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On Thursday, Nov. 21, the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF), and Good Business Colorado (GBC) will be teaming up for two events aimed at making sure Chaffee County voices are heard at the Colorado Capitol.

The first event will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Salida Community Center located at 305 F St. This event will follow the Salida Business Alliance meeting.

GBC will be hosting a study session on a proposed statewide paid family and medical leave program. This study session is a part of numerous statewide conversations, driving follow up to legislative efforts at the state capitol.

Senate Bill 188 was passed during the 2019 Colorado legislative session. This bill was passed to create a statewide paid family and medical leave program and directed the state to study this issue further to understand business needs and priorities before implementation.

GBC is one organization initiating conversations to advocate for an affordable and accessible program that benefits businesses and workers in all parts of the state. CCCF and GBC are asking for those who attend to share their perspectives.

Salida Mayor P.T. Wood, who owns Wood’s High Mountain Distillery, has joined GBC as an official member,

“This is a very important conversation for Salida business owners to engage in because there almost certainly will be a program created in 2020,” said Wood. “And whether or not this program reflects the needs and interests of our businesses will be determined largely by the degree to which we provide input on the proposed policy.”

The second event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 21 at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Dining Room located at 15870 CR 162 in Nathrop. CCCF and GBC will co-host a presentation on how community members can engage in state public policy and advocacy issues that directly impact their business or organization and community.

Chaffee County business owners, local leaders, policymakers, nonprofits and nonprofit leaders are invited to participate in this interactive presentation on how to shape public policy.

CCCF Executive Director Joseph Teipel said, “State policy affects every resident, business and nonprofit in Chaffee County, and yet we often do not engage in understanding or advocating for ourselves through its processes. This conversation is meant to be a jumping-off point to learn how we can make our voices heard, and ensure we understand the ramifications of state-level policy on our local community.”