Cindy White 2017

Membership in the chamber offers a variety of services and opportunities that can be helpful in promoting and growing your business or organization, large or small. As you utilize these benefits and services you will see that the Return on Investment greatly exceeds your investment.

Display your decal – Let your customers know that you are an active member of the Chamber of Commerce. According to a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers know that a business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, the business enjoys a 44 percent increase in its consumer favorability rating, a 51 percent increase in consumer awareness, a 57 percent increase in its local reputation and a 63 percent increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.

Chamber website – Our online searchable business directory allows potential customers to look for your business or organization by name, category, or key words and include a link to your company’s website. Through the Chamber website you can update your listing, create a Traffic Catching Site, add items to the Calendar of Events, register and pay for events, and post job listings.

Membership Directory & Buyer’s Guide – Our directory is published annually and includes an alphabetical and categorical listing of your business. The diectory is distributed throughout the county at various locations and each member is mailed a copy. The directories are also included in information, relocation, and new member recruitment packets.

Networking Opportunities – The chamber is a great place to network and meet people who shared a common interest in serving their community and their customers. The more your business is networked with the community, the quicker and easier it is to establish a trust bond with your customers. The chamber initiates more business-to-business commerce and opportunities for networking and connecting local professionals than any other local organization.

Monthly Business After Hours are held on the second Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.. Business Before Hours are held quarterly on the third Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.. The new Chamber Member Spotlight Tours are scheduled as requested by the business host. Our annual signature events also create opportunities to meet and network with fellow business leaders.

Referrals – We strive to promote our member businesses first and foremost, and by doing so help create a strong local economy to keep our business momentum moving forward. Following up on referrals and sales opportunities gives you a tangible return on your membership investment.

Monthly e-newsletters, Wednesday Updates & Social Media – These communications provide new member information, interesting information about operating a local business, articles about the local community, member announcements, details about up-and-coming chamber events and more.

Members have the option to send out informational flyers as attachments with any Wednesday update for a nominal fee or to do a Chamber Facebook Page “Takeover” for free. Don’t miss out on these great marketing opportunities for your business.

Get Involved – The Chamber has several committees and serving on one of them provides networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development. You can build your business while promoting developments of interest to local businesses and the community at large.

Choose Charleston Gift Checks – These gift checks are good for merchandise and services purchased from over 200 businesses that are members of the Charleston Chamber. Consider using them as employee incentives, holiday gifts or bonuses to help promote our member businesses and support our local economy.

Host & Sponsorship Opportunities – Chamber events and programs provide our members with diverse occasions to get to know new people and expand their prospect base. Chamber events are innovative and fun ways to help members meet potential customers, clients and vendors and generate new business leads.

With your chamber membership, you can reach potential clients through member exclusive advertising and sponsorship opportunities for business-to-business advertising and publicity.

Chamber Energy Buying Group – This exclusive members-only benefit has saved our members substantial savings on their energy bills over the past 7 years on both electric and natural gas consumption. We are currently negotiating new contracts and all Chamber members are welcome to join the group.

Bulk mail permit – As a member you may use the Chamber bulk mailing permit for regular or non-profit mailings. A bulk mailing must be at least 200 pieces of identical mail and include the proper postal indicia. You must make arrangements with our office prior to use.

For more information about the Charleston Chamber and the services it provides, call the office at 217-345-7041 or visit our website at www.charlestonchamber.com.

Cindy White is president and chief executive officer of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce.

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