Your chamber at Work - May 14, 2019


On June 18, KCMO voters will elect a new mayor and city council, but there’s another measure on the ballot that, if passed, would be detrimental to the city’s economic momentum.

Question 1 would impose an arbitrary 50 percent cap on the city’s ad valorem tax incentive offerings for economic development. The Chamber Board of Directors has voted unanimously to oppose Question 1. Here’s why:

  • Question 1 provides no flexibility for underserved and under-resourced areas. For example, we are about to see important projects at places like 63rd & Prospect. A 50 percent cap would stop that project.
  • Question 1 provides no exception for job creation.
  • Question 1 leaves KCMO at a significant disadvantage, considering the ten cities within the region with whom the city competes have no such incentive cap.
  • And Question 1 sends a message to the rest of the country that KCMO is closed for business.

Two years ago, the business community worked with KCMO City Councilman Quinton Lucas and the taxing jurisdictions on the current 75 percent cap. All agreed to let the new policy work before pursuing a more restrictive cap. We’re just beginning to see the results on development deals using the 75 percent cap.

The measure offers insufficient evidence on how the 50 percent cap was determined. While the Chamber agrees that further review of tax incentive use is necessary, any change of this magnitude should be done with fact-based decision making and input from stakeholders and researchers.

For all those reasons, the KC Chamber urges a “No” vote on Question 1.


The Missouri session ends this Friday, May 17. Join the discussion at the Missouri Legislative Wrap Up Luncheon, Wednesday, May 22, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. with featured speakers Senator Caleb Rowden, Senate Majority Floor Leader; Senator Kiki Curls, Assistant Minority Floor Leader; Colleen Nelson, Editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star; Brian Ellison, host of KCUR-FM's State House Blend. Some of the topics up for discussion include Governor Mike Parson’s bonding plan to replace or repair 215 bridges in the state of Missouri, workforce development – including One Start and Fast Track initiatives, and SB 182, aka “the Border War Bill.” Public Policy Committee members may use a code to register.


Register now for this year’s Small Business Awards Luncheon, May 23, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Marriott Downtown Muehlebach Hotel. In addition to the Small Business of the Year, we’ll announce the winners of the Diverse Small Business of the Year, International Small Business of the Year, the Legacy of KC Award, and Entrepreneur Award. Not only is this event a great way to celebrate some of Kansas City’s best small businesses, it’s a chance for attendees to hear from experts in the digital media field.

Victor Hwang, VP of Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will moderate the afternoon’s panel discussion: Digital Media Innovation and What it Means for KC Companies. New media and technologies are changing the way people experience industries ranging from entertainment to retail. Hear how these technologies will continue to change customer experiences and expectations. Panelists include:

  • Carl Choi, Founder & CEO of The Great Company, creating interactive and immersive experiences for entertainment, global brands, and cultural institutions.
  • Megan Elliott, founding director of the Johnny Carson Center for the Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Former Director and CEO of digital media think-tank X Media Lab.
  • Tony Patrick, founder of the Tenfold Gaming Initiative, and creative writer of documentaries, screenplays, and DC Comics.

Registration is $45 for KC Chamber members and $55 for non-members.


In just over a month, Kansas Citians will head to the polls to vote for the city’s next mayor. You’re invited to one of the final mayoral forums with candidates Councilwoman Jolie Justus and Councilman Quinton Lucas in the Chamber’s Boardroom for a special edition of KCUR-FM's Up to Date with host Steve Kraske broadcasting live from the Boardroom, Wednesday June 5. The show airs from 11am – Noon, and for this event attendees must be in their seats at 10:30am. The forum will take place less than two weeks before the June 18th election, moderated by show host Steve Kraske, one of Kansas City’s most well-respected journalists. The event is free but seating is limited, so reserve your space now.


Join us June 13, for a morning with Kansas City’s own Bowen F. White, M.D., author of In Search of a Thriving Work Culture: Why Normal Isn’t Healthy, as he discusses how to create a culture more conducive to creativity and growth. Dr. White is arguably an expert on this subject: he is a founding board member for the National Institute of Play, works with Patch Adams at the Gesundheit! Institute, and travels the world speaking on the “people piece” of the workplace puzzle. This event is hosted by Lockton Companies, beginning at 7:30 am at their Kansas City headquarters on the Country Club Plaza. It’s free for Chamber members and just $10 for non-Chamber members. Register here.


RideshareKC invites your company to put together a team for the annual Green Commute Challenge. Not only does it showcase environmental leadership, it also means your employees can save some money. From June 3 to August 30, team members will get to work using any method other than driving solo. That can mean car pools, the bus, walking, cycling, etc. You simply log your commute online each day during the 12 weeks during the height of ozone season, and you earn points, prizes, and bragging rights. The challenge is free to join right now. RideshareKC provides everything you need to recruit and register your team and record your progress.