October 16, is national Support your Local Chamber Day. If you do not know what a chamber of commerce is or what it does you are not alone. The first Chamber of Commerce was founded in France in 1599 with the purpose to form a business network and to advocate on behalf of the business community.
Joining the local chamber means credibility for your businesses and opportunities for growth. The chamber supports businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to large industries.
Some of the Chamber advantages include:
- No one is going to know your business exists if you don’t put yourself out there. Every time the Chamber mentions your business, you get free exposure. This comes in the form of the link to your website on the Member Directory, and the mentions in the Newsletter, sponsorship opportunities, referrals and, social media posts.
- Statistics show that 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that is a chamber of commerce member.
- The State and National Chambers get involved with the government and can give your businesses a stronger voice on issues that affect business and business growth. Chambers also advocates for education, health care, etc. The goal is to help improve the local business’s economy and build better relationships between the businesses and the community.
- For example, the chamber has been encouraging businesses to sign the petition to pass the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, as well as the Tariffs to China. Some of the industries are greatly affected by the increased tariffs which means inflation for the consumers.
- The Chamber offers a variety of networking opportunities to bring professionals together. These opportunities allow you to build relationships expanding your consumer network.
- Networking opportunities such as Business After Hours, Chamber Luncheons and other opportunities to participate in the Chamber Board of Directors and Ambassador Committee.
- Never underestimate the value that comes from these opportunities. At the last Business After Hours one small business owner received 3 new clients just by networking.
Any marathoner will tell you that to succeed you need time and effort. You need time to train and condition for endurance. Supporting your Local Chamber is much the same as running a marathon. It will take time and effort to build relationships and recognize the value that membership brings.
Chamber Membership is still the #1 best way to promote your business.
Be sure to follow the Chamber on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director