As many successful business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you, networking is one of the most important functions to promote small business and gain new and loyal customers. As we know, small business owners are already kept so busy with their own work that they rarely have time to think about organizing networking events, forming community connections and partners, and marketing as a whole; that is partially where your local Chamber of Commerce steps in.
The Chamber provides plenty of opportunities to network and bring locals into your location, through networking events partnered with various businesses, hosting events where you can meet other local business owners and employees and discuss their various methods of success, and provide volunteering opportunities that promote the betterment of the community and an increase in favorable public perception of your business. Additionally, working with the Chamber gives you access to free marketing perks that non-members do not get. The Chamber provides an array of marketing and events such as ribbon cuttings, search engine listing on their website, social media coverage, photo, and video, being included in publications, and much more. Many people, both in the community and visiting, all use the Chamber of Commerce as a guide for reliability in business and base the credibility of the business from their relationship to the Chamber.
According to a research study by The Schapiro Group titled "The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce", the statistics are outlined as such:
Overall, the population sees the Chamber as an authority and a resource on what products and services to use. The Chamber should be seen as a partner to the local business community and its members working to achieve the same goals as the rest of the community. In the end, the Chamber, local businesses, city officials, community partners and organizations, and the citizens all want the same thing - community growth. When consumers see that a business is a Chamber of Commerce member, it instills in their mind the belief that the business is a dedicated member of the community and that it is a part of something bigger, an organizational entity working to make their community better, and when consumers identify a business as such, they will go out of their way to support it.
The Schapiro Group. (2019). The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from, The Schapiro Group.
Salina Area Chamber of Commerce