Your Chamber at Work - January 6, 2020




Thanks and applause to Missouri Governor Mike Parson. He did the right thing last week sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo giving the state’s consent as a location to settle legal refugees. His action was made necessary by President Donald Trump’s September executive order giving states and local governments the option to accept or refuse refugees.

In October, the Chamber sent a letter to the governor urging he take this action. These are legal immigrants already approved by the federal government. Our member companies are crying for qualified workers. We also know that no city in America has grown its economy without an increase in immigrant population. This move makes economic sense. It’s also, as Governor Parson said, the right thing to do.

Over our history, immigrants have made a positive economic contribution to the Kansas City area. New immigrants have become valued residents of our community – working hard, filling jobs that previously were going unfilled, establishing businesses, and contributing to our civic life. In 2017, the 140-thousand-plus immigrants in Kansas City had a total spending power of $3.1-billion, contributing more than $325-million in state and local taxes.

The governor’s been on the receiving end of criticism over his action. Let him know what you think.


The application deadline for 2020 Small Business of the Year is next month, but don’t stress. Bring your questions to the first of our Small Business Celebration Application Workshops, this Thursday, January 9 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The free workshop features a panel of past winners, past Top 10 Small Business owners, and past judges. We give you an inside look and share best practices for filling out the application. The workshop is in our Chamber Board Room, in the southeast corner of Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., next to Pierpont’s. Email Tayler Hammersmith at or register online.


Join us from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at one of the region’s most luxurious and hospitable spaces. The Crossroads Hotel is the result of a renovation of two iconic KC buildings, including the old Pabst Brewing Depot. You can see some of the 131 gorgeous rooms and beautifully appointed event spaces designed to impress, while enjoying great networking over strong coffee and continental breakfast. Our Neighborhood Networking events are free for Chamber members and just $15 for non-members. Register here. If you can’t make this Friday’s event, don’t worry. You can join us January 24 at SafetyCulture. Thanks to our Neighborhood Networking sponsor Spectrum Reach. The KC Chamber’s 2020 networking sponsors are SS&C and Sprint.


Join us Tuesday, January 14 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. for the Business Impact of Cannabis in the Chamber Board Room, located in the southeast corner of historic Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. Hear about the economic impact medical marijuana has had on the Show-Me-State, less than a year-and-a-half after two-thirds of voters approved the ballot initiative. This free Healthy KC event features Dr. Randall W. Williams, who successfully led the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ startup of the initiative. Joining him is Lewis Koski, COO of Metrc, the most successfully-deployed regulatory cannabis system in the world. Koski will discuss how Metrc works with state policymakers and the cannabis industry on compliance. Lunch will be provided. Register here to reserve your spot. This event is sponsored by Metrc.


Circle March 4 on your calendar as the date of our Healthy KC Breakfast at Children’s Mercy Park! We’ve changed our Healthy KC certification to every other year, so our focus is on workplace mental health at this year’s breakfast. We’ll unveil the high level results of our new Workplace Mental Health Assessment -- created with the American Psychiatric Foundation’s Center for Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health America, and One Mind at Work. You can take this confidential survey right here. Let us know what supports and services your company offers, or what they don’t have that they need. After we unpack the results at the Healthy KC Breakfast, we’re hear from a mental health expert in one of KC’s most unique workplaces: the Kansas City Chiefs. Dr. Shaun Tyrance is the Chiefs’ team clinician – just the second full time, in-house team clinician in the entire NFL. He’ll discuss why mental health in the workplace needs to be a priority not just in times of crisis, and the impact it has on productivity and performance. Cost to attend is $25 for KC Chamber members and $35 for non-members. The presenting sponsor of all things Healthy KC is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. If you’re ready to commit, online registration is available here.