Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield chambers form regional alliance

The chambers of commerce in Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield have formed an alliance that they hope will help them address regional issues such as transportation and affordable housing, not only at the local level but also with a unified voice before state lawmakers.

Dubbed the Northwest Chamber Alliance, the group’s intent is to bring in other chambers in the area to participate as well.

The Northwest Chamber Alliance’s first major order of business will be to meet with Gov. John Hickenlooper and other state legislators on April 6 in Denver to express business leaders’ concerns around transportation and their support for more regional transportation planning and funding.

“We’re understanding and seeing the effects of under-investment in our transportation infrastructure,” John Tayer, president and CEO of the Boulder Chamber, said on Tuesday.

Transportation will be a major focus for the alliance in general, Tayer said.

“We all have an interest in seeing the full buildout of FasTracks in the long-term,” Tayer said, referring to the Regional Transportation District’s planned commuter rail system whose arrival to the Boulder and Longmont areas at this point appears to be delayed for decades. “But we recognize there are opportunities for short-term investments that will improve mobility that are good not only for business but also quality of life.”

Tayer said there will no doubt be other issues that the alliance addresses from policy and infrastructure standpoints that require regional solutions.

At this point, Tayer said the group is driven primarily by the volunteer efforts of the respective chamber staffs.

Between the three chambers, they represent 2,400 businesses with roughly 100,000 employees.

“We plan to take a leadership role, along with the businesses and other organizations our chambers represent, in building coalitions with local governments and other stakeholders to advance proactive solutions,” Broomfield Chamber CEO and president Jennifer Kerr said in a release.

Chambers of commerce in Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland, along with Upstate Colorado Economic Development, operate their own public-policy advocacy organization, the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance.