are federal highway funding and the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank.

The current federal highway bill is set to expire August 1. If Congress fails to keep federal transportation aid flowing to states, the entire nation, including South Carolina, will likely have to slow down or even halt key infrastructure projects. In a recent article from the Associated Press, South Carolina Senator Larry Grooms said, “Once the Federal Highway Trust Fund is at zero balance, they will not be able to reimburse the states for federally authorized work. It'll hurt our state more than most other states because we're so heavily dependent on the Federal Highway Trust Fund." With South Carolina’s roads and bridges already at a crisis stage, lack of federal funding will only exacerbate the danger and deterioration of infrastructure. In fact, a recent report found that South Carolina’s rural roads are the deadliest in the nation. The U.S. Senate and House both have reauthorization plans drafted and are going through the committee process.

The Export Import Bank (Ex-Im), the official export credit agency of the U.S. government, is another issue important to South Carolina businesses, specifically manufacturers. Global competition is fierce, which is why the Bank is vital to American exporters and job creation. The Ex-Im Bank is set to expire September 30 without reauthorization from Congress and covers critical gaps in financing for U.S. exports to developing countries where commercial bank financing is unavailable or insufficient. Last year alone, the Bank helped facilitate more than $37 billion in U.S. exports and support more than 200,000 U.S. jobs. Also, the Ex-Im Bank does not cost taxpayers one cent and actually returns a profit for the American taxpayer. Over the past two years, it returned $2 billion to the U.S. Treasury. 

   
   
 
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Environmental & energy forum: Limited seating available

Be part of the discussion during the third Competitiveness Agenda Series Forum, presented by McNair Law Firm, P.A. Participants will learn how energy and environmental issues are impacting South Carolina businesses. Registration fees start at only $50, and sponsorships start at only $300. Seats are filling up fast, so register or sponsor today!

Topics include:

  • Navigating DHEC
  • Tax Incentives for Pollution Control Technologies
  • Traditional and Renewable Energy
  • Natural Gas Energy Generation
  • Fighting Environmental Permit Issues
  • Environmental Prosecution: Personal Cost of Action (PCA)
  • National Environmental Issues: EPA Focus 2015
  • Case Studies on Sustainability Initiatives
 
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Celebrate excellence in the workplace

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Best Companies Group and SCBIZ are pleased to announce the 50 South Carolina companies that made the 2014 Best Places to Work in South Carolina list! Join businesses from across the state as we celebrate excellence in the workplace.

This year's winners will be recognized and the rankings announced during a prestigious awards dinner, presented by Colonial Life, August 7 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Columbia. This is the only award in South Carolina which recognizes the places where people love to work. As a sponsor, interact one on one with these great companies. The list of 50 companies includes accounting firms, banks, insurance companies, technology firms, engineering firms, construction companies and health care companies, just to name a few.

 
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SC Business Week is Underway

Are entrepreneurs born or made? The students of the 2014 class of South Carolina Business Week are well on their way to learning how they can one day run a successful business. This week, these high school students will learn about leadership, diversity, public speaking, making tough business decisions and the importance of education, career readiness and personal finance. They’ll engage in a real-time business simulation in company teams. Each Business Week company is led by a South Carolina business leader for the entire week! Plus, they’ll visit South Carolina companies like BMW.

Here’s a tweet that captures the essence of SC Business week from leadership expert Charles Weathers:

Met some awesome youth leaders and business mentors at @SCBusinessWeek Energy was off the chart. I love this event @scchamber

 

 

 
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