Invest in your business….Join the Chamber of Commerce

December 6, 2016

I am often surprised to hear from fellow business owners that they are not members of their regional chambers of commerce.  Reasons vary from “the chamber only benefits tourism related businesses” to “I am too busy for networking events” to “my business is too small to benefit from a chamber membership.”

While the chambers of commerce certainly do work to promote our region as a destination, and offer networking and educational opportunities which can be of value to any business owner, this is just part of their mission.   The chambers work to promote an area’s economic vitality as a whole while advocating for every business, at both the state and local levels of government, on the critical issues confronting the business community.

As active and enthusiastic members of both the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, we see firsthand how these organizations also work to support every business in their region by providing educational opportunities, and in seeking solutions to the myriad of challenges every business owner faces every day. The return on investment that we have received from our chamber memberships has been invaluable.

Here are just a few of the chambers’ recent accomplishments:

  • Worked along with local businesses to help shape unemployment reform resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to small businesses across the state.
  • Organized a forum with the attorney general’s office and local legislators to enable Cape businesses to submit feedback regarding the changes to the Massachusetts Sick Law last summer, resulting in a set of guidelines governing the law that significantly helped seasonal businesses, and made compliance for all businesses across the state more straightforward and less costly.
  • Sponsored countless workshops for small businesses covering a number of important issues including Affordable Care Act compliance, social media strategies, understanding H2B visas, and successful email marketing.
  • Continued to work on the Blue Economy Initiative which is a long-range plan to promote and sustain a marine centered live-work-play economy on the Cape that leverages our water-based assets and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Implemented a legislative tracker available to all chamber members which tracks potential pieces of legislation that will impact local business.
  • Hosted a forum with the district attorney and local legislators on the impact of ballot question 4 on small business.

These accomplishments are a testament to the chambers’ staffs, and also to their vibrant and active memberships.  With memberships in each chamber exceeding 1,300 companies, there is ample opportunity to learn from business owners and community leaders from a wide variety of industries.  While the members are diverse and range from single person sole proprietorship to multi-national corporations, they all share a common goal….to better the community for all.  As the South Shore Chamber states so perfectly on its website, “We invite business leaders to become a part of something bigger.”