This year, I’ve had the unique opportunity to Chair the LakeRegion’s largest business association—The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce—with a membership exceeding 900 businesses. The Chamber’s board has been focused on maximizing exposure for member businesses in conjunction with increasing benefits and developing additional relevant programming
One of the most powerful improvements made is the completely revamped Chamber website, which is much more user-friendly and designed to increase traffic to the site. This increased usability in conjunction with increased visitors to the site will, in turn, increase exposure for member businesses. Additionally, new networking and training opportunities have been created specifically for female owned/managed businesses and a new “Competitive Edge” series will be unveiled this fall for the full membership.
Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram has seen a steady rise in sales volume over the last year—approximately 35%—and I’ve heard from our realtor members that home sales have dramatically improved – great signs for our local economy.
Many business owners, myself included, have spent the last couple of years focusing primarily on minimizing costs, optimizing operations and keeping the business solvent. Now that we have reached a significant economic turning point, it’s now time for our business community to recalibrate our efforts into growing our businesses by marketing and networking with other local businesses.
In a recent meeting with Chamber president Bill Russell, I asked him if there was specific data on how relevant chamber membership is for a business. I know first hand how the chamber has benefited Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. However, I was more interested in how membership in a chamber of commerce, any chamber for that matter, benefited a business – whether retail or service.
Bill pointed to a study conducted by The Shapiro Group, Inc. who specializes in economic and development strategies for chambers of commerce. The recent study was aimed at the question “Do consumers really support business because they are members of a local chamber?” The data revealed that 59% think that being active in a local chamber is an effective business strategy. What’s more, when consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber, they are 44% more likely to think favorably of it and 63% more likely to purchase goods or services from it in the future.
As an automobile dealer, I found it interesting that among consumers buying a car from a particular manufacturer, chamber membership leads to a 20% increase in consumer favorability reports. In the south, where relationships mean a great deal, the data is staggering! There is an 82% increase in the likelihood of future patronage if the consumer knows you are a member of the local chamber of commerce.
The base membership for the Lake Norman Chamber starts at only $275 and is a sound investment for any business. If your company is not located within the operating bounds of the Lake Norman Chamber, there is most likely a chamber established in your particular region. Do your company a service and join your local chamber! If you do business in the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville or greater Lake Norman region – consider joining ours!
You can check out information on the Chamber’s new website at lakenormanchamber.org or call the chamber at 704-892-1922. The bottom line – membership in your local chamber of commerce is a great investment and now is the time to get re-connected!
Jack Salzman, 2012 Chairman of the Board of Directors
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
Jack Salzman, President of Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram is the 2012 Chairman of the Board of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.
The study Jack cited can be found at: Chamber study.
Filed under: Chamber of Commerce | Tagged: Bill Russell, Chamber Dues, Chamber Membership Investment, Is Membership worth it, Jack Salzman, Lake Norman Chamber, Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, The Shapiro Group | Leave a comment »