Effingham Daily News
---- — When a business joins its local chamber, it are getting more than just a plaque on the wall or its name on a membership list. It is getting access to information that will help its businesses grow, improve its employees’ skills — an advocate for business-friendly laws and regulations — additional marketing resources to share its business message and a reputation that it is a company that people will want to do business with.
A national survey conducted in December by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in cooperation with other leaders in the field of business research found consumer perceptions of chamber members to be positive in many ways.
“Despite changes in markets and demographics, a nagging recession and the growing influence of the Internet, the Chamber brand today is stronger and more dynamic than ever,” said ACCE President Mick Fleming of the survey results.
The study revealed that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy because seven out of 10 consumers believe that such companies use good business practices, are reputable, care about its customers and are involved in the community.
When consumers know that a small business is a member of the local chamber, they are 49 percent more likely to think favorably of the business and 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company. Increased involvement in the chamber adds another 10 percent positive value to the likeliness that consumers consider a Chamber member’s products to stack up better against its competition.
Consumers who know that a national restaurant franchise is a local chamber member are 68 percent more likely to eat at the franchise in the next few months and insurance companies have a 36 percent better chance of consumer favorability. When consumers know that a large business is a member of the chamber, they are likely to patronize the company more often, express favorable opinions about the company, know more about the company and buy the company’s products.
The positive outcomes associated with a business being a Chamber member involve letting its customers know it is a member of the local chamber of commerce. The next time you’re in a local business and see its membership plaque, let the business owners know you are shopping there because you know the business is an important part of Effingham County’s success.
A list of Chamber members can be found at www.effinghamchamber.org by clicking on the Business Directory link.
The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce hit an important milestone recently — our membership has reached 575. This is the largest membership number in our organization’s history. Now we are pushing forward to 600 members in 2013. Thanks to the efforts of membership coordinator Becky Brown and a dedicated team of chamber volunteers for their efforts in reaching this goal.
Norma Lansing is the president of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 217-342-4147, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.