Elected leaders need to help facilitate, not stifle, growth

Oct 26th, 2015

Most citizens know how dependent we are on the federal government for both money and jobs. Those same citizens understand that, in general, federal spending on things like the military is on the decline.

In other words, we cannot count on Washington, D.C. to grow our economy any longer — nor should we.Bill Allen, President/CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce

So, it is up to us.

It is also important to understand that people that have come to our city — no matter if it was 30 years ago or 30 days ago — have invested their hard-earned money to open a business and have done so in order to see a return on that investment.

That is a fair expectation.

In addition, the majority of those people who have chosen Las Cruces as their home are ingrained in the community and give on a consistent basis — both of their time and their treasure — to make our city a better place for all.

These people want to be sure that when it’s time to pass their business on to their sons, daughters or grandchildren, that they have the same opportunity for success. They deserve that much.

Current statistics supplied by the U.S.

Department of Labor show that the Las Cruces MSA has lost 1,846 jobs over the period August 2014 to August 2015 and the unemployment rate has gone from 6.9 percent to 7.5 percent over the same period of time. At the same time, the unemployment rate in the United States has actually gone down one percentage point — from 6.1 percent to 5.1 percent.

Obviously there are a lot of factors that impact these statistics, but I think it’s safe to say that our local trend does not matchhe the national trend, and in this case, that’s bad.

We need our elected officials to grasp the reality that they can either help the area in job creation or they can hinder it.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors determined during our November 2014 Annual Retreat that there was a need for the business community’s greater involvement in the election process. Our new three-year strategic plan includes actions to move in that direction.

Not only did we need to ensure the voice of business is being heard, but for the sake of our area’s economic future, that decisions were being made to better support current and future businesses in our region.

I believe that Smokey the Bear says “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Well in this case, between now and Nov. 3, only you can help change the direction we are headed.

So, do your homework and most importantly, please get out and vote.

Bill Allen President/CEO of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce