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Policy Points

Policy Points is a bi-weekly publication of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, providing insight and analysis of critical local, state and federal issues.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Table of Contents

Wage and benefits survey

In this competitive environment for workers, it’s good to know what you should be offering recruits and paying your current workforce.

With our economic development partners, we are asking you to participate in the wages and benefits survey for our region. Companies can take the survey online at: by registering and entering the following survey code: JD985he4 (which is case sensitive). The survey website will be open through May 31, 2017.
The final report will be published and available mid-August. 

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Indiana still tops in business climate

Chief Executive magazine says Indiana is tops in the Midwest and fifth in the nation for business climate. Here is a story.
We know it, but the recognition by others is nice.

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RV Power Breakfast still powerful

The fifth annual RV Power Breakfast was held yesterday. The room was packed with RV industry leaders from all levels of the industry and lawmakers from all levels of government. Your Chamber was there, of course. Here is a story.
Sales and shipments continue to set records with no end in sight. Many people wonder if the economic cycle is due to dip. From all the analysis of current and future campers, there is no reason to expect a downturn anytime soon. A growing number of people identify with the RV lifestyle, and they are younger than you think. The presenter from KOA reported that 34% of the campers are Generation X. 38% are Millennials. If you want to see the report and demographics in the North American Camping Report, go here.
How can the industry maintain happy campers? As the panel of RV leaders commented, the focus is ensuring a quality experience. They must provide quality products. The changing demographics are presenting another challenge. Consumers in the Internet age are accustomed to clicking on something they need and having it arrive the next day. Service and parts don’t work that way in the RV industry.

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Bill signing

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb spoke at the RV Power Breakfast this week. When he finished his remarks, he called State Reps Wes Culver and Doug Miller and State Senators Blake Doriot and Joe Zakas onstage while he signed two bills into law.
One was SB 172, which will straighten out reciprocal sales tax issues with other states. That will help RV dealers in Indiana, especially the ones in border counties, like Elkhart. It was one of our legislative priorities this year, so it was nice to see the bill signing.
In recent memory, the only other bill signing we witnessed was when Governor Mike Pence signed the Regional Cities legislation in the Goshen Theater.

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US 31 letters

Now that the Indiana legislature has passed a true highway funding bill, all our roads will be taken care of, right? It’s not that easy. Here is a column from our Chamber president.
Since the US 31 improvements in Plymouth-South Bend, Kokomo, and Carmel were completed, some officials think the entire project is finished. Or they may believe quick fixes to existing intersections are adequate.
We know it is not. Now that Indiana has the money, it needs to complete US 31 properly. Several organizations, including your Chamber, are sending letters to Governor Holcomb reminding him that he said completing US 31 is a priority. Completing US 31 as a freeway will result in 1,200 fewer accidents annually while creating $366 million in economic output.

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Visit our sponsor: Majority Builders

Upcoming Chamber events

For more information about these and other events, visit our website.

May 16, Biz-Ness After Hours hosted by Bullards Farm Market 5 - 7 pm, Bullards Farm Market, 5220 Middlebury St, Elkhart

May 17, Annual OSHA Update - OSHA Council Breakfast7:30 - 9 am, Matterhorn Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St, Elkhart

May 17, Internet & E-Mail Security, in partnership with SCORE, 10 - 11:30 am, Greater Elkhart Chamber

May 19, Member Celebration - Wayne Pipe & Supply11 am - 4 pm, 2600 Glenview Dr, Elkhart

May 25, Accident Prevention & Safety-Conscious Supervision, 8 am - 5 pm, Greater Elkhart Chamber

May 25, Marketing Elkhart County - YP Luncheon11:30 am, Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner

FORE! June 26, Golf Outing 2017, 8:30 am and 2:15 pm, Elcona Country Club

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