The existence of chamber of commerce dates as far back as the 16th century and has since then maintained an essential role in business to business and business to consumer relations. Chambers strive to protect the concerns of its business members while maintaining the interest of the community as a whole.
While the chambers in the US must be registered, businesses are not required but are encouraged to join. Large chambers that work together are better able to protect the interest of its members, sway local business trends and even change the local community for the better.
This is able to highlight and support its particular local businesses such as startups which may help to pave the way for future success. Also, they can rally around a long standing company which may have deep roots but be experiencing hard times. On the opposite side chamber members can officially or unofficially blacklist certain local businesses or members they feel are counterproductive to developing a good strong local community, environment and economy.
With this power comes the responsibility to know your community. Know the foundations and the goals, and try to influence them for the good. Sometimes strictly looking at the business side of the community ignores such issues as the need to tear down a rundown building in order to build a community park. A farsighted plan is able to see the value in supporting something good for the communities which will in turn support the environment and the economy of that community.
The local environments are a difficult issue for local communities to tackle. The solving or correcting of bad business' environmental problems is costly and sometimes painful to confront. It may mean turning to a longstanding member of the chamber and urging them to stop a certain practice or even pursing legislative action.
When focused on building these strong communities and healthy environments chambers are in turn building the local economy. Furthermore, strong economies only get stronger when surrounded by these healthy communities. Take for example a chamber of commerce which commences a revitalization plan for a dying downtown, if they clean up the area and promote a sense of community with its inhabitants it will consecutively foster more and more business activities in that community.
One great way for a local chamber of commerce to rally its members together and connect with the community is to put on a local chamber of commerce trade show. Almost every chamber now has these trade shows since they are a great way for business to connect and actually see what other services and products other members offer. These shows also allow non-members to see the value being a member and also meeting other local business people.
Often non-profit or local organizations can reserve a trade show booth so that they can let a broader audience know their concerns. And since businesses are usually able to make a bigger impact, bending the ear of local business people is a great way to further your campaign for change.
Another great way to connect is simply hosting non-formal social events, such as having food and drinks at a local restaurant on Friday afternoon. Hosting these events is a great way for business people to connect in a more laid back and welcoming environment. Hosting such events captures a broader interest so more members are likely to attend, which promotes a sense of community among business owners.
Building a stronger chamber of commerce through having social events or putting on a trade show will in turn help foster a better chamber community. And that better community will be able to build a better community at large, a cleaner environment and a stronger local economy.
Andy Keeler is the owner of MODdisplays.com, an internet-based trade show booth sales company. While MODdisplays sells trade show products and exhibit accessories like trade show flooring on a national scale, the company is a strong supporter of local communities. They can be found online at: moddisplays.com