MATT SMITH AND DORIS CARSON WILLIAMS

MATT SMITH AND DORIS CARSON WILLIAMS

Though former Pennsylvania Senate leader Matt Smith has been president of the Greater Pittsburgh Area Chamber of Commerce for just six months, his inexperience only showed when he tried to load his PowerPoint presentation.

“Legislators aren’t known for their expertise in PowerPoint technology,” he joked. “But what we at the Chamber are known for is our advocacy for businesses across the 10-county Southwestern Pa region—and not just on improving the economy, but on improving the quality of life.”

Smith highlighted the organization’s achievements in 2015 for the audience attending a special July 21 breakfast meeting hosted by its partner organization, the African American Chamber of Commerce.

At the state level, Smith said the chamber’s biggest success was eliminating, finally, the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax—a tax on assets businesses paid even in years where they lost money.

“And in Washington, we helped pass the FAST Act, for dedicated infrastructure funding,” he said. “For years, civic planners, construction firms, contractors couldn’t make any infrastructure job projections—except in an intermittent piecemeal way. Now they can. Every member of the Pennsylvania delegation supported it.”

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