The end of the year is nigh, and for many businesses around the country, the time to think about renewing or joining membership organizations are among the many decisions to make. While many businesses are members of industry specific organizations, there is one organization that is open to any industry: a Chamber of Commerce. There are thousands of chambers in communities across the U.S., including here in Acadia Parish! We are grateful that we are here to assist businesses around the parish in their needs, and wish to extend those services to you, a prospective new member!
If you haven’t joined a Chamber of Commerce organization, you may not understand all of the different benefits that we offer. If not, here’s a rundown of exactly what we provide!
First off, what is a Chamber?
You may be wondering “What is a Chamber of Commerce?” That’s a great question! The simple answer is that it is a network of local businesses/industries that work together to further the interests of businesses in the area through advocacy, networking opportunities and other benefits. We serve as an influential voice and power that stands for the wellbeing of you, our local businesses. Each chamber will of course differ slightly in their objectives, depending on the business environment, yet their ultimate goal remains the same: to improve their local businesses.
Reasons why you should join a Chamber
Being a member gives you (more) credibility
Most, if not every, Chambers have a great reputation for standing up for the local community and economy. If you and your business connect yourself with the Chamber, you connect yourself with what the Chamber stands for as well. Customers will trust your business more because the name of the Chamber backs you, leading to more positive impressions of your overall business.
If you are a new business, you know just how difficult it is to gain exposure in today’s business environment. Finding various ways to get your name out into the community so consumers know who you are and what you offer can be time consuming and difficult. Chamber memberships offer you those resources that make this a lot easier. Simply looking at the membership directory is a fantastic way to gain extra exposure for your business. There are also physical newsletter, e-newsletters, social media posts, and others that give your name and business some additional press.
Provides networking opportunities
Each Chamber of Commerce hosts numerous opportunities for networking with other businesses. From committees to mixers to ribbon cuttings, you can find all these and more as a way to connect with other businesses in your area every month. Many of these events are free of charge to members, giving yet more benefits for being a member of the Chamber. Beneficial connections made at these events often have lasting effects for many businesses.
Members receive an influential voice on large-scale issues
A Chamber is not simply a way for you to network with other businesses. It also serves an important role in local government affairs. They are a voice for local business owners as well as local industries. They address issues about new regulations, fees, taxes, costs, or assessments that would apply to businesses they serve. When you join a Chamber, you become a part of that voice, and your role is relevant. Your opinion may differ from others personally, but it contributes to the combined voice behind the Chamber’s backing.
You, as a member, are kept in the loop of local business news
Being a member of the Chamber makes keeping up with outside news a little bit easier. Their regular newsletters, member-specific updates and member spotlights are all ways they help you stay connected!
Memberships open doors to referrals
Part of a Chamber’s job is to link companies and businesses, as well as individuals, to resources they seek. That means phone calls, emails, and Zoom calls, all to seek solutions for you and your products/services. As a member of the Chamber, That means phone calls, emails, and Zoom calls, all to seek solutions for you and your products/services. As a member of the Chamber, YOU are a resource too! If an opportunity arises that your business can fulfill, the Chamber is likely to refer you. Because supporting members like yourself is a core mission for all Chambers.
Community engagement opportunities
Chambers are active, and they arrange and host events often covered by your local press. By being an active member, and attending, sponsoring, or hosting such events, you receive additional attention that perhaps you would not have. These are great opportunities for your business to gain some positive exposure, because everyone likes to see people engaging in their community. It makes a huge difference to them, and when promoting your business!
Affordable access to promotional tools
Most Chambers offer promotion and publicity packages, all to help you grow your business. Included in the packages are ribbon cuttings, sponsorships, advertising, and more! The prices for these packages are often much lower than typical costs for those services, so members get a huge deal when it comes to promotional material.
These are just some of the benefits of joining your local Chamber of Commerce. And while there are many events the Chamber hosts that are open to the public, most of these benefits can only be utilized by members. You and your business will reap the most benefits from signing up and participating as members. And we want you to be a part of our organization! If you want to explore the different levels of membership available, want to sit down and speak with us about joining, or have any other questions for us about the Acadia Parish Chamber, we would love to hear from you! Click here to check out our Joining Membership Tour! Plus, you can always call us at 337-788-0177 or visit our location during regular office hours. We hope that you consider joining the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce!