By Robert Golden
As many of you already know, we at the South Metro Denver Chamber recently rubbed elbows with some heavy hitters in the Colorado political scene.
Last month, Board Chair Andrew Graham took Republican Sen. Cory Gardner on a walking tour of businesses in downtown Littleton. Andrew used his time with the senator to give voice to issues all small businesses in the South Metro region are navigating: a higher minimum wage, health insurance coverage for employees, technical education and climate change.
Just last week, the SMDC hosted United States Congressman Jason Crow and Colorado State Representative Chris Hansen, both Democrats, at a luncheon where SMDC members were able to question both representatives about how they’ll address issues affecting business here at home— workforce development, trade, education, seniors’ issues and paid family leave, to name a few.
I mention their party affiliations only to highlight that we at the Chamber don’t care whether they have a “(D)” an “(R)” or an “(I)” next to their name. What matters to our organization is finding solutions to the challenges facing our business community, and we’ve always wielded our influence with officials at the local, state and national level to make sure our members are heard, and respected.
If a senator sponsors a bill that will ease a small business owner’s burden of paying employees a higher minimum wage by providing tax relief on the back end, we’re all for it. If a representative has a plan to incentivize skilled trade education and help fill production line jobs in the South Metro, we’ll support it.
The members we represent don’t concern themselves with political theater, and neither do we. That’s our role, and we take pride in it.
During Andrew’s tour with Sen. Gardner, Mickey Kempf, one of our members and owner of Bradford Auto Body, had the chance to speak his mind to the senator, and I think he spoke for us all:
“Think about what you can do for people, not just Republicans or Democrats,” Mickey said.
We at the Chamber do our best to see that all our elected representatives do just that.