This guide explores the business value and ROI of joining a chamber of commerce. Small business owners and entrepreneurs often overlook chambers of commerce because they are unfamiliar with them. However, this guide provides a useful introduction to the benefits of joining a chapter, the fees and choices available to business owners, and how to become a chamber member.
What is a Chamber of Commerce?
Chamber of commerce is a broad term referring to a business network. This network is made of individuals who invest their time and money into the organization, generally with the goal of advancing their community’s economic well-being. Often, a chamber of commerce is made up of local business owners and entrepreneurs in a designated geographical area who advocate for local business.
Customers respond 63% more favorably to businesses that are members of a local chamber of commerce.
Each chamber of commerce is run as an individual organization, known as a chapter. A chapter represents a local, regional, state, or national interest. A chapter also represents many different initiatives and viewpoints within a specific community — typically with a pro-business and pro-free-enterprise viewpoint. While many people might associate the chamber of commerce with the government, it is not a government entity. A chamber will often lobby the government (whether local, state, or national) to ensure the chapter’s legislative agenda is represented. Chapters do not, however, receive any funding from the government.
The idea of a chamber of commerce has been around for hundreds of years. Today, you can find thousands of chapters across the country. For example, one of America’s largest chapters, the United States Chamber of Commerce, was founded in 1912. There are over 4,000 chapters in the U.S. advocating for a variety of issues, including tax policies, legal reform, and economic reform. While the guiding principles for each chapter are different, many of their goals center around economic development, prosperity, and employer community.
Benefits of Joining a Chamber of Commerce
Joining a chamber of commerce provides businesses with access to resources, discounts, and relationships that enable them to save money, market their products, and streamline their processes. Both employees internal to individual chapters and members of chapters bring their own benefits to the total body. Whether your business is looking for B2B partners and sales, help with customer acquisition, or guidance on HR processes, a chamber of commerce can help.
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The Value of Chambers of Commerce for Businesses