"What is the point of Chamber Membership?"
Listen, friends, when society starts throwing around blanket definitions of which roles are "essential," although we can understand the meaning in this context, I think everyone starts considering their value a little.
A Chamber of Commerce is a unique thing. Many people think we are a tax funded entity. Not true. Many people think we are a marketing agency. Not true, although we do provide marketing services. Many people think we are Downtown event planners. Not in our job descriptions, although we do believe our community is enriched by having regular activities to enjoy.
At the Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce, we heavily consider ourselves to be customer service professionals. We exist to serve our business members, school districts, individual members, non profit partners, and the residents and visitors of our communities.
We provide word of mouth referrals on a daily basis. We manage a social media presence with broad reach. We create networking connections and new partnerships. We do a number of services that our members can appreciate. We help your granddad find the phone number he didn't find in the yellow pages. We help high school kids navigate the steps of their community service project. We work closely with Village leaders, businesses located on both the Cross Plains Main Street as well as in the greater Cross Plains Area, State agencies, Small Business Development Centers and more to stay in the know of things that could benefit or damage our communities. We are in a constant state of event planning, and are regularly brainstorming new things for families to do-- because the truth is, if nobody enjoys living in and visiting our community, our businesses will not thrive the way we want to see them thrive.
If you ask us "what's the point of joining the Chamber" we can rattle off a list of things we will do for you/your business, and I will explain that in some ways, we are like a gym membership-- the more ways you choose to use your membership, the more benefit you will see. No two people will use the exact same combination of equipment, because we recognize that different members are seeking different results. Overall, like a gym, a Chamber cultivates a healthier community.
A Chamber is many things. We are flexible and ever evolving, because that's what it takes to be forward thinking and relevant. We take situations like the Coronavirus pandemic and not only look for opportunities, but actually create them. We offer a mix of tangible benefits and intangible benefits to our members, but a vibrant Chamber is GOOD for a vibrant community.
Before you dismiss a Chamber of commerce as non-essential for your business, please consider that Chambers are essential for the community. Supporting your chamber is doing something for yourself-- helping to build the quality of life in the communities where you live, work and play.
There is most definitely a point!
I have included a Membership Enrollment form in this email and I ask that you consider joining the Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. (You may request a hard copy to be mailed if you prefer.). If your business is experiencing financial difficulty due to the Safer At Home order and you would like to discuss a payment plan, please reach out to me directly either via phone or email.
Thank you for supporting the Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce!
*NOTE: Sponsorship & Engagement Opportunities are attached for you to review, but signup will be announced at a later date as we are ensuring that all of the sponsorships are beneficial and relevant to our members as we learn more about status of the Safer At Home order.