The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is expanding its effort to inform Missouri businesses of the important issues being debated and discussed in Washington, D.C. – issues that directly impact Chamber clients. To that end, the Chamber is embracing social networking media like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to keep the business community aware of what our federal lawmakers are up to.
Karen Buschmann, the Chamber’s Vice President of Communications, says there is no shortage of issues that must be followed.
"There are a number of issues," said Buschmann in an interview with the Missourinet. "Nothing in memory can compare to the amount of threats that are coming out of Washington directly aimed at employers – From EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, which seeks to undermine traditional union organization; to cap and trade legislation that could greatly increase the energy costs in the state; to health care."
The Chamber has already lobbied members of Missouri’s congressional delegation as a first step in representing the interests of business.
"We have engaged with our congressional delegation to let each and every one of them know where we stand," said Buschmann. "And we’ve encouraged our members to reach out to these folks and tell them where they stand."
While it’s important for businesses to express concerns to Members of Congress, there is not a luxury of time that allows businesses to pay full attention to daily developments in Washington. The Chamber takes on that task.
"We’re watching the things that are happening in Washington and trying to put together solutions and trying to block dangers so that our employers can spend their time running their business," Buschmann said.
Keeping track of the goings-on is one thing. Relaying what is learned to members is another. That’s where the social networking comes in.
"We have had hundreds of our member employers send letters to Congress as a result of our tools," said Buschmann. "We’ve had several thousand hits on our YouTube videos."
Those videos and other components of this outreach effort can be found on the Chamber’s website.