The Importance of Chamber of Commerce Membership for Small Businesses
Small businesses (those with less than 20 employees) represent 99% of all business in America. To say they are the backbone of the US economy would be an understatement. But as any small business owner knows, remaining viable can be a daily struggle, and finding success can sometimes feel like a pipe dream. While so many aspects of running a business are key components to survival, certainly the need to attract and convert new customers ranks high amongst those components.
We wanted to better understand what things small businesses needed to know about their potential customers, so we surveyed consumers across the US. Our goal was to find out why and how consumers went about researching and ultimately patronizing small businesses. The survey revealed a ton of surprising trends, but one specific insight jumped off the survey page...
It's important to Consumers that small businesses be members of local organizations like the chamber
69% of our survey respondents said that memberships in local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce is important to them, with 34% indicating it was very or extremely important!
Benefits of a Chamber of Commerce Membership
Local Chambers exist in order to help businesses thrive. To do that, they offer many resources to local business members, including:
- Networking opportunities
- Marketing and sponsorship opportunities
- Education and training resources
- Access to funding sources
- Political advocacy
what percentage of local businesses join the chamber?
Obviously the benefits above are vast, but according to the book Chamber Advantage, only 8% of local businesses are members of their local Chamber of Commerce. Why?
Clearly if more businesses felt like there was tangible value in a Chamber membership, more would pay for a membership.
What our survey indicates is that there is most definitely tangible value in a membership. When fully 1/3rd of your potential customers believe a Chamber membership is either very important or highly important, you're talking about a significant segment of consumers that, all things being equal, would prefer to do business with local businesses that are Chamber members.