June 20, 2017
By Brad Meier:
In a very sad change of events, the Owatonna/Minnesota delegation to DC learned that a shooting on Wednesday morning (6/14) at congressional baseball practice forced the cancelation of a major workforce initiative announcement by President Trump. Our delegation was slated to attend that workforce announcement, but shifted plans after this unfortunate incident.
USDOT To MN/Owatonna: ‘We Are Optimistic’
Members of the Owatonna Chamber joined 40 business leaders from across Minnesota to connect with our Congressional delegation and interact with the large departments that can influence what happens in our state.
The meeting at the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) stood out because of the optimism surrounding that department around a major infrastructure package they think will make its way through congress in September.
That sentiment was supported in meetings with the US Chamber of Commerce as well as members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation who say that ‘if’ the senate passes a healthcare bill, then the next domino will be tax reform, which will then lead to a major infrastructure bill. All of these items are predicated on the health care bill happening first.
US Tourism #’s Drop 4%
In our meeting with US Senator Amy Klobuchar, she talked about her concern in the recent numbers showing a 4% decline in foreign tourists to the United States. It is believed that this decrease comes from the discussion about travel bans to our country. A decline in international tourism would have some impact on Owatonna as the Louis Sullivan bank (Wells Fargo) building is a global draw.
Repatriating Business $’s
Part of the plan for growing the economy is to lower the corporate tax rate to 20%. A rate that it is believed will be low enough for companies to bring the dollars they have kept in foreign countries back to the United States because of the current high tax rate. Congressman Jason Lewis spent a significant amount of time talking about repatriation and how that will be a key piece of a tax bill federally.
When in DC…
While we were in D.C. it was important to see the sights, so we toured the monuments, a couple Smithsonian museums, had a ‘moonlight’ Capitol tour courtesy of Congressman Emmer, and toured the White House East Wing. Additionally, former Governor Tim Pawlenty joined us for dinner and shared his thoughts on the direction of the country and Minnesota specifically.
Nathan Dotson, Dotson Woodworking and Mike Milstead, Ag Power Enterprises joined me on the trip this year.
If you’re interested in joining our group to DC next year, let me know and i’ll fill you in on the firstname.lastname@example.org!
April 27, 2017
By: Brad Meier
3 Ways We’re Bringing Workers to Businesses
It’s a constant request from our members, find me more workers! 25% of graduating seniors say they don’t have a plan after graduation. Here are 3 ways we are connecting the incoming workforce to our businesses.
These initiatives are the tip of the iceberg for how we work as a business community with the schools in the area. There will be more opportunities for your business to connect as we move this initiative forward.
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Owatonna High School is partnering with several local businesses and the chamber of commerce to provide local opportunities for students not attending college in a new “school-to-work” program.
Chamber President Brad Meier announced Thursday that Shirley Schultz has been hired as MainStreet Director. Meier said Schultz has been active with the chamber for many years and with MainStreet as a volunteer since 2013.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates, including the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, say this should be the year to finally pass comprehensive tax relief and transportation funding plans…
Cybex and Life Fitness think they have a simple recipe for success: “Produce the highest-level, best-quality fitness products more efficiently than anyone else in the world.”
Our Chamber has approximately 530 members that invest their resources, employee volunteerism and confidence in the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and the business community.