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CHAMBER WEEK: Langley businesses are realizing the benefits of membership

Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce executive director Colleen Clark talks about the benefits of being a chamber member. - Langley Advance files
Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce executive director Colleen Clark talks about the benefits of being a chamber member.
— image credit: Langley Advance files

Membership has its privileges. So true on many fronts for the close to 1,000 members of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

For instance, more than a third of the local members take advantage of the group insurance plan, while others benefit from various employee programs, online payroll and HR support, hotel and car rental services, fuel discounts, and other bonuses exclusive to members.

Besides access to the benefits programs, there are many other advantages to membership, said executive director Colleen Clark.

Asked why businesses should consider joining the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Clark offered the following response:

Some business owners might say their schedule is demanding enough at the moment, and the thought of adding one more activity to their busy calendar is unbearable.

So why should they try to cram time into their already hectic schedules to join and actively participate in their local chamber of commerce?

Because membership in the local chamber offers numerous benefits and keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within their community and local marketplace.

Not only that, but research points out that consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it’s a member of their local chamber of commerce.

According a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers know that a small business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they are 44 per cent more likely to think favourably of it and 63 per cent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

If you still don’t think you have time to join and participate in your local chamber of commerce, consider the following:

Most consumers (59 per cent) think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy overall. It’s 29 per cent more effective, however, for communicating to consumers that a company uses good business practices and 26 per cent more effective for communicating that a business is reputable.

If a company shows that it’s highly involved in its local chamber (e.g., sits on the chamber board), consumers are 12 per cent more likely to think that its products stack up better against its competition.

When a consumer thinks that a company’s products stack up better against the competition because the company is highly involved in its local chamber of commerce, it is because he or she infers that the company is trustworthy, involved in the community and is an industry leader.

When consumers know that a restaurant franchise is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 40 per cent more likely to eat at the franchise in the next few months.

When consumers know that an insurance company is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 43 per cent more likely to consider buying insurance from it.

How does all that sound? If your business is a restaurant or an insurance company, isn’t it fantastic to hear the news that consumers are more likely to choose your business over a competing, non-member business because you’re a member of your local chamber of commerce?

Are you convinced yet that you should join your local chamber if you aren’t a member already?

If not, read this top 10 list of reasons why you should join your local chamber of commerce:

1.Membership brings credibility to your business.

2.Increase your visibility in the community.

3.Create networking opportunities.

4.Gain a voice in government.

5.Make business contacts.

6.Receive chamber updates and emails.

7.Acquire customer referrals.

8.Chamber events and programs.

9.Promotion and publicity.

10.Access to members-only discounts and services.

Small businesses represent the largest segment by number of most local chamber membership rolls.

Results in the research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street indicate the impact of local chamber membership on small businesses is very powerful.

If a consumer knows a small business is a member of its local chamber, the business enjoys a 44-per-cent increase in its consumer favourability rating, a 51-per-cent increase in consumer awareness, a 57-per-cent increase in its local reputation and a 63 percent increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.

Ready to join your local chamber, if you aren’t already?

Keep in mind, however, that you can’t just be a member of the local chamber to reap the benefits of chamber membership.

Paying your annual dues just isn’t enough.

You must also make an investment of time and effort in chamber activities and become involved.

Simply put, what you get out of chamber membership is directly relative to what you put in.

Related stories:

• Growth of Langley non-profits ties to vitality of businesses

• Chamber strives to engage tomorrow’s leaders

• Langley businesses are realizing the benefits of membership

• Langley chamber hosting coffee chats with top elected officials

• What’s In Store Langley: On the chamber calendar

• Langley chamber seeks transportation solutions

• Langley chamber keeps eye on government

 

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