Members of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce are spending today in the state capital as part of the organization’s annual Chamber Day in Frankfort, an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the community with state officials.
Forty local business leaders, along with some members of Leadership Paducah and Chamber staff, will join six other western Kentucky chambers and attend a legislative luncheon, where Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear, will speak.
Paducah chamber members will then meet with state officials like Transportation Deputy Secretary Mike Hancock, Tourism Commissioner Mike Mangeot and Economic Development Commission of Business Development Jeff Taylor.
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Shea Nickell will give a tour of the Supreme Court to Leadership Paducah members.
Thursday night, the chamber will participate in the 2022 West Kentucky Thank You Night at the Kentucky State University Exum Center. Beshear has been invited to be the keynote speaker.
Chamber President Sandra Wilson said the annual Frankfort trip is an opportunity for members to visit the state’s capital, speak on behalf of the people back home and voice the chamber’s goals for year and how state officials can help Paducah businesses thrive. Wilson said this trip is especially important for the business advocacy organization since the chamber did not go to Frankfort in-person in 2021.
“The relationships that we build, and our advocacy efforts on behalf of our members and community, are critical.” Wilson said.
Some of the chamber’s community priorities Wilson highlighted include getting funding for better transportation accessibility for the Triple Rail Economic Development site, securing additional annual funding for Barkley Regional Airport projects and securing additional state funding for future economic development infrastructure projects.
Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce is also asking the legislature to consider policies during the 2022 session that it said would make Kentucky more business friendly. Some of the priorities the chamber wants to advocate for include infrastructure investment, tax modernization, reforming Kentucky’s unemployment insurance benefit structure to support “rapid re-employment” and workforce participation, and extending COVID-19 liability protections for employers for 2022.