The weekly newspaper arrives on Thursday afternoons. It’s regularly full of news about local schools, sports, and happenings. Local Chamber of Commerce chapters are featured more prominently – always with bold headlines and often with photos, actively promoting their members’ businesses and special events.
If you’re thinking about joining your local Chamber of Commerce but haven’t done so yet – not enough time, companies in attendance appear too stodgy, or you’re just not sure what’s in it for your small business – consider checking out the next meeting.
- Monthly meetings target issues that affect your business. Chambers of Commerce (sometimes referred to as Board of Trade), are not-for-profit organizations that meet monthly over breakfast or lunch, talk shop about small business, tackle key issues, and provide networking opportunities and mailing lists to its members. While there is usually an annual fee to join, the benefits are numerous.
- Attend area events and distribute information about your small business. Out in the community, Chambers welcome new residents to town and distribute information about area businesses, working hard to make their members’ presence known to the local and neighboring towns.
- Promotional events create a presence. This week’s paper promoted my Chamber’s upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new office, inviting the community and explaining its many services. Last week at a nearby park event, another Chamber group handed out literature listing area organizations and related upcoming special events.
- Online coverage promotes your business. Many Chambers of Commerce also promote area small businesses through their websites. I’m on the email list for one community that’s also a well-known beach town. As a result, I receive a weekly email, pointing me to a website that’s bursting with news and upcoming events, including a photo gallery of small businesses. The banner along the top lists local stores and services, broken out by categories.
If you’re not active in the community through a Chamber of Commerce, now is the perfect time to get started. You don’t have to look hard to find reasons to jump-start involvement and welcome opportunities.
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