Why You Should Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Helping Businesses Gain Traction in their Communities
Your local or regional Chamber of Commerce is on a mission to help businesses and communities thrive and grow. You’ll also find your own voice as part of the Chamber of Commerce – a way to influence local policy, put weight behind your opinions, and gain access to the people and policy-makers that can make a difference. Your local Chamber of Commerce may be the catalyst you need to help your business (and your community) thrive.
First, what is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce (or COC) is a non-profit entity made up of local businesses, all of which pay for membership. The Chamber of Commerce acts as a voice for business interests in political and public venues, and is often tasked with the job of attracting businesses, investing time and effort into the vitality of the area, and maintaining community-oriented programs.
Not every Chamber is organized in the same manner, and few have a rigid hierarchical structure. Chambers of Commerce tend to function as a unified group, or to be made up of “coalitions” that allow different points of view on different issues. The goal of a Chamber of Commerce is to create a functional body that allows for activism, community improvement, and lobbying.
The COC is a voice for business. When you add your voice to your Chamber of Commerce, you find a place where your opinion makes a difference in the way the organization operates.
Why Join a COC?
Here are eight reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce:
- Advertising and directory listings. Many COCs have their own advertising budgets, publish popular magazines on a regular schedule, and distribute their own business directories. When you join your COC, you automatically increase your visibility.
- Professional networking. Chambers of Commerce are made up of like-minded businesspeople. Some will become friends and colleagues, some will share their years of expertise… and in the years to come, newcomers may look to you for advice. COCs build a family of entrepreneurs and community businesses.
- Resources. Outreach, programs, and incentives for small businesses are part and parcel of COC membership. Many Chambers of Commerce offer funding for businesses and startups, and support as you continue to grow your business through the years. COCs also work to offer incentives packages to businesses that move into their city or municipality.
- Member Benefits. The benefits of membership extend beyond advertising and funding potential. Many COCs offer unexpected extras like affordable health insurance and conference facilities for business meetings.
- Representation. The local Chamber of Commerce offers a concerted voice for business interests at the local, state, and national levels. From influencing local policy to advocating for national business interests, a well-organized COC has the resources to bring your concerns to a larger audience.
- Guidance and Consulting. Membership in most Chambers of Commerce includes access to small business resource centers and to information that can make a difference to even the most seasoned business professional. Workshops, smart business counseling, and question-and-answer sessions are usually part of COC membership.
- Information Services. Your local Chamber of Commerce can offer you top-quality information on the rules, regulations, and laws governing business in your particular location. Some COCs even dedicate staff to daily internet research, making sure their members are up to date on the most cutting edge facts, figures, and information that can take their businesses to the next level.
- A rising tide lifts all ships. Chambers of Commerce have the funds, organization, and mission to help bolster the local economy. When you work for prosperity in the community, the community is better able to support your business.
Tap into a pool of knowledge, funds, and hands that can help you build a community that supports your business, and a business that supports your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce.