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5 Benefits to Joining Your Chamber of Commerce

As a small-business owner, building strong local connections can help give your business a boost. These connections demonstrate your commitment to helping your area thrive economically and being a good corporate citizen, which can help you gain more customers.

One organization to consider joining is your local chamber of commerce, a group dedicated to promoting businesses in your community. You'll need to pay a small annual membership fee to join, which will vary depending on your business size and type of membership. If the upfront cost gives you pause, consider these membership benefits.

A view of a Chamber of Commerce building.

1. Extra Publicity Boost

Many chambers of commerce offer special programs to welcome new members and businesses into the community. This means your business will be included in membership lists that are shared online and offline. Some local chambers allow members to post information about special offers or events in their office lobby and on their website. This would help you reach a wider audience at no additional cost.

2. Exclusive Discounts and Services

As a member, you may be entitled to special discounts on business-related services and supplies from other companies in your community. For instance, some chambers offer access to discounts on business expenses including workers' compensation, health insurance, office supplies, credit card processing and air travel. Be sure to ask how you can stay updated on other perks, such as discounts on expos or conventions.

3. Sponsorship Opportunities

Chamber members get access to partnership and sponsorship opportunities that can give your brand a boost in local recognition. Sponsoring local festivals, competitions or charity events can bring positive attention to your business, and your chamber membership may make it easier and or even more affordable to be involved in these events.

4. Networking and Events

Local chambers host events throughout the year that provide an easy way to connect with other business leaders. These new connections could turn into potential customers, client referrals or business partnerships. Chamber-hosted events are also an opportunity to connect with local government officials or other leaders who can address questions or concerns your business is facing. A chamber-hosted event will attract people from a variety of industries, so always go with an open mind and use it as a networking opportunity and environment for best-practice sharing.

5. SEO Benefits

While it's natural to focus on the in-person benefits of joining your local chamber of commerce, don't overlook the online benefits. Backlinks continue to be an important factor in Google's search engine optimization (SEO) algorithm. Google gives greater authority to backlinks from websites with strong domain authority, like a chamber site. Having your website linked in your chamber directory profile or publishing an article or blog post on the website are great opportunities to improve your backlinks.

Finding ways to become more involved in and connected to your community can take time, but joining your local chamber of commerce can be a great first step.

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