Business owners are always looking for new opportunities to network and meet other small business owners and expand their business network. One great way to do this is to become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce!
Having started my career as an intern at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, and later working as the membership Director at the Metro South Chamber of Commerce in Brockton, MA, I have seen many small businesses increase their business exposure and grow revenues through involvement in the Chamber. Now, working in the private sector, as a commercial banker for the past fifteen years, I have also been able increase my own visibility in the business community through my Chamber involvement; which has also led to my serving on the Board of Directors of the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce and recent appointment as the Chair of the Ambassadors Council.
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Here are eight great reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce:
1. Make Business Contacts
The chamber initiates numerous monthly business-to-business opportunities for networking and connecting with other local business professionals.
2. Receive Chamber Newsletters
Newsletters provide new member information, interesting information about operating a local business, articles about the local business community, and details about up-and-coming chamber events.
3. Acquire Customer Referrals
Every day, your local chamber receives calls from individuals and businesses looking for referrals of local businesses
4. Bring Credibility to Your Business
You increase the positive perception among consumers and business owners when you’re identified as a member of a chamber of commerce.
5. Increase Your Visibility in the Community
As a member of the chamber of commerce, you will be listed in the chamber newsletter, and online directory, and will have the opportunity to be highlighted in other chamber publications. You also can grow your business by advertising with the chamber and sponsoring events. The chamber may also promote your grand opening/ ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
6. Networking Opportunities
Chambers have numerous committees and serving on one of them provides additional networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development.
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7. Gain a Voice in Government
Chambers of Commerce take on the tough issues and may oppose new regulations, taxes, assessments and costs that will negatively impact small businesses. While you may not personally have the time to get involved, the Chamber will use its resources for the betterment of small business owners.
There are many Chambers of Commerce that exist on both the local and regional levels, and you should determine if it would be more advantageous to join your local chamber or regional chamber commerce, or both depending on your business size and scope.
If you’re on Twitter, Webster has listed many local Chambers of Commerce in MA, CT, RI and NY which you can find here: https://twitter.com/WebsterBank/lists/chambers-of-commerce
What are some other benefits you can share to join your local Chamber of Commerce? And be sure to check out my follow up blog post that shows some of the data behind how consumers perceive your business if you belong to the chamber.
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