Thank you for your support in 2019. It was crucial to our advocacy. See below a review of 2019 successes and our 2020 issues.
Your support in 2020 will be just as important as we continue to advocate small business interests here in South Carolina and at the federal level. We have a 20-year successful track record of working for small business and taking on big and special interests to get the job done.
If you are not a dues-paying member, please consider becoming one by clicking here. Your business expense will be greatly appreciated.
Blocking Offshore Drilling: The SC Small Business Chamber continued to be the leading business organization not only in South Carolina but also on the East Coast in opposition to exploring and drilling for oil in the Atlantic. The lawsuit that we and 16 South Carolina coastal cities filed in December of 2018 (to block seismic airgun blasting to explore for oil off our coast) is still in the federal court and has kept the Trump Administration from moving forward with the destructive process. During this election year, we will continue to remind the public of the importance of voting to protect our Atlantic Coast tourism, commercial fishing and recreation economies from the inevitable oil spills and leaks from offshore exploration and drilling for oil.
Fighting Electric Rate Hikes-Dominion Energy: In December 2018, we were successful in obtaining a 15% reduction in SCE&G (now Dominion Energy) electric rates for customers as compensation for that company’s mismanagement and deceit leading to the abandonment of a nuclear plant project. In 2020 the SC Small Business Chamber president/CEO will again intervene in an expected rate hike request by Dominion Energy. We are recognized as the primary organization fighting on behalf of small businesses on all matters regarding electricity/gas rates that are regulated by the SC Public Service Commission. Since 2002, small businesses in South Carolina have saved tens of millions of dollars on their utility bills because of our intervening in the rate-making process.
Selling Santee Cooper: In 2019, the SC Small Business Chamber was the lead business organization advocating for the sale of our state utility, Santee Cooper, that had racked up $4 billion in debt due to the failed nuclear project it partnered with SCE&G. Our support of a sale was contingent on a private utility guaranteeing that the nuclear debt would not be passed on to the utility’s direct and electric cooperative customers. Our efforts resulted in the General
Assembly passing legislation calling for private-sector proposals to purchase or manage Santee Cooper. In 2020, the SC Small Business Chamber will vigorously advocate for privatizing the public utility to protect the ratepayers from paying the nuclear debt.
Better Tax Reform for Small Business: In 2019, the SC Small Business Chamber continued to lead a national coalition, Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, to expose the 2017 federal tax law’s failure to help our nation’s real job creators—small business. The 2017 tax law gave a 40% tax rate cut to corporations but little to pass-through small businesses. Our efforts will continue in this election year to promote how federal tax policy reform could be used to actually promote the growth of small businesses.
Making Small Business More Competitive with Big Business: The SC Small Business Chamber has long supported national policy that enables workers to affordably obtain their own health insurance, thus removing that employee benefit need from small business owners. We will continue this advocacy in 2020. We will also be supporting AARP-SC legislation to create a state-approved, voluntary, portable retirement savings plan for workers that small businesses can offer employees through payroll deduction. Programs like these will allow entrepreneurs to eliminate the time and cost of administering employee-benefits, while making their small business more competitive in attracting quality employees.
Protecting Free Enterprise by Protecting Elections: In 2019, the SC Small Business Chamber launched a national business campaign calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect our elections from foreign interference as we witnessed in 2016. “Business 4 Protecting The Election” provides the business voice of concern for preserving our democracy which is essential to encouraging entrepreneurs to take the risk of starting small businesses with the expectation of financial reward for their success. Our elected leaders must be responsible to the voice of our people and small businesses, not influenced by the autocratic rulers of our nation’s enemies.
Other Issues: As they arise, the SC Small Business Chamber will be advocating for other issues to help small businesses grow and prosper.