Business Advocacy

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce includes a membership of over 1,200 businesses that employ over 30,000 residents in the region. We are the largest, most influential organization advocating for business in the Mid-Willamette Valley.


"The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce continues to prove itself as the go to organization for business advocacy in our region. The value to business is unmatched by any other as it relates to representing business interests with local and county government in the Salem area. An investment in the Chamber and their advocacy work is an investment in the future of the Salem area's business climate." -- Darr & Kathy Goss, Capital Valuation, Ltd.


The Salem Chamber:


Advocates for businesses of all shapes and sizes with local elected leaders. If your business is facing a challenge operating in the Mid-Willamette Valley, we're here to help.


Mobilizes employers. Sound public policy is a crucial component of a healthy private sector business climate. Interested employers are encouraged to join in the Salem Chamber's mobilization efforts by participating in opportunities to testify and share your story as a job creator with local City Councilors and Salem area Legislators. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with interest.


Customizes communications. If you're interested in receiving timely legislative updates, city council reports, and ongoing information about the Salem Chamber's advocacy efforts, join over 350 business members that receive customized public policy updates via email from Salem Chamber staff.


Leads community initiatives. The Salem Chamber has a proven track record of success in leading the way on important community issues appearing on your ballot including:

- Passage of the 2008 Streets & Bridges Bond

- Passage of the 2006 City of Salem Fire Department Facilities & Equipment Bond

- Passage of City of Salem annexations

- Opposition to oppressive tax measures 66 & 67


Innovates by hosting an annual Citizen/Candidates Academy for residents interested in running for office and launching a free text message service available exclusively for Salem Chamber members to keep up with the latest employer mobilization needs.


Reports on the latest public policy issues facing the Mid-Willamette Valley through blog postings highlighted below.


Coordinates timely public policy sessions open to all members which take place on the first Thursday of every month from 7am - 8:30am at the Salem Chamber.

Click here for our next Public Policy Session on the Calendar


Participate in the process by adding your name to the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For additional information on the Chamber's business advocacy efforts, please contact Jason Brandt; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 503-581-1466, ext. 304.

Chamber endorsements support strong local economy

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is an organization that will continue to take stands that support a healthier local economy. We care deeply about improving opportunity for Oregonians and supporting an environment throughout the state that embraces job creation.

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Latest Public Policy News

  • May Public Policy Session Recap

    May's Public Policy Session was filled with current information from both the City of Salem and the Marion County Board of Commissioners. Over 40 members were in attendance.

    The conversation started with Doug Rux from the City of Salem's Urban Development Department speaking about the City's Downtown Economic Improvement District (EID). The EID is responsible for the distribution and responsible management of the roughly $200,000 in funds collected from downtown Salem building owners…

  • May Public Policy Session to feature Marion County Board of Commissioners

    Marion County Commissioners

    at Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

    Public Policy Forum

    7:00 AM, Thursday, May1


    The Marion County Board of Commissioners are coming to Salem to visit with Chamber members and the public.  The visit will include their annual State of the County Address. The Salem Chamber Public Policy…

  • Public Policy Session: March Recap

    Over 30 members were in attendance during the March 6th Public Policy Session held at the Salem Chamber. Our presenters included Peter Fernandez - Public Works Director for the City of Salem, and Jon Chandler of the Oregon HBA, and Mike Erdmann of the HBA of Marion and Polk Counties. 

    Streets and Bridges Bond Update

    Mr. Fernandez opened with a brief of the Streets and Bridges Bond to date. This was a bond…

  • Salem Chamber announces partnership with JWA

    The Salem Chamber is pleased to be working in partnership with John Watt Associates (JWA).

    JWA is an Oregon Business advocacy firm, with over 23 years of experience dealing with political issues.


    John Watt - Founder, Legislative Expert and Senior…

  • January Public Policy Recap

    The room was packed for a spirited discussion surrounding both the Columbia River Crossing and the Unified Development Code. 

    Columbia River Crossing

    Karmen Fore, Transportation Advisor to Governor Kitzhaber, updated our members as to the progress of the CRC to date. The Salem Chamber believes this is an important project as the current I-5 bridge linking Washington to Oregon carries a significant amount of commerce to and from our region every day. With the…

  • Mobilization Kickoff a Great Success!

    The morning of Friday, December 6th - there were 30 in attendance of the Mobilization Kickoff, which launched the team into the 2014 Oregon Legislative Session. 

    The Mobilization Kickoff opened by looking back to pro-business successes during the 2013 Legislative Session - including HB3390 being voted down in committee, thanks in large part to Chamber members sharing their stories with elected…

  • Mobilization Kickoff - December 6th

    Oregon’s 2014 Short Legislative Session is right around the corner. In 2013, the private sector was once again a target as legislation continues to be proposed which would expand bureaucracy and regulations on business.

    The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce in 2013 launched the “Mobilization Team” that took small business owners and managers strategically into the halls of the Capitol to provide testimony before various Senate and House committees. The goal was to provide our elected…

  • Oregon State Fair Council - Candidate Recruitment


    The Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center (OSFEC) is an icon of Oregon history that celebrates the diverse agricultural, artistic and cultural interests of the state. The OSFEC has struggled for decades to find the right business model that honors the values of the State Fair, and keeps the Exposition Center profitable for the 50 weeks of the year beyond the Fair. During the 2013…

  • Takeaways from today's Public Policy session

    Important member takeaways from today's Public Policy meeting featuring City Manager Linda Norris and other City Staff:

    In Reference to PERS Reform

    // While PERS reform happened, there's a lot that needs to take place  legally before the City of Salem allocates their savings.

    // The City is wisely seeking infrastructure investments from PERS savings that will cause long term efficiencies.…

  • Pringle Square - Myths vs. Facts

    The Residences at Riverfront Park offers downtown Salem’s newest and best option for urban living, providing residents with luxury amenities at competitive rent prices.

    A number of myths have circulated in the community about this development. Take a moment now to check the facts.

    Myth: There are other ways to access the apartment site. The developer can construct a new railroad crossing or build a bridge over Pringle Creek.

    Fact:  There is no other feasible access to the…

Public Policy Co-Chairs

These three business leaders devote their time and energy to ensure the Salem Chamber is on point in following and mobilizing on the issues of concern to local businesses. Please contact them or Salem Chamber staff as issues arise that you feel should be addressed.

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Public Policy Procedures

Guiding Principles for the Salem Chamber's Public Policy Efforts

1. Preserving the competitive enterprise system of business by creating a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of the business community and a concern for its problems; creating a more intelligent business and public opinion regarding city, county, state, and national legislative and political affairs; preventing controversies which are detrimental to business and the community; and creating a greater appreciation of the value of competitive business.

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