COLUMBUS – The Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce made a stop in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon as part of their series of Fall Forums being held across the state.
The forum was attended by members of the Columbus community, as well as business-owners from the Columbus area. The goal of the forums are to gather inputs from business leaders on important issues in the state, as well as to share information about recent state legislation and developments impacting the business community as a whole.
During the forum, State Chamber President Bryan Sloan spoke about issues facing the state, specifically increased property taxes, workforce problems, housing shortages, and job creation. Sloan also covered bills that the Nebraska Legislature enacted in 2018, including different tax bills, bills expanding rural internet service, and allowing TIF to be used to address Nebraska’s housing shortage.
The forum also contained a presentation by former Nebraska Senator Jim Smith, who is now the Executive Director of Blueprint Nebraska. Blueprint Nebraska is an organization that is spearheading a statewide economic development initiative, and is using input from business owners around the state to develop an effective economic plan.
Sloan said that the Chamber is preparing for next year’s legislative agenda, saying that there will be a lot of economic and workforce development items in the new agenda. Sloan also says that being a partner with the educational community is a big part of solving workforce issues, showing students that there are quality career options available throughout the state of Nebraska.