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Business Advocacy Updates: May 18, 2023

Flagstaff, Arizona – Last evening at approximately 11:50 pm, the Flagstaff Mayor & City Council voted 6-1 in favor of Northern Arizona Healthcare's rezoning the proposed site for our new hospital on Beulah Blvd. south of University Heights. Mayor Becky Daggett and Councilmembers Deb Harris, Lori Matthews, Miranda Sweet, Khara House and Jim McCarthy voted for the proposal. Vice Mayor Austin Aslan voted against the rezoning request. The Chamber Board of Directors has supported NAH's plan to build a new hospital as part of a Health & Wellness Village for more than two years. As you have questions about this decision, please contact me.

April 2023 Inflation

Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber reported the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the broadest measure of consumer prices, rose 4.9% in April, down a tick from the 5% increase in March. Key takeaways from the latest report include:

  • On an annual basis, prices of necessities like electricity (8.4%), food at home (7.1%), and housing (8.1%) rose.
  • Gas, despite the monthly bump up, declined on an annual basis.

The U.S. Chamber acknowledged the CPI numbers reported for April are status quo, which, given persistently high levels of inflation, is not great news. Particularly concerning is that core prices remain above the rate of overall inflation. Housing prices are keeping core prices up, and are expected to ease later in the year, which should help take pressure off core price increases.

America's Top Small Business Awards

The U.S. Chamber also recently announced an initiative to recognize America's Top Small Businesses. This initiative honors small business achievement and highlights your contributions to America's economic growth. The initiative will recognize 10-15 eligible semi-finalists in seven (7) regions in the country - each being named a "Top Small Business" in their region. Seven (7) finalists (one from each region) will then be selected, followed by one (1) finalist who will be named America's Top Small Business of the Year and awarded $25,000.

For more information on participating, please visit here: America's Top Small Business. Deadline to apply is July 7, 2023.

Federal Government Debt Ceiling

Finally, the U.S. government is expected to run out of cash in a few weeks. On a recent D.C. update phone call in which we participated, we learned the situation might not be exactly as described, i.e. the federal government could maybe pay its bills through the end of July, a best case scenario. Worst case, the federal government defaults mid-June. Congress and the President are in negotiations. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling increase tied to a federal spending decrease. The President just wants a debt ceiling increase. We will keep you posted on this important item.

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