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May 03, 2024 Erin Crowley

How Working with a Chamber of Commerce Can Support Your Small Business

How Working with a Chamber of Commerce Can Support Your Small Business

We say it all the time, but small businesses like yours are truly the lifeblood of our local communities. Your dedication to entrepreneurship creates jobs, provides essential services, and adds vibrancy and character to our local communities and economies!

But we know running a small business can be tough. And these days small business owners need support more than ever. That's where chambers of commerce come in–acting as powerful advocates and supporters for small, independently-run businesses like yours.

Chambers are also a powerful source for meeting other business owners-creating a space to ask questions, troubleshoot, and vent with like-minded individuals who may have gone through similar struggles and can offer advice, or support as you navigate certain challenges together. 

Chambers of commerce play a multifaceted role in empowering businesses like yours, through a range of services. If you're a current member of a local chamber–you already know that the massive foam checks and flashy ribbon-cutting ceremonies are just a small portion of their work! 

Let’s dig into some of the work that chambers of commerce are doing to strengthen, protect, and assist small businesses like yours.

1. Small Business Advocacy and Legislation

When state or federal policies, laws, or additional legislation attempt to disrupt the small business space, it’s typically chambers of commerce that go to bat for local entrepreneurs.

Local chambers tend to be a powerful voice for small businesses in their communities and across the country. Chambers understand the critical role of legislation in fostering a healthy business environmentalmost acting like a gatekeeper between the government and small businesses.

Chambers actively lobby for policies that benefit small businesses like yours, such as lowered taxes and reduced regulations. Chambers actively engage with members of the community on pertinent topics and then communicate their questions or feedback to local and state officials.

Meet our partners at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce in Bel Air, MD and learn more about their role in the small business legislation space. 


2. Building Relationships and Networking

Small businesses and communities go hand-in-hand. But what happens if your business is mostly online? How do you find or build a community of your own?

Local chambers make it easy to find or form a new in-person community right in your neighborhood. By joining a chamber, you'll likely meet new mentors, customers, and possibly even new business partners.

Social media and the digital space are great options for larger brands and top-of-the-funnel marketing to build a community that attracts customers to your product or servicebut for smaller businesses—it's much more difficult to cast a wide net.

It's also tougher for small businesses to actually develop meaningful relationships with other business owners in similar positions. 

That's why chambers of commerce like the MetroWest Chamber are dedicated to creating community spaces for small business owners. By offering opportunities to convene at grand opening's, ribbon-cuttings, networking gatherings and groups, promotional events, and panel discussionssmall business owners are able to connect with one another. 

These valuable connections can lead to increased sales, brand recognition and visibility, access to valuable resources, and overall provide a stronger foundation for small business growth. 

Meet our partners at the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce in Framingham, MA and learn how they help small business owners make meaningful, long-lasting relationships.


3. Supporting Local Communities and Businesses

When you shop at local, small businesses–a large percentage of those dollars stay in the local community’s infrastructure. And when these dollars stay within the community, business owners are able to hire locally.

This financial ecosystem keeps money circulating within the community, benefiting everyone involved. Chambers often encourage this type of support by connecting businesses with local job seekers through job boards and promoting "Eat Local" and "Shop Local" initiatives where members get to showcase their services or goods. It's a win-win for both the businesses and the community's overall economic health.

Our partners at the Neponset River Regional Chamber in Norwood, MA love working with small businesses because supporting local businesses helps to create jobs, strengthen the tax base, and generally preserves the unique character of our local communities. Everybody wins! 


Chamber Membership: A Worthwhile Investment

By advocating for fair legislation, fostering connections, and promoting  local businesses among their communities–chambers create an environment where businesses like yours can flourish. Consider reaching out to your local chamber to learn more about how they can support your journey to success. With the support of strong chambers, the future of small businesses remains bright.

Find Your Local Chamber

Want to find the chamber closest to you? The US Chamber of Commerce has an interactive tool to help you find your local chamber! Just choose your state and your city/town to find the chamber you should join based on your location.

We’re here to help!

Whether you’re just getting your business off the ground, or are interested in revamping your current processes–download our free checklist, The Six Pillars of Payroll, to run a quick “check-up” on your business.

From payroll, to workers’ comp, to employee benefits, retirement savings and more–our Connected Payroll model can get you in touch with local experts–when and if you need them. We’re the small business payroll specialists! Are you ready to simplify payroll?

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Published by Erin Crowley May 3, 2024