Shoals Chamber Organizes Delegation Trip to Washington, D.C.

THE SHOALS, ALA. – The Shoals Chamber was pleased to organize and participate in a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to speak with the elected federal legislators who represent the Shoals businesses and community. 

The visiting delegation was comprised of all quad-city mayors, the Shoals Economic Development Authority, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from each board. “Each attendee brought an impactful and insightful presence to the trip, and as the first in-person meeting with each of our elected officials, it was important to show up with an intentional delegation,” said Caitlin Holland, President of the Shoals Chamber.

During each of the meetings with the Congressional delegation, Samuel Mashburn, Director of Public Policy and Governmental Relations, led the discussion on the vital items on the Chamber’s Federal Policy Agenda. 

“We were able to have substantive dialogue about several key issues for the Shoals. We urged our Congressional delegation to support maintaining the current definition of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which is critical for local economic development. We also discussed the importance of federal funding for our Essential Air Service (EAS), without which we would be unable to offer commercial air travel from our airport in Muscle Shoals. In addition, we spoke at length with Senator Tuberville about ways the federal infrastructure bill could help the Shoals, specifically in terms of improving broadband access, roads and bridges.” – Mashburn

With the pandemic’s impact on local business, it was imperative to be in-person with the Shoals’ federal legislators to ensure that the Shoals is not a forgotten community. “There are key issues that affect our everyday business community that needed to be discussed and the only way to advocate clearly and enact change for a community is to be in front of your elected officials speaking on behalf of the community that you represent. We are fortunate to have a Congressional delegation with open ears for local business and government. I am confident that our elected officials walked away with an appreciation for the Shoals community, and that conversations were sparked that will continue in the months to come that will benefit all of the Shoals.” - Holland

Kevin Jackson, President of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, commented, “We had a positive and productive series of meetings with our members of Congress. Often, the only time a member of Congress has a conversation about local issues is on the campaign trail. Trips like this one are important ways our community leaders can bring the conversation about Shoals issues directly to the halls of Congress.”

To discuss the Chamber’s Federal or State Public Policy agenda, please contact Samuel Mashburn or Caitlin Holland at 256-764-4661.