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Chamber of Commerce...members?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LindaZ, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Is anyone here, a small business owner, member of their own County's chamber of commerce?

    It seem to be pretty benefitial, but I wanted to hear from the real small businesses, if it's worth joining. There's a $240 membership fee.
  2. iLLMaCK

    iLLMaCK Guest

    I am. But not photography related.
  3. From 1991 thru 1997, I was a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and also of Rotary when I had a business consulting practice. One of the benefits that I did not use was access to health insurance. Those are really good organizations if you want to network. When I gave up my consulting practice by joining one of my client companies, I also gave up my membership. While I have been self employed again from 1999 onwards, the nature of my business does not require a great deal of networking
    [Psychotherapy practice].

    You might consider joining Rotary or a similar organization for the networking it may enable you to do.
  4. sambru

    sambru In Memoriam 1957-2014

    I am and our company is a member as well. I used to go to the lunches they held every Wednesday, was/ is a great way to meet new people and to drum up business(insurance broker) however now I am on retirement mode and all I want to do is travel and take photos with my D300 & my 3 favorite lens 17-55, 70-200vr & Tokina 50-135 2.8.
  5. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    We've considered it for our stationery company. I hear good things about it. I may also join the Junior League down here. It sounds like a fantastic networking opportunity!
  6. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Linda :

    I think that it varies enormously with the specific CoC and location.

    I am not a member in my city, as my work doesn't lend itself to CoC functions, and I'm not here all of the time due to business travel. In addition, my city government's general tenor is pretty much anti-business oriented, so keeping a lower profile is actually advantageous.

    I've heard a few horror stories in my travels where CoCs were rather nasty, but then, I didn't witness any of those things personally.

    OTOH, I do know of some people in other locations who have derived benefit from a CoC membership, either through enhanced contacts or the ability to finesse permits with City Hall or insurance (as noted by someone else). In some locations, the CoC can swing a lot of weight to help members.

    I'd ask around with other similar businesses to yours to see if $240 a year has a decent payback or not.

    John P.
  7. I was a member of several for the heating-cooling-electric biz and nothing at all ever came out of it. Was listed in the directories and all. For the average home owner it seemed to mean little and they throw that book under all the rest.

    It's more of a schmooze fest thing great for developing contacts with other owners if you have time to schmooze. I don't.

    Linda if you are looking for family business being in the chamber looks good on paper but as far as leads..doubtful. For that same 240.00 I can have a business sized ad in color on those things golfers use to ADJUST score for a year or until they have to print new.
    That's alot of ads targeted to one specific golf course in my market area.
  8. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thanks for the inputs! Basically, I was told at a different forum that it's not worth it, so I think I'll pass on this.
  9. iLLMaCK

    iLLMaCK Guest

    IMHO, anytime that you can get your name out there, especially in the assumed rural area of NC where you'll be, it's worth the price.
    Why always rely on someone elses opinion? Find out for yourself, spend the $$ for a year and if you don't see positive results, don't re-up.
  10. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    Linda, I'm a member of our local BB Bureau. One thing that you have to remember is that business owners have kids also. I have made may contacts, donated services (i.e portrait sessions) for silent auctions for fund raisers that led to repeat business. Are you talking about Pine knoll shores or Beaufort? One thing that you need to remember is that area is a very seasonal area.

  11. jjdesanto1


    May 1, 2005
    Warwick, N.Y.
    John DeSanto

    I have my sideline photo business - StudioBlu Photography - as a member of our village's Chamber of Commerce and find the monthly mixers an invaluable tool for meeting other business owners in need of my services. I would think that it would work for you too - especially considering you're moving to a new area. Of course, if the local CofC doesn't hold meet and greet's, well...
  12. My wife (an artist) and I both belong. Because we live in a small town, it's important to have connections with the movers and shakers. For example, because of my Chamber of Commerce membership, I have breakfast with the Mayor 4 or 5 times a year in a small (15) group setting and we're now on a first name basis.

    Being part of the community here is important .......... for many reasons both social and commercial.

    My wife and I have both gotten plenty of business via our local Chamber, but I suspect it might be different in a large city.
  13. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Great inputs, thanks. Dave, I suppose you are right, and $240 may not be so bad...
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