We are the Chamber, and have served as Mobile’s progressive business advocate since 1836. Mobile connects Alabama to the world, and the Chamber is here to lobby for legislation that grows Mobile and Alabama’s influence in the region, across the country and around the world.
Fundamental Foundations for Alabama
- Primarily through deepening and widening the Port of Mobile and building the I-10 bridge, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce supports increasing Alabama’s investment in transportation infrastructure to sustain and promote economic growth, job creation, quality of life and public safety. The Chamber recognizes that there is a gap between current state resources and what is required to address the highway, bridge, and other road maintenance and capital needs in Alabama today and in the future, specifically for critical needs such as the completion of the four-laning U.S. Highway 98.
- Advocate for adequately funding Alabama’s Education budget, including Alabama’s first class pre-kindergarten, career tech, dual enrollment and other innovative programs, in order to ensure a competitive increase in student scoring, higher graduation rates and competitive college and career ready graduates; maintain high academic standards and expectations for all Alabama students such as those found in the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.
- Seek a fiscal year 2020 state budget appropriation for the University of South Alabama that reflects the institution’s successful growth and increased graduation rates over the past ten years, and additional funding to support USA Health and its specialized health care mission.
- Support funding to establish a program coordinated by the University of South Alabama to address the shortfall in emergency room physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals in the State of Alabama.
- In order to ensure the consistent and bi-partisan management of the planning, building and maintaining of the state’s multi modal transportation system and the long-term management of state transportation planning and revenues, the Mobile Area Chamber supports legislation to allow for a board-governance structure and a non-political, board-appointed director of the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Supporting America’s Largest Employer – Small Businesses
- Preserve jobs and economic growth in all sectors through the reduction of overly burdensome regulations that increase the cost of doing business, create uncertainty and have the potential to stifle growth.
- Encourage the creation of a cabinet level position in the executive branch to focus on the creation and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurial development in Alabama.
- Support the growth and development of Mobile’s entrepreneurial community and Innovation PortAL’s mapping of entrepreneurial talent to meet the growing technological needs of industry with early state funding opportunities such as the State of Alabama Full Sail fund. The Full Sail entrepreneurial fund will provide much-needed programming, skills training and funding for entrepreneurial clients, as well as enable the engagement of local industry to identify technological solutions to small business challenges.
- To support the growing ‘social enterprises’ entrepreneurial demand in Alabama, expand the legal definition of a Limited Liability Company in Alabama’s code to include a low-profit limited liability company, or ‘L3C’ and a Benefit Corporation or ‘B Corp’, for-profit, social-benefit corporate entity.
- To support the growth and expansion of local restaurants and consumer offerings in the restaurant industry’s fastest growing segment, work to achieve the local authority necessary to implement the statewide “Brunch Bill” passed in 2017 that allows for 10:00 am on-premises alcohol sales on Sunday.
- In order to avoid excessive and frivolous lawsuits and ensure fully-accessible public buildings and spaces, close the loophole in Title III of the American with Disabilities Act, by providing clearer rules for identifying and correcting ADA access violations and allowing business and property owners the opportunity to address and correct minor ADA infractions in a defined period of time, prior to an allowable civil law suit.
- Protect an employer’s right to provide a safe workplace by opposing any legislation that would keep an employer or property owner from restricting firearm possession on company or private property.
- Support all efforts to decrease workers’ compensation medical costs in Alabama by decreasing fraud in unemployment and workers’ compensation claims with stronger statutes:
- Maintain current Alabama laws that support an employer’s right to choose the treating physician and second physician in workers’ compensation claims.
- Enact statutes that allow businesses to perform the Workman’s Compensation claim checks prior to hire.
Made By Alabama, For America and The World
- Maintain federal military contracts with Mobile-area employers, particularly for the construction of Austal USA’s Frigate, Littoral Combat Ships, Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels, autonomous vehicle development and post-delivery support to the U.S. Navy, as well as Ingalls Shipbuilding’s LHA/LPD Amphibious Assault Ships, destroyers and Coast Guard cutters.
- Support fair trade and investment agreements that expand access to international markets, reduce trade barriers, and increase foreign direct investment creating a level playing field to put Mobile area families, businesses, and workers first and improving the overall international competitiveness of Alabama exporters.
Keeping Alabama Open For Business
- Continued support to fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District Civil Works program in support of the deepening and widening and the annual operations and maintenance dredging of the Mobile Ship Channel; maintain necessary funding for the operation and maintenance of Alabama’s commerce waterways, including the deepening of the Bayou la Batre and Coden ship channels.
- Support the funding and construction of the proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway widening project and partner with the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to actively seek construction funding through Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants and other sources.
- Advocate for legislation to extend the application of confidential reporting by site selectors thereby giving Mobile-area Economic Developers the opportunity to engage a variety of resources when recruiting companies and creating jobs for Alabama.
A Healthy Alabama
- Support measures to address the growing opioid crisis in Alabama that has detrimental effects on the availability of a qualified workforce, workplace safety and overall community health.
- Support a provider-driven approach to reforming Alabama’s current Medicaid program to ensure access to care, control costs and maximize the return of Alabama’s tax dollars to the state.
- Seek an equitable resolution on the Medicare wage index issue so that hospitals in the region will be fairly reimbursed for the services they provide to the Medicare population.
- Seek a permanent funding source for Mobile’s Programs for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) and the expansion of such programs across the state in order to draw down increased federal funds for the medical care of the state’s growing nursing home population at a cost savings to Medicaid.
Good Stewardship of Alabama’s Natural Resources
- Support the continuation of federal payments to Alabama and Mobile and Baldwin counties from the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) in 2018 federal budgets. Under GOMESA, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas receive a share of revenue from oil and gas drilling in federal waters, which helps address coastal restoration, hurricane protection and watershed management programs in coastal Alabama.
Training and Advancing Alabama’s Workforce
- Continue to identify needs and support demand-driven strategic workforce training initiatives in south Alabama’s key economic growth sectors, including aerospace, maritime and advanced manufacturing.