The Chamber encouraged the Commonwealth of Virginia to clarify its requirements around masks and distancing in the workplace. The Chamber further encouraged the Commonwealth to update or repeal DOLI’s Permanent Standard for COVID-19 Workplace Safety to bring the requirements on fully vaccinated workers in line with current CDC guidance. Since the announcement of Executive Order 79, the Permanent Standard’s requirements on businesses and employees now vary greatly from requirements on the customers they are serving and the general public with no underlying rationale for that difference.
The Chamber encouraged the Safety and Health Codes Board to not enact the Revised Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 as there remain many concerns that this standard will not minimize disruption and cost in meeting the regulation's health and safety goals. The Chamber continues to believe that businesses should have flexibility to apply practices that work best for achieving health and safety in their circumstances. The shifting regulatory landscape continues to be a challenge for our businesses’ recovery, especially for our small businesses.
The Chamber sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry suggesting that the Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Prevention falls short of the goal of consistent workplace health protection protocols and therefore should not be adopted as permanent. Making this standard permanent and potentially adding provisions could place a significant burden on businesses that continue to struggle with the economic consequences of this pandemic.
The Chamber sent a letter to the GO Northern Virginia Grant Review Board supporting Fairfax County Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools' grant proposal to GO Virginia for the proposed TechInnovation and Equity in Computing Hub (TECH) Project. The Chamber supports initiatives and programs to align training and educational programs with projected workforce needs, particularly in the STEM field.
The Chamber joined with other chambers of commerce from across Northern Virginia to call for the General Assembly to restore Governor Northam’s proposed eligibility cap for the “G3” community college financial aid program. An amendment to reduce the maximum household income for participants statewide could prevent an estimated 8,000 potential NOVA students from benefiting from the program due to our region’s high cost of living. The G3 program is a key initiative to support Virginia’s talent pipeline and to help Virginians attain the skills and training for jobs that serve the community.
The Chamber sent a letter to the President & CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber to express concern about how changing its name from the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce to the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce might cause confusion for many throughout the region, including members of the Arlington business community.