Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Coalition
The Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Coalition is a lobbying partnership representing nine Chambers of Commerce and more than 7,500 member businesses throughout Rhode Island.
The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce is the organizing chamber of the Coalition. Members of the Chamber of Commerce Coalition are the Northern Rhode Island, Central Rhode Island, East Bay, East Greenwich, East Providence Area, Narragansett, Newport County, North Kingstown, Southern Rhode Island & Ocean Community Chambers of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce Coalition is an expansion of a lobbying partnership that began in 1996. At that time, the Northern Rhode Island and Central Rhode Island chambers formed a partnership that provided the opportunity to combine the member voices of both chambers in a lobbying effort.
The Coalition was formed as the chambers recognized that Rhode Island needed an advocate at the State House to speak for the interests of business. While laws impact both large and small companies, most business owners and managers don’t have time to attend committee hearings and offer testimony on proposed legislation. By having their Chambers of Commerce act as their voice, company officials can easily have a say in the business of government. By unifying chambers throughout the state, the voice of business becomes louder and stronger.
The Coalition has grown in strength and numbers over the past eight years, expanding to represent ten chambers in Rhode Island and more than 7,500 businesses.
A Government Affairs Committee made up of representatives from each of the 9 chambers governs the Chamber of Commerce Coalition. Each chamber has three voting positions on the Government Affairs Committee plus the Chief Executive from each Chamber. The chair, vice chair and recording secretary are each selected by the committee.
The Government Affairs Committee establishes the legislative agenda one month prior to the start of the new legislative session, for ratification by the respective Chambers of Commerce. The Government Affairs Committee also makes policy recommendations on issues that are forwarded to the various Chambers for their review. In order to respond quickly to issues, the Government Affairs Committee is fully empowered by the respective Chambers to determine Chamber Coalition positions on issues and take action on them. In the event the Chamber of Commerce Coalition adopts a legislative position that is in conflict with any partner Chamber(s), the Chamber of Commerce Coalition will not testify on behalf of said Chamber(s) and will note the difference of opinion for the record.
The Chamber Coalition is built on the respect participating Chambers have for each other, and their needed autonomy. The Chamber of Commerce Coalition has two registered lobbyists.
Now, as the Coalition grows in strength and number to become one of the largest lobbying voices for business in Rhode Island, Coalition members invite companies throughout the state to join their local Coalition member Chamber and become part of this group that is working to make Rhode Island a better state in which to do business.
Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
East Bay Chamber of Commerce
East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
East Providence Chamber of Commerce
Newport County Chamber of Commerce
North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce
Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce