Membership has many benefits

When thinking about what a Chamber of Commerce does, most people associate a Chamber as a tourist-information center. The people who distribute colorful brochures about the region, advertise points of interest and answers questions for visitors. In regions where travel and tourism are the major industry, that will be the primary focus of those Chambers.

While promoting travel in our region is one of our important functions, it is not the primary reason why the Souhegan Valley Chamber exists. Our Chamber is much more. We are a catalyst – a common vehicle through which business and professional people work together for the common good of the community. Better business conditions mean a better community for everyone.

Who joins a Chamber

of Commerce?

Many business owners feel a Chamber of Commerce membership is a must-have. It’s an affordable way to foster immediate connections and help promote their businesses. At the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce, our members represent a broad cross-section of the community, including retail, dining, governmental, professional, financial, community service groups and nonprofit organizations. They range from sole proprietors and small businesses to large corporations.

Why do businesses join a Chamber of Commerce?

Businesses join a Chamber of Commerce to network, grow their business and build relationships in the business community. The Souhegan Valley Chamber offers our members a multitude of benefits to attain these goals: monthly networking opportunities; referral groups; business education seminars; marketing and advertising opportunities; events; travel opportunities; member-to-member deals and more.

Businesses know that Chamber membership provides them with credibility and positive customer perception. A 2012 study done by the Shapiro Group found that Chamber members enjoy an increased public perception of trustworthiness and credibility. Results showed that when consumers know that a business is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, they are 49 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

Businesses also join a Chamber of Commerce for advocacy reasons. After all, what other organization in their community is going represent them on issues that impact their everyday livelihood – whether it be a sign ordinance or a tax increase? At the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce, our government action committee identifies key legislative issues and determines whether any upcoming legislation in Concord will impact our Souhegan Valley businesses. The committee also strategizes whether the Chamber should take a non-partisan position on current government affairs in an effort to best serve our membership and community interests.

How Chambers Strengthen the Community?

The Souhegan Valley Chamber exists to promote, maintain and enhance the area’s economic climate. The Chamber assists our local businesses, from the large to the small, by giving them the tools to succeed. Why is their success so vital to our community?

Healthy, diverse and profitable businesses mean healthy and prosperous communities with low unemployment, support for local charitable organizations, good quality schools and high quality of life.

Chamber members are the local businesses that are the economic backbone of our communities. They make a profound impact daily: They provide jobs; help create community identity; provide local goods and services to residents, which in turn, supports and strengthens the local economy.

Chamber members tend to get involved in their communities and support local groups, schools, teams and charities. We find our Chamber members like to be involved and are an integral part of the success of our fundraising events, many of which benefit local nonprofits and causes. Our members also contribute their time, talent and efforts to free community events organized by the Chamber, such as our annual health and wellness fair.

The Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce invites you to join our almost 300 members who strive to work together to promote and strengthen the economic vitality and high quality of life of the 11 towns within the Souhegan Valley.

For information on the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce, visit us online at www.souhegan.net or call the office at 603-673-4360.

Wendy Hunt is executive director

of the Souhegan Valley Chamber

of Commerce.