By Holly Reisem Hanna
Are you looking for new ways to market your business? Are you a mompreneur seeking out more local or industry-based connections? Your greatest resource might be right in your own backyard.
Your local Chamber of Commerce offers tons of opportunities to connect with local business owners, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in your community. Local Chambers help enhance economic prosperity throughout your community by significantly boosting the reputation and image of members’ businesses.
If you’re not sure if joining your local Chamber is a wise investment, here are six reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce.
1. Gain Credibility Within Your Community
Joining your local Chamber can be a huge credibility booster. In fact, Chamber membership can boost your business’ reputation by 57%.
Consumers often use their Chamber as a resource when seeking out local goods and services. As more and more community members and consumers perceive your business as reliable, you’ll increase your potential for more referrals and new business deals.
Your Chamber of Commerce supports you as you experience this growing positive perception of your business. Many local Chambers offer badges to add to your website to assure visitors you’re part of a great network. You may even have the opportunity to serve as a featured author on a Chamber blog post or be interviewed for a feature in an email, podcast, or article, further expanding your credibility.
2. Enjoy Endless Networking Opportunities
Membership to your local Chamber includes entrance to ongoing networking events. Attend community meetings, receive newsletters, and gain access to community and leadership development events. Building community connections is a great addition to your marketing strategy that will help you grow your business.
3. Benefit From Member-Exclusive Discounts
Many Chambers offer membership discounts for products and services provided by other members. These services are broad and often are targeted toward the needs of the small business owner.
If you need marketing help, financial advice, tech support, help finding a new location, or any number of other services, you’re likely to find a fellow business member within your Chamber who can offer those services at a discounted rate. Similarly, if your business offers discounted services to other Chamber members, all profit from that sale is yours.
Many Chambers also offer great discounted rates on copying, office supplies, business services, and small business resources. The resources offered can even include expert advice on business law, training, hiring, and growth development. You will also receive information on local labor laws, OSHA, and changes in business regulations that you might otherwise miss.
4. Extend Your Voice to Local and State Government
Politics can be messy—and small businesses are usually the ones more affected by new and changing regulations, taxes, fees, or other mandates passed by local and state governments. Chamber members and Chamber committee members have a strong voice in the dealings of these negotiations.
Local Chambers are committed to protecting the community of small businesses and are a powerful force in opposing or fighting for regulations that could harm or impact the small business community. When a group of businesses comes together to make a stand on an issue (like zoning, new business regulations, or fees) their voices are more impactful and more likely to be heard.
5. Experience a Flexible Range of Support and Events
You may be thinking that your business is too small or your schedule is too busy to get involved in and attend Chamber meetings or events. But Chambers understand that and support all members of the community with a wide range of events — from networking opportunities to business growth and development seminars, to community-wide social events. If you can’t spare any time at the moment, you can still benefit from their members-only resources, membership listings, free advertising, and business referrals and discounts.
6. Explore Continuous Education and Training Opportunities
As a mompreneur, you need to be learning new things, but training and education opportunities like conventions and conferences can be expensive, especially when they are not located in your city or state. Being a member of your local Chamber helps to bridge this gap. Most chambers provide access to events for business training and development, as well as newsletters with helpful articles, business advice, and tips that keep your business a step ahead of the game.
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Do you belong to your local Chamber? What were your reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce? I invite you to share what groups and organizations you belong to in the comment section below.
Originally published September 29, 2009. Content updated May 18, 2017.