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M Michigan radio there’s nothing fancy about how we do business listeners power the programing now that you know that we are asking you to go to Michigan Radio.org and click the donate button. Thank you . And if so what was their explanation . And if not why not .
I didn’t talk to anyone at the Chamber , other than the phone call to state the reason why we’re we’re just pleased with their decision and to say that we are going to be our membership.
Andy Johnston , the Chamber‘s vice president of government and corporate affairs , did not respond to our interview request , but he did tell em ideas that the endorsement of the attorney general for Governor does not run counter to the Chamber‘s efforts to urge the Legislature and the next Governor to extend civil rights protections to the LGBT Q community. Why can’t the Chamber do both urge more protections and endorse the candidate it thinks will be best for Grand Rapids business .
My concern is when you align with a candidates or any one political party. If that’s the group does not get into office then you’re already at a disadvantage . You should be working with whoever’s in office , be able to cross party lines and work for what is the best for business and for me as a business owner . I think what is best for businesses really what alliance with the people that were trying to attract as in terms of customers and also employ as you look at what you’re trying to attract for employment you know you want to align your business believes with their own .
So in a sense us this social issue of protections for LGBT Q individuals I’m hearing you describe this as a business issue as well.
It is absolutely we’re here to attract talents you know we can’t do what we do if we don’t have talented individuals and if we as a business aren’t able to align our beliefs with their own , then you know we’re just an outdated former business.
What are you giving up by resigning from the Chamber.
You know , one of the reasons why we initially signed up with the Chamber is they had purchasing power when it came to things like insurance. So we do lose a little bit of that . So when we’re looking for insurance renewals because are no longer members of the Chamber . We don’t have those rates , those are one of the things that we give up , but I think it’s worth giving that up and and for us as a business . Paying a little bit more knowing that we are aligning with what is the socially right thing to do .
And what do you foresee coming out of this protest over the shooting endorsement , particularly the long-term impact on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.
Long term , I think what you’ll see happen is businesses will take a look at what is the benefit of the Chamber does the Chamber really need a political action committee does the Chamber need to be endorsing candidates , or would they be better off just presenting all the facts for everybody that is running and let the businesses or individuals make their own decision on who they should vote for. And so I think you’ll start to see that happen . I think you know for for a small business vote will really start to weigh is the benefit , worth the risk . You know , if we’re here to attract talented individuals and we want to align with with the thinking of of the people that were trying to attract and an employee , does it make sense to be members of the Chamber .
Rice around Paul. One of the business owners who has resigned from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce over its endorsement of GOP candidate Bill for Governor Paul thanks for speaking with us .
Thanks so much that they.
We received a statement from attorney general should he and I quote Michigan must be a place where we grow our recovering economy and ensure there is no room for discrimination of any kind because all people must be treated with dignity , grace and respect. We will work together to protect everyone including employment protections and religious liberties . It’s been done elsewhere . It’s the 21st century . We can do it here to his statement goes on to say going and I’m quoting , changes in the law in Utah are one example of the ability to find a way forward , but I would be listening to people at the table to find Michigan‘s way forward , including the folks at founders and others .
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