Chamber’s annual Legislative Day set for May 14

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, April 7, 2009

With the economy leaving many Americans depressed and millions unemployed, the recent collective cry from citizens has been “where is my money going?”

And next month, Lawrence Countians can personally pose that very question to state legislators.

The Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its annual trip to Columbus for Legislative Day on May 14 with an extended invitation to the public.

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“It’s basically a time for people who are not familiar with the things going on at the state capitol to get more information on state topics,” said Bob Smith, Chamber of Commerce director.

And to do so, the group of Legislative Day attendees from all over the county will be split into small-group discussions called breakout sessions. These discussions, which individuals may choose which to attend, will cover the economic status of the state, transportation and possibly health care, Smith said.

After the breakout sessions and lunch in the capitol atrium, a speaker will address the attendees before being released to travel back home. The speaker has not been confirmed, Smith said, but prospects are in the works.

For the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, this day of education is geared toward, but not limited to, area small business leaders.

“We (the Chamber of Commerce) cater to small businesses,” Smith said. “That’s what we’re here for. We are all the time looking our for different events we can share with small businesses in Lawrence County.”

The contacts to be made with state legislators, speakers and other entrepreneurs during Legislative Day is imperative, Smith said, and a great way for business leaders to get a head start in the declining economy.

“They say networking is invaluable to small businesses,” he said. “You can network with other small business leaders to see what they’re doing right or learn from their failures. You can bounce ideas off each other. It’s one of the main reasons for this event, and of course to come up with new ideas and information on the topics we’ll be discussing.”

In the past, the Chamber of Commerce has averaged taking about 75 people to Columbus, but if the interest exceeds the number of seats on the bus, Smith said they will simply add another bus.

The cost for the day trip is $65 per person, which includes the day’s events and lunch.