Chamber of Commerce seeks donations for political candidates

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce wants to start helping political candidates. (WJAR)

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce wants to start helping political candidates.

“Instead of waiting till the last minute and saying, ‘Hey, what happened,’ we’ve got to get out there and support those individuals running for office, whether they’re seeking reelection or whether they are new candidates that support a pro economic development point of view," Chamber President Laurie White told NBC 10 News.

Hundreds of business leaders attended the Chamber’s annual legislative luncheon on Wednesday. Each place setting had a card asking for donations to the Chamber’s reinvigorated political action committee.

During a question and answer session at the luncheon, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said lawmakers want to get feedback from affected parties when they consider "new rules for how you run your businesses. Nobody comes out and says, 'How it would be a hardship to you,' and there’s always strength in numbers."

White made a point during her presentation to thank Laborer’s Union head Armand Sabatoni for his allegiance.

Later, she explained to NBC 10 that it’s no surprise that businesses and unions should be aligned.

“The private sector unions associated with Build RI have been longtime partners with the business community in getting a lot of issues passed,” she said, pointing to such projects as the runway expansion at T.F. Green Airport, and building construction at public colleges and the University of Rhode Island. S

White said the work provides jobs, and is an investment in future economic growth.

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