TRAVERSE CITY – Members of the Metro Chambers Coalition will be focused on infrastructure, immigration, energy, trade including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other issues impacting businesses and communities across the Midwest and Upper Great Lakes. They are scheduled to meet with Capitol Hill legislators and committee staff on Tuesday afternoon, and meet with various members of Congress throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the annual Fly-in event.
Specifically, Kent Wood, the director of Government Relations for the Traverse City Area and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance, will be speaking with federal lawmakers on:
- Transportation infrastructure including funding for a new Soo Lock, and federal assistance for rural airports.
- Immigration including funding for and expansion of the H2B seasonal worker visa program.
- Support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI) including maintaining the current funding level of $300 million.
Traverse City Chamber officials will also be meeting with federal officials to discuss the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, supporting continued funding for the program and more flexibility locally in administering the program. The CDFI Fund is among the business financing programs administered locally by Venture North Funding and Development, the Chamber’s partner business financing and economic development organization.
Other issues on the Chamber’s radar with federal lawmakers in Washington this week include homeland security defense funds and housing for Coast Guard families and retirees.