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Public Policy

The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce spearheads the business community’s involvement in public policy issues through its Government Affairs Committee.

The committee analyzes policy issues, makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, and drafts letters and other communications to convey the organization's positions. The Chamber voices dissent or support, as appropriate, for key legislation and government action.

State and local issues directly impacting the Lake region’s economic vitality are the focal point of the organization’s government affairs agenda.

Following are examples of how the Government Affairs Committee acts to serve the needs of its members:

    • Provides leadership in the drive to secure AMTRAK service in the Town of Bedford.
    • Supports improvements to the safety and traffic flow on local roads and aging bridges as well as Interstate 81.
    • Along with the Smith Mountain Lake Association, SMLRCC encouraged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to tighten environmental constraints along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route so as to protect ground water flows into the Lake.
    • Annually creates a Public Policy Agenda to communicate the Chamber's public policy objectives to legislators, elected officials, and  policy leaders. The widely-distributed agenda is used to express the collective desires of the business community in Franklin, Pittsylvania and Bedford Counties. Often cited by legislators in discussions with visiting Chamber members.

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Federal Government/Regional Commissions & Coalitions

BFRRI - Bedford Franklin Regional Rail Initiative

Bedford is a logical stop to get where you’re going – Charlottesville, Washington, D.C. and New York City are easier to get to by train. The train will bring visitors to our great places – downtown Bedford, Smith Mountain Lake, SML State Park, Peaks of Otter, Poplar Forest, Booker T. Washington Natl. Monument, and the National D-Day Memorial.

Join 11,000 others who support a passenger rail stop in the Town of Bedford. The Bedford Franklin Regional Rail Initiative group needs your support to make a rail stop in Bedford a reality. Already on board are the governing bodies in the Town of Bedford, the counties of Bedford, Franklin and Botetourt, the city of Roanoke, Region 2000 Local Government Council, local members of the Va. General Assembly, the two local Chambers of Commerce, tourism destinations, and 130 local businesses.

Read the July 2, 2019 Lynchburg News & Advance Editorial advocating for Bedford Amtrak

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