GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP
- The Chamber is an advocate for pro-business, pro-jobs, pro-growth policies that help in growing the Lubbock economy.
- There must be cooperation and effective communication among elected officials and among political subdivisions and surrounding communities. Such communication can lead to innovative, successful collaborations that could create administrative efficiencies and streamlined processes.
- As much as possible, it is desirable for the City and County to make decisions at the local level rather than to have decisions and mandates (often unfunded) handed down from the state and federal levels of government.
- When decisions are contemplated that affects a particular segment of the community, representatives of that affected sector should be invited to the table for dialogue and input. This input should be used as meaningful direction in the process of developing sound public policy.
- Support policies that improve the City’s fiscal situation in the medium-term and achieve fiscal sustainability over the long-term.
- The Chamber is an advocate for economic development and job creation. The Chamber supports policies and initiatives that encourage business growth and expansion and improve the business climate of the Lubbock area.
- Lubbock must meet the challenges of today’s competitive economic development environment in order to attract and retain quality jobs. Organizations such as Market Lubbock and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance should be funded at levels commensurate with competing cities.
- Incentive programs and other economic development tools such as free enterprise zones, tax increment financing and community improvement districts should be used prudently, creatively and transparently to help attract and retain new and existing businesses.
- In today’s globally-connected and competitive economy, Lubbock’s prosperity is directly linked to the talent and educational achievement of the workforce. Our community has tremendous assets in this regard but has potential for additional resources: the Lubbock area is home to eight Lubbock county independent school districts, and four colleges and universities comprise more than 50,000 students. Through efforts including but not limited to Imagine Lubbock Together and the Community Workforce Partnership, we must keep our educational assets strong and well networked with job creators so that workforce needs can be seamlessly met. Facilities and infrastructure for providing career and technical training and education should be expanded to meet tomorrow’s workforce needs.
- Local ordinances, regulations and permitting processes must be viewed from the perspective of job creators and should always consider intended and unintended impacts—especially in terms of the cost of doing business. Flexibility should be applied when dealing with new or emerging business models.
- Periodic review of local ordinances, regulations and permitting processes is recommended given the exponential growth and evolution of the Lubbock business community. Entrepreneurs are creating new types of businesses daily; job growth is poised from emerging industries such as oil, gas and alternative energy exploration.
MOBILITY, ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
- Proper preparation for growth includes planning for the timely construction and maintenance of infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure improvements should be funded in a fair, broad-based manner that does not rest disproportionately on job creators.
- As recommended in the Imagine Lubbock Together (ILT) Vision & Strategic Implementation Plan, continued improvements to a diverse, intermodal mobility system should be a top priority. As a regional economic hub, the ability to transport people and goods safely and efficiently throughout Lubbock is vitally important. Mobility improvements should include roads, aviation and rail spurs to aid in growth and development.
- Pedestrian, bicycle and alternative modes of mobility, including ridesharing services, should be enhanced, initially in the Texas Tech, Overton and Downtown areas. This includes adequately-funded, well-connected and planned public transit infrastructure.
- The Chamber has been a long-standing supporter of the Gateway Streets Fund and supports strengthening it and maintaining its continued dedicated and exclusive use for expanding or opening new thoroughfares.
- We advocate continued support of Ports-to-Plains, development of the Outer Loop, optimal use of the Marsha Sharp Freeway through necessary maintenance or widening, and designation of the route for I-27 Extension.
- Local government officials, business leaders and other stakeholders must continue to work together to address and inform citizens about emerging water and energy infrastructure needs and to encourage careful planning and prudent, farsighted investments as necessary.
QUALITY OF LIFE
- In Lubbock, quality of life cannot be separated from other priorities because much of our economic success derives from the reality that Lubbock must be an appealing place to live. The public/private sectors should work collaboratively to plan, support and make investments in Downtown redevelopment, arts and culture and entertainment and recreation enhancements and beautification as recommended in the Imagine Lubbock Together Vision and Strategic Implementation Plan.
- Health concerns as well as poverty and crime rates pose a threat to our community’s future economic growth. The Chamber encourages support for and involvement of government in collaborations (including but not limited to those in the Imagine Lubbock Together Vision & Strategic Implementation Plan) and frank, community-wide discussions on these issues.