- Garner positive reviews about your business via local consumer word-of-mouth.
- Increase business credibility through building relationships with other community businesses.
- Gain visibility through access to networking events, email lists and priority booths at trade shows and other promotional activities.
- Invest time in continuing education through event workshops, speaker presentations and other educational and informational activities provided by your local chamber of commerce.
- Enjoy discounts on goods and services from member businesses.
Why do communities have a local chamber of commerce?
A chamber of commerce is a group that’s dedicated to protecting and promoting local businesses. Chambers of commerce have existed since the Middle Ages when merchants formed groups in support of mutual business goals. The first formal chamber of commerce formed in France in 1599.
Research shows that people tend to purchase from business owners they already know. Therefore, membership in a community’s local chamber of commerce provides small businesses the perfect opportunity to connect with other business owners and establish visibility and credibility in the community through a variety of local chamber-initiated opportunities.
Consumers prefer to do business with companies that are involved in the local chamber of commerce.
The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) sheds some important light on the benefits of membership; Citing a study conducted by Schapiro Group, an Atlanta-based strategic consulting firm, 49% of consumers surveyed tend to perceive local businesses more favorably when those businesses are active in their local chamber of commerce while 80% were more likely to purchase a product or service from a chamber member. Two-thirds of the consumers surveyed regard member businesses as more likely to be invested in the community, adhere to best business practices and put customers’ needs first.
Additional benefits of membership include more consumer traffic as local chambers tend to promote tourism. Small business members may also enjoy consultations with member accountants, lawyers and marketers. Chambers can also further education by offering business development classes, bringing in professional speakers and even sending information via email and other correspondence on how to grow a business.
Your local chamber of commerce: A powerful tool for business growth.
Chambers of commerce are a powerful tool for your business growth – but every business must advertise that it is a member of the local chamber of commerce to reap the results; Businesses tend to experience more frequent purchases and positive reviews when consumers are aware of that business’s active involvement in the local chamber.
The ROI of a membership in your local chamber of commerce is priceless.
The cost of a chamber membership varies from region to region and pricing is often based on the size of the business. On average, yearly membership runs approximately $400-$500 – a small fee when considering the sizable returns that membership can reap over the course of a year and throughout a business’s profitable lifetime.