Small Business Tips Blog
This is second half of the two part series on chambers and will discuss the importance of belonging to a chamber of commerce and why, as a small business owner, your membership in a chamber could prove to be a vital step toward future success. Chambers, generally, have a large membership base concentrated in a small geographic location, such as a town or city. Many local businesses are affiliated with the chamber because it is way to actively participate in the community, lobby for business benefits, and advertise your business locally. You can attract more local business and have resources available as a part of the chamber of commerce. Depending on the nature of your business, this kind of local membership could be of significant importance.
Unlike a traditional professional society or trade association, a chamber opens its doors to all professions and industries. As mentioned in the first half of the series, chambers work alongside local government to promote a town or city's education system, retail sector, tourism sector, environmental, cultural and governmental concerns. With such a strong representation of various professionals, this gives you an excellent opportunity to network and market your own business with a larger sector of the community. In addition strong networking opportunities, membership in a chamber can provide you with an array of benefits. Chambers offer your business Chambers of Commerce Group InsuranceÂ®, fuel discounts, VISA, MasterCard programs, advertising opportunities, and much more. Many chambers have town or city newsletters, which highlight local business achievements, and is an excellent forum to have your business voice represented to the larger community.
Membership in a chamber can also be a great social outlet for you and your business. Frequently chambers will host networking events. Being affiliated with your chamber on a social and professional level provides you with opportunities to actively participate in your community and raise your own recognition and credibility, and that of your business. Now is the time to investigate your local chamber of commerce. Conduct a bit of research and find out what type of business and organizations are affiliated with your local chamber. A strong membership generally relates to a strong chamber of commerce. You can request a list of membership contacts and send various members an email asking them directly what their experience has been with the chamber. Although membership to a chamber of commerce does require an annual fee, you will, in many cases witness the benefit of joining the chamber of commerce, not only for yourself but for that of your business as well.