AUGUST 2014 – What Is Your Chamber?
Your chamber of commerce is a voluntary partnership of business and professional people working together to build a healthy economy and to improve the quality of life in your community.
As your chamber works to accomplish these goals it wears many hats: economic developer and planner; tourist information center; business spokesperson; government relations specialist; and public relations practitioner.
Who are your Chamber’s members?
Chamber of Commerce members are businesses, organizations and individuals concerned with the socio-economic climate of the community. They have joined together because they know they stand a better chance of getting things done when they speak as one voice.
Who leads your Chamber?
Your Chamber of Commerce is run by its members. They elect a Board of Directors that in turn determines policies and sets goals. A President presides over all Board meetings. Your Chamber’s day-to-day operations are handled by a professional manager, a paid employee. Members often become involved in chamber activities by working on committees, projects or taskforces.
What are the objectives of your Chamber?
As it works to improve the community’s economy and quality of life, your chamber keeps these broad objectives in mind: • to help businesses prosper and grow; • to increase job opportunities; • to encourage well managed expansion and development of all segments of the community; • to contribute to the overall economic stability of the community.
What are the activities of your Chamber?
Chamber of commerce activities reflect community needs. Some of the most popular activities of chambers include: • Economic development: creating jobs; providing services and information to members; promoting retail activities; recruiting new businesses and industries; attracting tourists. • Community development: revitalizing the downtown retail area; hosting events and activities. • Public affairs / relations: communicating business and civic issues to local, state and national governments.
How does a Chamber accomplish these activities?
The Chamber of commerce usually accomplishes their activities by: • having specific goals and objectives designed to meet the needs of the membership and community; • having an organizational structure with bylaws; policies and procedures for coordinating volunteers and programs of work; • having involved and dedicated leaders that are well informed and are willing to use their time and talent to accomplish meaningful activities; • having informed, interested and willing members to work on committees, to carry out programs of work and to provide necessary financing; • having the financial resources to undertake programs of work and to provide administrative responsibilities; • having skilled executive management dedicated to the chamber, to oversee programming and sound operations.