Loss of metropolitan designation could mean loss of federal funding

Barbara Rivera Holmes

ALBANY — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce last week led a diverse delegation of local leaders from the public and private sectors to Atlanta as part of the chamber’s long-standing Albany-Dougherty Day, a government affairs advocacy program that uniquely positions the community’s opportunities and partnerships and showcases the impact of its leadership and innovation.

The legislative event highlighted Albany’s resiliency during discussions with key state decision-makers and partners — including the office of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Area legislative delegation — who noted the community’s exemplary and decisive response to managing the pandemic; its role as a leader in rural innovation and rural health care; its efforts to expand rural broadband service and reliability throughout the Albany Area, and its economic opportunities in the growing areas of manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and health care services.

“Through vision and action Albany has positioned itself as a statewide leader in collaborative partnerships, resiliency and innovation,” Albany Area Chamber President/CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes said in a news release. “Our present is exciting; our future more so. The Albany Area Chamber will continue to accelerate impact by leveraging partnerships and opportunities, convening and connecting stakeholders and leaders, and driving transformational change for Albany and the Albany area.”

The Albany Area Chamber’s 2021 pro-business legislative priorities include investing in rural broadband and rural innovation, which is critical to supporting educational attainment, economic growth and utilization of telehealth services; the expansion of the health care professional pipeline to ensure Georgia has the work force to provide the care and services citizens need, and supporting telemedicine to increase access to care for rural Georgians; small business liability protections; support incentives and initiatives that remove barriers for small businesses, that expand access to resources and that have proven to assist companies in investing and expanding their footprint in Georgia, which has been ranked the No. 1 state for business eight years in a row.

The local leadership delegation included representatives from the Commodore Conyers College & Career Academy, AB&T, the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, Albany Area Primary Health Care, Albany Technical College, the city of Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia CEO, LRA Constructors, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, Phoebe Putney Health System, and the office of U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

Albany-Dougherty Day is a component of the chamber’s Government Affairs Division, chaired by Jake Reese, vice president of LRA Constructors in Albany.

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