Longmont Chamber one of three Boulder Valley Chambers forming new alliance
By Jerd Smith
Times-Call and Daily Camera Business Editor
The Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield chambers of commerce are forming a new legislative alliance intended to apply more muscle at the state capitol, where regional business leaders say they've been shortchanged on such issues as transportation.
Collectively, the three groups represent some 2,400 businesses and about 100,000 employees, according to John Tayer, president of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
"We recognize that the northwest region has not gotten its fair share of the resources that have been committed to the metro region," Tayer said.
"As a collective group we want to pursue what is feasible. And we believe that having the business community engaged up front will not only help us develop appropriate plans, but will also allow us to be more engaged and supportive of the mechanisms to implement those plans."
For the past several years, Boulder Valley cities have battled for increased funding for light rail and for bus rapid transit serving several cities here, but projects have been delayed and funds used in other parts of the metro area.
"We definitely feel we are stronger with a combined voice," said Jennifer Kerr, president and CEO of the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce.
Kyle Snyder, chairman of the board of the Longmont-Area Chamber of Commerce, said he's hopeful that presenting a unified front will give the region much needed clout with state government.
"Our position on transportation mirrors that of the city of Longmont," Snyder said. "We've been promised a rail line here. But it is not on this or the next generation's horizon. We're feeling left out. So this is the way we get a seat at the table."
April 6, the new group, to be known as the North West Chamber Alliance, plans to make its first visit to the capitol, addressing lawmakers and Gov. John Hickenlooper, Tayer said.
Tayer said the alliance hopes to include other Boulder Valley communities as well as it moves forward.