The Value of Chambers of Commerce to Small BusinessesApril 6, 2022 11:23 am
Small business owners are always looking for new opportunities to grow their business, build brand awareness, or network with like-minded business professionals. The last two years have been challenging in these areas, to say the least. Thankfully, local and regional chambers of commerce across the north shore of Massachusetts have been extremely helpful for so many small businesses looking for support and advocacy.
If you have yet to join a chamber of commerce in your area, now may be the perfect time as the economy begins to recover, networking pathways are strengthening, and chambers of commerce are more than willing to help businesses get back on their feet.
Today’s blog is meant to give you a good overview of what a chamber of commerce is and how it (and its members) can help support and encourage your business.
What Is a Chamber of Commerce?
The first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France. Even then, the goal was to create a local organization that exists to support the interests and goals of each member. Those members were (and are) typical businesses from a local area.
Today, there are 4,000 chambers and volunteer organizations in the U.S. advocating for a variety of issues, including tax policies, legal reform, and economic reform.
Business owners form these networks in each city or town then advocate for the business community at large. The ultimate goal being to work together in the best interest of businesses in similar industries or in local/regional networks.
The Benefits of Joining a Local Chamber
Even in the best of economic times, joining a chamber of commerce can be advantageous, as membership can open doors to new clients, customers, and cash flow. This valuable resource can help businesses across industries in so many ways.
One of the most appealing aspects of joining a chamber of commerce is the potential networking connections in your field, adjacent industries, as well as regionally and nationally.
Most chambers initiate numerous monthly business-to-business opportunities for networking and connecting with other local business professionals. In the past couple of years many of these meetings have been held virtually, but they still continue to connect business leaders with the goal of support and growth for the local, regional, and national economy.
Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness
Members of chambers of commerce are listed in chamber newsletters, in online directories, and will have the opportunity to be highlighted in other chamber publications. These promotions can grow your business, help you acquire customer referrals, and ultimately bring credibility to your brand name.
By being an integral part of your chamber, you gain a voice in local, regional, and state government especially in terms of regulations, taxes, or costs that negatively impact you.
From local discounts on office supplies and insurance, to state and federal grants and loans, chambers can give unprecedented access to financial resources that you may miss or not be aware of if you are not a member.
For a complete list of Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce visit the MAChamberofCommerce to learn more about resources, benefits, and membership.