Utilizing your local Chamber of Commerce


What is the local Chamber of Commerce?

Chances are your local community has a Chamber of Commerce, but like many small business owners, you may be asking what do they do? Or, is it beneficial to join? While each chamber is different, they are structured and tasked with the same basic purpose: a network of local businesses, working to further the interests of businesses in the area or an industry through advocacy, networking opportunities and various other member benefits.

Member benefits and resources for businesses.

Along with networking opportunities, members can expect a variety of benefits – which depend on the locality. Many chambers offer exclusive access to vendor discounts, like those from shipping or printing companies, travel providers, or tradeshows and events. Businesses can draw in more customers through member-sponsored events and business directories that are distributed to a wide range of consumers.

One of the most readily measurable benefits is the increase in business opportunity that come through membership:

  • Consumers are 49% more likely to have a favorable opinion of a business if they know that business is a member of the local chamber of commerce 1
  • Membership also impacts consumer awareness by 73%1
  • Consumer’s likelihood of choosing to do business with companies increases 63% if they were members of the local Chamber 2

How to make the most out of your membership.

Get involved and get active. These are associations and organizations whose sole purpose is to advocate on your behalf. So getting the most out of your membership really depends on what you want to get out of it. Chambers keep their members up to date on a variety of topics and offer services – here are some current examples of what some local Chambers offer 3:

  • Updated tax laws or business regulations
  • How to stay abreast of changing labor laws
  • Member-to-member discounts
  • Business listing in a chamber resource directory
  • Group insurance plans
  • Seminars on networking, technology and marketing
  • Forums where local business leaders share experiences
  • Research local issues and take a formal position of support
  • One-on-one counseling service for businesses

To make the most of online seminars and networking opportunities, make sure your business is backed by high speed Internet and a quality phone system for small business.

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