Since the summer, I’ve posted about the tangible benefits of Chamber membership. While those benefits add value to your overall investment, what about the big picture? Today, let’s talk about the real value of Chamber membership. An investment with the Chamber is more than a marketing or PR decision; it is a strategic, focused, and routine business expense as crucial to your operation as capital equipment, personnel, and facility costs. Membership has a proven ROI — Return on Investment — that is only observable in a vibrant community with an active Chamber of Commerce.
By collaborating with our members and community partners, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce demonstrates value in the following six ways:
1. We are a strong business voice!
As the voice of business, advocacy efforts are focused on issues that impact your business investment in the Frederick community, including economic growth in a responsible and balanced way, education for tomorrow’s workforce, and maintenance for the health and wellness of the current workforce. To accomplish this, we build and maintain effective, results-oriented relationships, including stakeholder opportunities, at all levels of government by:
- Hosting pre- and post-legislative session gatherings with the county delegation
- Sending weekly legislative email updates during the General Assembly
- Facilitating a forum with county commissioners to discuss local business issues
- Conducting a city gathering with the mayor and aldermen
2. We create opportunities to make quality business connections!
Make more contacts more efficiently than in almost any other setting. The simple association with the Frederick Chamber is itself a powerful business development tool. Promoting Chamber membership prominently alongside your corporate identity tells customers and potential clients you are part of a comprehensive network of private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Specific connection opportunities include:
- Attending business card exchanges, which are the best attended business networking events in the region
- Partnering with businesses large and small that represent all sectors and stand beside leading nonprofits and governments
- Displaying the Chamber logo, which tells your customers that you’re connected
3. We build business marketing avenues!
Expose your product or service to the who’s who of regional business through sponsorship and advertising opportunities. We focus our time and talent on web-based social media technologies and strategies that enhance our members’ reach. For example, the annual Business Expo is the largest and most successful business trade show in central Maryland. Business card exchanges and other networking events also create opportunities to focus on the targeted clientele you seek. Additionally, our expert team of membership representatives will position you where you want to be! Marketing avenues you might consider with your membership include:
- Interaction and exposure to hundreds of local businesses and potential clients at events ranging from business card exchanges to the annual Business Expo
- Sponsorships at high-profile community events that demonstrate your commitment to the business community
- Affordable multimedia advertising on a variety of credible platforms
4. We facilitate business leadership experiences!
Grow your leadership talents through a variety of volunteer opportunities in programs, projects, and issues. The Leadership Frederick County program is widely acknowledged as the most effective community leadership development program in the region. We also host committees and work groups, many of which are routinely assigned to important regional initiatives. Our collective voice is heard on every major issue facing the community! A sample of leadership opportunities include:
- Leadership Frederick County, which is recognized statewide as one of the best community leadership programs in Maryland with almost 900 graduates
- Generation Connect, which plugs the under-40 emerging leaders into the fast lane for business networking and leadership development
- Frederick Nonprofit Alliance, which aligns nonprofit CEO’s with the thriving business community, providing a source for board leadership, donors, and supporters
5. We establish the business vision for our region!
Community needs for education, wellness, infrastructure, public policy, legislation, and workforce initiatives are always on the Chamber’s priority list. By joining the Frederick Chamber, you avail yourself and your business of opportunities to benefit from these initiatives or to become directly engaged in the work. The community perception of the Frederick Chamber includes:
- Recognition as the leading voice for the private sector on a host of critical issues facing our community
- Establishing a long-term strategic vision for the business community
- The umbrella for the private sector, public sector, and nonprofits to gather to create solutions to the most complex challenges
- A trustworthy resource that contributes to the best interests of Frederick County
6. We create business innovation growth!
We help create knowledge-based businesses and higher wage paying jobs by supporting and encouraging the success of innovative ideas and promoting the strength of entrepreneurship.
- Chamber-member companies report significant strength in the partnerships afforded by their Chamber connection
- Chamber members lead the way in creating high-paying employment options, local services contracts, and secondary economic benefits that come from the purchase of goods and services to sustain and grow their businesses
In short, the real value of membership with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is the power to support your business and contribute meaningfully to the greater business community. Thank you for making a difference in Frederick County.