Economic Development

The KC Chamber supports innovative economic development that embraces technology and innovation and supports a stable regulatory environment that will help the Kansas City area grow and remain globally competitive.

The Chamber advocates for responsible data-based strategies to increase the availability of capital for new, expanding, and culturally diverse businesses.

Kansas Economic Development Agenda

Overall

The KC Chamber supports a pro-business environment and innovative strategies and investment, such as STAR Bonds, in effective and efficient economic development and that will help the Kansas City area grow and remain globally competitive. The Chamber advocates for responsible data-based strategies to increase the availability of capital for new, expanding, and culturally diverse business and opposes additional transfers from the Economic Development Incentives Fund (EDIF). The Chamber takes the following positions: 

  • Support efforts to ensure economic development incentives and tools used within the Kansas City metropolitan area are utilized solely for projects that create net new jobs in the Kansas City region. 
  • Support increased availability of capital for new and expanding businesses 

Business Climate

The KC Chamber calls for a climate of legislative and regulatory stability and predictability allowing businesses to plan for growth and expansion including measures below. 

  • Support appropriate investments in “safety net” programs and policies designed to protect the vulnerable in our community and help prevent higher business costs in the future by creating a healthier, better educated, and more highly-skilled workforce. 
  • Support adequate funding of the judiciary and a non-partisan, non-political, non-election process for selecting high quality judges. 
  • Oppose initiative and referendum. 
  • Support for 21st Century connectivity across the state. 
  • Support rights of local units of government, educational institutions, healthcare institutions and other businesses to regulate the carrying of firearms (open or concealed) on their premises. 
  • Oppose additional fund sweeps. 
  • Maintain the integrity and affordability of the workers compensation system and the viability of the Employment Security Trust Fund. 
  • Support policies to eliminate discrimination. 
  • Support legislation to promote transparency and fairness in litigation. 
  • Support viable measures to maintain the region’s military installations which are strong economic drivers in the local economy. 

Human, Animal, and Plant Sciences

Support the pursuit of international excellence in life sciences research and development which is a vital tool for job creation in our region and the state. 

  • Support measures to enhance the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor extending from Manhattan, KS to Columbia, MO. including policies and programs to advance animal health research and development in and around the National Bio-Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan. 
  • Support promotion, advancement and necessary funding to elevate the stature of University of Kansas School of Medicine and the University of Kansas Cancer Center. 

Immigration

The KC Chamber calls for a federal resolution to immigration reform that addresses business needs and supports measures to assure an adequate workforce that includes skilled and unskilled workers and allows for peaceful undocumented persons to contribute to the regional economy. 

Small, Diverse & Emerging Business

The KC Chamber supports enhancing initiatives to improve the climate for small business growth including: 

  • Measures to reduce barriers to occupation and employment including a requirement for a cost-benefit analysis before creating new or additional regulatory bodies 
  • Seed capital fund and angel investor tax credits and proof of concept grant funding 
  • Making development tax credits transferable 
  • Adequate funding for incubators 
  • Entrepreneurial assistance programs with special consideration for diverse and disadvantaged business. 
  • Strengthening the commercialization infrastructure at Kansas research institutions 

Tax Policy

The KC Chamber supports a balanced tax structure that enables funding of pro-business policy initiatives and eliminates additional reductions in critical programs including education, infrastructure and the wellbeing of all Kansans. The Chamber: 

  • Supports an increase in the tax on tobacco products. 
  • Opposes expansion of sales tax on professional and labor services. 
  • Supports the ability of cities and counties to preserve local control and taxing and spending authority including repeal of the requirement for a public vote 

Missouri Economic Development Agenda

Overall

The KC Chamber supports innovative economic development that embraces technology and innovation and supports a stable regulatory environment that will help the Kansas City area grow and remain globally competitive. 

  • Support the 2018 Kansas City Consensus Agenda for Economic Development. 
  • Retain the existing Transportation Development District and Community Improvement District statutes. 
  • Support both traditional and innovative ways to fund all modes of transportation throughout the state and region. This includes the upgrade of roads, highways, waterways, rail, public transit and air travel in an efficient and cost-effective manner. 
  • Support funding for the Missouri Technology Corporation and support early stage capital legislation. 
  • Maintain funding support for historic and low-income tax credits. 
  • Support new business development incentives for science and technology-based businesses to increase technical capacity, particularly in entrepreneurship. Continue to support simplifying the personal-property tax abatement process for technology-based companies. 
  • Create or amend Missouri economic development tools that help to compete with other states, focusing incentives on companies that create high-paying, new jobs for the region. 
  • Retain existing state economic development incentives and commitments to programs – including MODESA, Chapter 100 bonds, state TIFs, existing tax credits, continued state funding for the maintenance of the Truman Sports Complex and the Bartle Hall Convention Center; oppose any efforts to restrict allowing voters to decide on the renewal of the earnings tax; and other programs that benefit Kansas City area businesses. Continue to protect existing programs and funding. 
  • Oppose discriminatory legislation that will detrimentally impact Missouri’s economic development. 
  • Restore funding to the Missouri Partnership. 

Business Climate

Support measures to protect employers from frivolous lawsuits, address forum-shopping abuse, reform asbestos litigation, curb Missouri Merchandising Practices Act lawsuits, limit excessive punitive damages, provide for admissibility of seat belt non-use, enforce employment arbitration agreements, and eliminate joint and several liabilities, among other reforms. 

  • Support the enforceability and validity of agreements between employers and at-will employees that provide for mandatory and binding arbitration to address and resolve employment-related claims (whether those claims are brought by the employee or employer). 
  • Oppose legislation to weaken non-compete laws to restrict reasonable and necessary protections for Missouri businesses. 
  • Support gender fair pay legislation that establishes best-practices guidelines for the public sector and private businesses. 
  • Support a regulatory environment that is simple, certain, and efficient. 
  • Oppose any efforts to undermine local control for Kansas City. 
  • Oppose legislation that would enable discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity under the law. 
  • Support added protections to the Missouri Human Rights Act by adding the terms and definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • The KC Chamber supports legislation to establish a reasonable framework for how local governments and wireless carriers should work together to deploy small cell technology in Missouri. 
  • Create and maintain an environment that promotes and supports entrepreneurs and start-up companies and encourages the development of high-growth industry clusters including life sciences research, development and commercialization. 
  • Enact workplace protections for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. 

Human, Animal & Plant Sciences

  • Support the pursuit of international excellence in life sciences research and development which is a vital tool for job creation in our region and state.
  • Support measures to enhance the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, extending from Manhattan, KS to Columbia, MO including policies and programs 

Tax Policy

  • Support a fair and equitable taxation system that provides sufficient funding for the state’s infrastructure, education and research/innovations needs. 
  • Support continuation of the 1/8th cent sales tax without a sunset for the Conservation Department.

Additional

The Chamber supports reinstating the Missouri film rebate program as a tool for economic development. 

Federal Economic Development & Fiscal Responsibility Agenda

Financial Services

A banking system which is strong, responsive and innovative is critical to the success of the region’s businesses, consumers, and institutions and paramount to sustaining a vibrant regional economy. This is especially important to the vitality and growth of our smaller businesses and assuring access to capital. The Chamber supports responsible innovative approaches to assure a 21st century banking system including policy and regulatory measures that recognize the value of the diversity of financial services providers in the KC region and promotes the following measures:

  • Regulatory policies that recognize the value of the diversity of financial services providers in the region.
  • Prudential regulation that is based not solely on size, but on the complexity and type of activities of the respective institutions. 
  • Reconsideration of elements of federal legislation such as Dodd-Frank, which has imposed costly burdens on financial services providers, limited financial options for businesses and consumers, and stifled innovation. 
  • Maintaining the current independent Federal Reserve system with its district banks and opposing any legislative action that transfers bank and Federal Reserve Bank resources to pay for unrelated federal programs.
  • Reform of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), including conversion to a governing commission structure and making the CFPB subject to the congressional appropriation. 
  • Modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to better reflect impact of technology and consumer preferences for the needs of 21st century communities. 

Fiscal Responsibility

The KC Chamber believes a balanced federal budget and a reduced national debt are vital the health of our national economy today and in the future. The Chamber supports enactment of a responsible long-term deficit reduction plan consisting of economic growth policies, spending restraint and reform measures. 

International Trade

The KC Chamber supports measures to foster robust international trade so that greater Kansas City companies of all sizes can expand exportation of goods and services and create jobs in our region. The Chamber supports pro-trade policy initiatives, trade agreements and investment policies including:

  • Funding and support for U.S. government agencies and programs critical to U.S. competitiveness abroad, including—but not limited to—the US Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the USTDA, International Trade Administration and the STEP grant program.
  • Responsible preservation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) including reasonable modernization of its provisions by the member nations.
  • Pursuit and enforcement of U.S. Trade agreements to ensure free and fair trade.
  • Ratification of treaties ensuring the avoidance of double taxation on income. 
  • Protection of intellectual property via the enforcement of IP provisions in U.S. trade agreements while also adopting a constructive agenda to promote IP and innovation in multilateral forums.
  • Continued funding for KC SmartPort and the Trade Data Exchange.

Immigration Reform

The KC Chamber believes responsible immigration reform that improves access to much needed human capital is vital to job creation and expansion of the US economy and must be addressed at the national level. This includes: 

  • Effective guest worker programs based on critical workforce needs and talent-oriented immigration policies, such as the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, that expand temporary and permanent visa programs, including H1B visas, for highly skilled workers and foreign entrepreneurs.
  • Legislation to allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to remain in the US and continue to contribute to our economy as much-needed members of our workforce. 
  • Efforts to provide clear guidelines on issuance of L-1 visas for workers employed by international companies headquartered in the United States.
  • Policies to allow green cards to foreign nationals who earn a science, technology, engineering, math, or computer science PhD or master’s degree from a U.S. university.

Regulatory Relief

The KC Chamber supports initiatives to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on the nation’s industries, promote economic growth and job creation and minimize the impacts of government actions on small businesses. The Chamber supports: 

Reforming the regulatory process to increase transparency, accountability and effectiveness by adding an independent periodic review of current regulations and sun-setting those deemed ineffective or unnecessary. 

Requiring all federal agencies to ensure existing and future federal regulations are carefully designed, promulgated and enforced to 

Research & Development

Research and development at universities and federally funded laboratories provides significant economic impact in the greater Kansas City region and supports cures, innovation and job creation. Nearly 60 percent of funding for basic scientific research in the United States is provided by the federal government. Innovations that flow from university-based research are at the root of the success of countless companies, products, technologies, and jobs in Kansas City. Research and commercialization of research are key forces behind life science and technology advancements which lead to increased high-value jobs in the region. The KC Chamber urges Congress to support this regional opportunity and engage its resources to advance research and development in the two-state region with support for the following measures.

  • Federal Research Funding: Preserve a peer-review grant process and funding for federal research agencies critical to high value job growth in our region, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Departments of Agriculture and Defense, and Bureaus of Labor Statistics and Economic Analysis, and agencies that provide funding for bioscience research, development, commercialization, and encourage research consortia. 
  • NBAF Biodefense Funding: Adequate support to operate and sustain the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) and the broader bio/agrodefense mission to protect the agricultural economy, food supply, and people from natural and man-made threats. 
  • KU Cancer Center & NCI Designation: The promotion and funding of the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Initiative and efforts to obtain its National Cancer Institute Comprehensive designation and help the region build a world-class cancer center at the forefront of discovery, development, and implementation of knowledge, technology, and novel therapeutic agents for treatment and prevention of cancer. 
  • KC Animal Health Corridor: Legislation and appropriate funding to advance and promote the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor from Columbia, MO, to Manhattan, KS. 
  • One Health Funding: Legislation to fund One Health research which recognizes the inextricable linkage between human and animal health and seeks to promote and improve the health of all species by enhancing collaboration between physicians, veterinarians and related scientific and health professionals. 

Social Security

The KC Chamber supports measures to improve long-term solvency of the Social Security System including modifying the method of indexing benefits to more closely mirror real changes in the cost of living. 

Support for Small, Diverse and Startup Businesses

Small, diverse, and emerging businesses are vital to job creation and the competitiveness of the bi-state region. The KC Chamber calls on Congress to support these priorities:

  • Measures to create jobs by stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation strategies such as the Startup Act.
  • Strengthening the efforts of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy to ensure that the interests of small businesses are fully considered when agencies begin crafting new regulations.
  • Policies to incent commercialization of university research.
  • Measures to reduce frivolous lawsuits and predatory patent infringement and non-compliance activities.
  • Implementation of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and continued funding for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Tax Reform

The KC Chamber supports continuous efforts to improve the climate for businesses of all sizes including measures to incent business startups, and sustained efforts to increase investment in U.S. companies. The Chamber advocates for the following positions:

  • A uniform and fair national standard to reduce the compliance burden and inconsistent personal state income tax treatment of employees who travel outside their resident state as part of the mobile workforce. 
  • Passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act to provide fairness and parity to small businesses by allowing states to collect sales taxes from remote sales to state residents.
  • Measures to protect taxpayers and reduce tax fraud including enacting national minimum competency standards for paid tax preparers. 
  • Preservation of current designations and structures for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). 
  • Preservation of tax incentives for appropriate charitable giving (including permanent exclusion of distributions from individual retirement accounts to charities) and reduction of the private foundation excise tax. 
  • Maintaining tax-exempt status for municipal bonds and private activity bonds, a critical tool for financing infrastructure and capital improvement projects. 
  • Elimination of the capitalization of startup costs.

Related Resources

Below you will find links to The Chamber’s state and federal public policy agendas.

Big 5 Initiatives

Led by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Big 5 elevates the Kansas City region onto the world stage and makes the area one of America’s best places to work, live, start a business, and grow a business. These community-based projects take advantage of the area’s world-class organizations and the spirit of our citizens to inspire innovation in our region. Accomplishing the Big 5 initiatives promises to bring better health, improved education, more jobs, increased investment and a better quality of life to everyone in the region. Thus, creating a Greater Kansas City.