Aug. 6, 2019
I was inducted onto the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors this morning. It’s a return engagement for me. I left the board last fall to care for an ailing loved one. But I maintained my Chamber membership because the Chamber’s mission is important to me.
One of the questions I’m often asked is
how much business I bring in through
my Chamber membership. As far as I’m
concerned, that’s the wrong question to
ask. If your intent to join a chamber is to
promote your own business and only to
promote your business, take your money
elsewhere. Join a networking group instead.
A chamber’s function is not to promote singular businesses. It’s to promote the business community within the community as a whole. Its mission is to raise the tide, so all boats rise. It’s to keep track of legislation at the local, state, and federal level and to take a stand on issues that affect the business community. It’s to support our non-profit businesses that take care of the less fortunate among us, so our community as a whole is stronger. It’s to attract new businesses that fit within our community and bring good-paying jobs.
A chamber is a community within a community. It is comprised of singular businesses that have a mindset that helping all helps ourselves. As singular businesses, we also belong to networking groups to build our respective entities. And, we see nothing wrong with doing business among ourselves—we do it all the time. But that is not our primary purpose to join forces.
To join a chamber is to adopt an altruistic attitude. You join your chamber to help your fellow businesses grow and succeed, to raise the tide for all boats. You join a chamber to make your entire community stronger. Whether or not you directly make a dollar from your membership is immaterial. Your business will be stronger by supporting a chamber that looks out for your interests and your community.
Call your local chamber and inquire how you can help. We’ll be happy to welcome you aboard.
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Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications and author of Write It, Speak It: Writing a Speech They’ll APPLAUD! Reach him at Tom@YourConsistentVoice.com. Sign up today for my 10-week online course, the Writing Accountability Project. Begins Sept. 17.