|Dear Chamber Members,
Your voice was heard in a close, and at times shaky, decision process. At its regular meeting held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the Fort Collins City Council rejected a proposed local minimum wage ordinance that would have become effective January 1, 2024. On a 4-3 vote, Mayor Jeni Arndt joined with Councilmembers Shirley Peel, Tricia Canonico, and Susan Gutowsky to defeat the institution of a local minimum wage.
We thank these leaders for their courage in supporting the small businesses, nonprofits and government partners that not only provide our community with its unique character, but are still reeling from economic disruptions and a relentless campaign at the State Capitol to discourage entrepreneurship. We also thank the business leaders that were consistent in their activation around this impactful issue.
Most of the in-person testimony on Tuesday focused on the need for higher wages to account for the rising costs of housing, childcare and food in our community. The mantra of higher wages raises all boats was repeated several times. This is where your Chamber stands on common ground with organized labor and those who spoke. Elevating the economic wellbeing of all residents is a key objective of your Chamber.
“As an organization, we are steadfast in our position that we want to create economic opportunity for every single worker in Fort Collins. Economic success is vital to community success. We continue to believe that opportunity is best created by business – not government mandates,” said Ann Hutchison, Chamber President and CEO.
Successfully raising all boats cannot be achieved by dictates or over regulation. It requires a full team effort across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. As such, we invite each of you, our policymakers, and all of our elected leaders to engage with the transformative work taking place under the umbrella of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. From Work-Based Learning opportunities for students to Sector Partnerships that identify industry needs and opportunities, your Chamber is committed to economic empowerment and the myriad benefits this creates across our region.
Sadly, we don’t believe this topic will go away. The Fort Collins City Council did signal their desire to continue the dialogue on a regional approach to a required wage and the possible refinement of state statute to provide greater flexibility in crafting such strategies in the future.
We invite and encourage you to continue to share your voice.
1. Please contact Mayor Jeni Arndt and Councilmembers Shirley Peel, Tricia Canonico, and Susan Gutowsky and thank them for their votes.
2. We also invite you to regularly share your story. Our elected officials need to know who you are and what decisions are impacting your organization. We’ve created resources to help make contacting officials easy. Check that out here in English and Spanish
3. Stay informed. Sign up today for our Advocacy Newsletter that shares insights and information.
4. Share your perspective with the Chamber team. Please reach out to Ann Hutchison.
5. Continue to support your Fort Collins Area Chamber in this important work. If you received this email and aren’t a member, consider membership. If you are member, are you fully activated in a way that serves your success? Connect with our membership team to get involved.