Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce? If not, you should be. In case you think I’m being nosy and/or presumptuous, I’ve been a member of mine since 1977.
Community growth only happens when constituent groups, like business, politics, education, the arts, sports, neighborhoods, etc., have a place to state their interests, work out their differences and pull together for the common good. Your local chamber of commerce is the only organization in your community that can create the venue where discussions can be conducted that cut across all of the emotional and ideological boundaries that get erected over time in a community.
“What’s the chamber ever done for me?” you might ask. Well, the chamber IS you. Your local chamber isn’t part of the local government; it’s a private non-profit organization founded and nurtured by local leaders, just like you. There are hired chamber professionals who staff the office and coordinate the work, but most of what happens in your chamber is attributed to a local citizen who volunteers to help the chamber – and, therefore, the community and marketplace – be all it can be.
To paraphrase a great American, ask not what your chamber can do for you, but rather, what you can do for your chamber. I believe being a chamber member is the most important investment I make in my community. And as far as the financial commitment is concerned, I think you’ll be surprised, maybe shocked, at how small it is.
Recently, on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about my devotion to chambers, how they work and why I think you should be a member. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to my thoughts. And be sure to leave your comments.