Chamber of Commerce

What is the Function of a Chamber of Commerce?

A chamber of commerce is an organization made up of local businesses, individuals and professionals working together to improve their community. This voluntary organization invests their time and money in helping to develop programs that will make the community a better place to live and work. Programs can include economic, cultural and civic programs.

How They Function
A chamber of commerce functions as a voice for local professionals and businesses, taking action based on the thoughts of their members. They are responsible for certain services that will help members and the community as a whole. The organization appoints members to specific committees and each committee works to improve the economic status of local businesses and the community. Each member participates in their assigned committee, helping to decide on programs and projects.

Who Makes Up The Chamber?
Anyone who wants to make a difference in his or her community can volunteer to be a member of the chamber. These include individuals, professionals, organizations and businesses. An important part of the chamber is its board of directors. These individuals are elected by members who are responsible for determining polices that will be followed regarding projects. The board of directors do not put polices into force nor carry them out, but appoint an administrator to follow through on Board decisions. There is also an executive committee, which includes a president, president elect, vice presidents, treasurer and a past president. These officers function to direct and provide leadership to the Board. The Board also employs an Executive Director. This individual is responsible for managing the chamber and for hiring and managing staff.

The Chamber’s Role
The role of the chamber is to work together in keeping aware of the main issues concerning their community, state and country. They work to increase awareness about important issues that can help raise the local economic status by educating businesses and other professionals. This may include holding seminars and hosting special events such as black tie affairs, luncheons, health fairs and art expos. These gatherings help inform businesses about new programs and provide a good means of networking. The chamber also supports and heightens awareness about their local art association. Their role also involves finding ways to increase tourism in their county, supporting events and local attractions.

Benefits
A chamber of commerce is very beneficial to a community. This organization helps to promote businesses of the chamber, refers businesses to callers and visitors, provides businesses with education, maintains awareness of important local and state issues, supports all areas of art and works with the city and county for improving the community. They also advertise businesses in their membership directory and publish quarterly newsletters in helping their community stay informed to current affairs.

How to Locate Your Chamber of Commerce

Each city across the United States has a Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce members include the business owners and representatives of each specific area. Some large urban communities combine their areas to create one Chamber of Commerce. No matter the size, the Chamber of Commerce provides their community with support and innovative ideas to create economic growth.

Begin the search for the local Chamber of Commerce in the phone book. Large urban communities list the Chamber of Commerce in the business section of the phone book. Other locations include the yellow pages and in the government section at the front of the phone book. If the Chamber of Commerce’s phone number cannot be found in the phone book, call the local City Hall and ask for the phone number.

The Internet provides a plethora of information regarding the Chamber of Commerce for the majority of the cities across the United States. Open your search window. Locate the search bar and type in name of the town or city and Chamber of Commerce. Select search and a page will appear with the several choices. Click on the link that contains the information typed into the search bar. A page will appear with the desired pertinent information. Print off the information if so desired.

Contact local business owners and speak with them about the Chamber of Commerce for the area. Ask where the Chamber of Commerce is located. Other questions to ask the business owner includes such things as what the Chamber of Commerce does for the area, when it meets, some of the organizations or business involved and what benefits the Chamber provides. Business owners are a good source for information. Ask the same questions to the individual who answers the phone at the Chamber of Commerce Office.

Both the information in the phone book and on the Internet provide a phone number for the Chamber of Commerce and a location. Locate the Chamber of Commerce building using a city map, GPS system or map the address over the Internet. Urban areas have a specific building for their Chamber of Commerce while small rural communities have a designated location where their members meet.

Consider becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Community involvement and networking are just two of the benefits members enjoy.