8 Reasons to Join a Chamber of Commerce

By: Melanie Llinas, Intern, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce

Becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce may sound like another task to add onto your hectic schedule, but joining your local chamber has tremendous value. It allows you to network amongst other businesses in your area, find potential clients and partners, and opens doors to new opportunities to help your business grow. Outlined below are 8 reasons why joining the Chamber can benefit you!

1130 network ptVisibility: Joining the chamber and participating in community events allows people to become familiar with you and your business, putting you top of mind. Having that familiarity with your consumers will increase their likelihood of purchasing goods or services from you by 63%, according to the American Business Magazine. Furthermore, showing your support for others within the community through chamber involvement proves you care about neighborhood organizations and businesses thriving. According to the American Business Magazine, consumers are 44% more likely to think favorably of businesses that are chamber members, and are 12% more likely to choose you over the competition because you are a chamber member. With increased participation comes increased credibility, thus causing an increase in customers!

Marketing: Advertising and promotions are an important part of owning a business. You need to coordinate marketing strategies to attract new customers and build your brand reputation. With the growing network that chambers have, joining allows your business’ name to spread throughout the community. As a member of the Chambersburg Chamber, your business receives exposure on social media sites, in newsletters, on the chamber website, in the business directory and more. The Chambersburg Chamber directly distributes information in print and online to more than 2,400 community members. Additionally, the Chamber has a following of 3,400+ people on Facebook, 1,500+ on Instagram and another 1,300+ on Twitter. Think of all the people you can reach just through the chamber’s network!

Advertising can be expensive, but through the chamber you can receive free or low-cost ads. An average newspaper ad can be priced at a minimum of $500. Online advertising is even more expensive! If you’re part of the Chamber, however, both print and online ads can be priced as low as $50. And you can rest assured knowing your marketing is going directly to local consumers that are engaged in the community.

: Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get referrals. Having a trustworthy person give a positive review motivates others to use your services or invest in your merchandise. The chamber can be a very trustworthy source! More specifically, 59% of consumers think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy overall (American Business Magazine). The people you meet and connections you make through the Chamber will only grow your network of referrals. (See more in The Power of a Chamber Referral blog post.) People also call the Chambersburg Chamber office daily for referrals on specific goods and services, and we always recommend our members!

1130 networkNetworking
: There are countless opportunities to expand your professional network when you become a member. The Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce has events that serve as great ice breakers for new business owners such as joining a referral group and attending mixers and Lunch & Learn seminars. In addition, the Chamber holds bigger networking events that include a few hundred business leaders as well as people in the community, such as the formal fundraising dinner Sip & Savor and the Annual Awards Breakfast.

Professional Development
: Being an active member of the chamber allows you to work with people from many different industries. While you may specialize in a specific field, having the opportunity to brainstorm with and learn from people outside of your expertise will help expand your knowledge. Professional development is vital to keep your skills up-to-date and remain a fierce challenge to competitors. Think of this as practice. For example, your favorite sports player must practice daily to keep up with the competition and perfect their skills. It is the same in the business world!

The Chambersburg Chamber offers a variety of professional development opportunities, and Leadership Franklin County provides instruction and workshops on leadership and community development. With an increased knowledge of best business and leadership practices, you can go out and advocate for yourself, as well as influence the people around you.

: The Chamber has a great impact on how the community operates, which means your voice can be heard and your actions implemented by becoming a member of chamber and joining one of our various committees. Volunteering your time will increase your influence on community achievements.

Additionally, the chamber serves as a voice for their members by monitoring government activities and representing members on issues affecting the welfare of their businesses. The goal is to ensure that the business community’s best interests are always represented in the region’s governments. (View the Chambersburg Chamber’s Public Policy Agenda for more.)

Increase Your Market
: While your business may be locally owned, the Chambersburg Chamber is influential across the region. Thus, becoming involved in the Chamber will not only advocate in this community, but other communities in our region will know of your goods and services as well. With 900 current members, the Chamber is the largest business advocacy organization in Franklin County! In addition, they have a reach as far north as Harrisburg and even cross state-lines with members in Maryland and West Virginia. Having this big of a network on your side can possibly lead to the expansion of your brand into surrounding communities.

: Getting started and making your mark in the community can sometimes be tough, but the 10 helpful and friendly employees at the Chambersburg Chamber will act as resources and do everything in their power to help your business thrive. Their vision statement, “We promise to be your champion in the community, serve your needs to always be part of the solution,” indicates their willingness to help you kick-start your business and your goals.
For more information on how to become a member at the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce visit the Member Benefits page of our website or contact Membership Director Doug Harmon at dharmon@chambersburg.org or (717) 264-7101 ext. 202.