BIA slates policy roundtables

The Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire is planning a series of 15 policy development roundtables to be held in June at sites around the state.

The roundtables – featuring business and opinion leaders — are an open forum for business leaders to talk about their top challenges and concerns and help shape the BIA’s legislative and regulatory agenda for the upcoming legislative session, the organization said.

“The BIA now engages in a comprehensive, four-step policy development process annually to establish our proactive legislative and regulatory agenda for the coming year,” said BIA President Jim Roche. “These roundtables are the first step in that process. We talk with business leaders and chamber executives about top business issues facing New Hampshire and ask for their recommendations about what the BIA should do to address these issues at the state level.”

BIA partners with chambers of commerce throughout New Hampshire to host and publicize the events in different regions and ensure a diverse representation of business interests. Each session lasts about an hour and a half. They begin with an overview of the BIA’s current proactive agenda and results from the previous legislative session, followed by a discussion and ranking of top business issues for the coming year.

This year, more than 20 local and regional chambers of commerce and business associations are partnering with BIA to host roundtables in their areas: Exeter Area; Franconia Notch; Greater Claremont; Greater Concord; Greater Hudson; Greater Keene; Greater Laconia-Weirs Beach; Greater Lebanon; Greater Littleton; Greater Manchester; Greater Peterborough; Greater Portsmouth; Greater Rochester; Hampton Area; Hanover Area; Hillsborough; Jackson Area; Merrimack; Mount Washington Valley; Northern White Mountain; and Plymouth chambers of commerce; and Lakes Region Association and Mount Washington Valley Economic Council.

More than 300 business and opinion leaders participated in the roundtables last summer. The BIA summarized the discussions and recommendations from each roundtable and made them available to chamber partners and all participants. The BIA also compiled roundtable results into a business issues survey, which was distributed to BIA members statewide. The BIA’s five policy committees and board of directors then used the survey results to develop a proactive agenda for 2006.

For more information about location, dates and time of the roundtables, contact Lauren Nichols at 224-5388, ext. 116, e-mail or visit — JEFF FEINGOLD

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