Tucson Metro Chamber is the Ultimate Advocate for Business

By Loni Nannini

The Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce is a champion for businesses of all sizes.

“We are a bold advocate for pro-business policies and want to educate businesses about why they should care about the issues, how they can get more involved, how they ultimately benefit if pro-business policies go through,” said Michael Guymon, Chamber president and CEO. 

The Chamber’s Business Advocacy Team and seven Advocacy Committees help shape government affairs, develop initiatives and other public policy at city and county levels. 

The committees include the Coalition Against Retail Theft; Military Affairs Committee; Tucson Restaurant Advisory Council; Tucson Metro Chamber Political Action Committee; the Candidate Evaluation Committee; and two roundtables—the Mining and Construction Workforce Collaborative and the Health Science and Healthcare Workforce Collaborative. 

Another key player is the 31-seat Public Policy Council, which guides public policy for the Chamber and is proportionally reflective of its member industries. “Because of this, the recommendations that come out of this council are true representations of our members,” said Zach Yentzer, Chamber VP of business advocacy. 

“We ask business owners what keeps them awake at night and what gets them up in the morning,” Yentzer said. “There are major challenges that make it harder than ever to do business and they need the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Team to tackle these issues. That is how we build public policy from the bottom up.”

Action Plan for Public Policy

The Chamber recently released its Public Policy Guide 2024, which highlights timely issues identified by member businesses: a diversified economy; transportation, infrastructure and water; crime and public safety; land use and regulatory policy for development and construction; workforce development; and homelessness.

“I like to say our Public Policy Guide is the most comprehensive regional snapshot of what businesses are thinking about and the conditions they believe are necessary for their businesses and the community to thrive,” said Yentzer. 

Advocacy committee leadership and membership is open to all Chamber members to give small, medium and large businesses equal voices. At monthly meetings, committee members often find that issues and challenges are interconnected.  

“Mine is not traditionally a retail business, but the Coalition Against Retail Theft factors into my business since I am constantly buying things for my family. Prices are becoming impossibly high and retail theft is part of that. Plus, my business is located downtown near retail businesses and there is a spillover effect if they are having issues, and I am inherently concerned about the community where I live and raise my kids,” said Ron Stauffer, a member of CART and owner of Leider Digital, a digital agency specializing in website marketing and SEO. 

Building Bridges 

Advocacy committees also help bridge the private and public sectors. For example, for 95 years, the Military Affairs Committee has supported Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and other branches of the military throughout Southern Arizona. 

“We want to educate people who may not be familiar with the military about what they do, the sacrifices they make, and how they support the United States on the world stage. We also want people to know the military is an economic driver for Tucson,” said Katie Moore, chair of MAC and hotel operations manager of Desert Diamond Casinos. 

MAC spearheads programs not covered by federal tax dollars, such as Thanksgiving meals for officers at Davis-Monthan, and Operation Otter Pop, which supplies them with frozen treats and water. 

“The Chamber is a strong advocate for businesses, and they want to make sure the business community is heard,” Moore said. “They are out front, working hard to make it easier to do business in Tucson now and in the future.”


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button