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Pierson: Chambers bridge public, private sectors

Tom Pierson, CEO of Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. (Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Chamber)

Business and government must work together in order for the economy to continue growing. That’s the message Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber CEO Tom Pierson delivered today to the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce.

“One of the things I’m passionate about is business,” he said. “Especially in this economy, it’s about growing jobs and not only just attracting people to come do business within your community, but also making sure we’re retaining the businesses that are here.”

He says Alaska residents directly benefit from Tacoma business. Pierson says 70 percent of all freight traffic comes to Alaska through Tacoma’s port and the value coming through the port equals about 3 billion dollars. That makes Alaska the fourth largest trade partner for the Port of Tacoma.

And, Pierson says, predictability is important, too. For example, businesses can benefit from knowing how federal environmental regulations will affect the cruise industry.

“Making sure people know what are the steps, what’s the vision of where we’re going,” Pierson said. “That’s important to business to know what’s the EPA matter mean to the cruise lines. How many are coming in the next year. they know how many are coming in the next 3, 4, 5 years. It’s going to matter what your business does.”

Cruise lines are concerned about stricter fuel regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. And Pierson says the more local business owners are aware of larger issues, the better positioned they are for long-term success.

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