Advocacy – Your Chamber, Your Voice

By Jim Marshall

Often when I tell someone that I am the Chairman of the VACC Advocacy Committee, I’m met with a quizzical look—but most are too polite to ask what that means. The mission of the committee is: “To work with our elected officials and community partners to establish regulations and policies that will affect the ability of a business to compete in the worldwide economy and continue to generate income and jobs that will help to improve the quality of life in the Venango Area.” Wow, that’s a mouthful. Simply put, we identify things that make it difficult for our members to successfully do business here, then come up with resources and ideas to turn those problems into solutions.

Currently, the forefront of our attention is the study that PennDOT is completing on Route 8 between Franklin and Barkeyville. The results of this study and the actions of PennDOT will potentially be hugely impactful to our membership and the quality of life in Venango County. As such, the Chamber has been gathering information from businesses on their usage of this highway, and the impacts any changes might have on them. Our objective is to ensure that PennDOT has all the necessary data needed to make the best decision for local businesses and for the region as a whole.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, I highly encourage you to do so. It can be found on our homepage at, by clicking on the banner image.

Another issue we have been addressing is blight in our communities. Blight has the potential to impact every business in the County and we feel it is an important issue to tackle. Currently, we are trying to ascertain some of the struggles local communities have addressing blight in their communities, and determining ways we can advocate for additional resources, less regulation, and a more unified approach to both stop the spread of, and reverse the current blight situation within the County.

If there’s an issue in the community that you feel that the Advocacy Committee should be looking at, please reach out to us by calling the Chamber at (814) 676-8521 or emailing