The Roundup -

What Is A Chamber Of Commerce?

 

August 9, 2017 | View PDF



It is the front door to our community! A Chamber of Commerce is a one stop information and resource center for visitors, locals, businesses, and those outside of the area seeking information and assistance. A Chamber of Commerce is also a business network of members that represents the interests of businesses from all sectors and sizes and advocates on behalf of the members.

In 1768 a group of twenty business leaders in New York City founded the first Chamber of Commerce in America. There are now more than 3,000 Chambers of Commerce nationwide and almost 100 Chambers in the State of Montana. A Chamber of Commerce can be made of businesses located in a city, a group of cities, or a region. Regardless of size or type of businesses, the Chamber of Commerce is involved with leadership development, volunteerism, educational development, regional cooperation, economic development, member services, maintaining alliances at the local, state and federal levels, communicating current issues, candidate forums, workforce issues, housing issues, and quality of life issues that impact our community! A Chamber of Commerce is not a division of a city, county, or state; however it does work with government partners to accomplish common goals.

A Chamber of Commerce generates revenue in numerous ways, the most important way is through members who choose to invest in their local Chamber of Commerce and pay an annual membership fee. Every Chamber of Commerce is unique and therefore has a membership structure that best fits their group. Additional funding comes from fundraising, special events, or tourism grants depending on the focus of the Chamber. A Chamber of Commerce uses the revenue generated by membership dues and fundraising to operate a facility staffed by knowledgeable individuals who work on issues relevant to the membership, advertise member businesses, host networking events, provide referrals to residents from a Chamber business directory, support businesses with logistics, and much more.

Many Chamber of Commerce organizations belong to their State Chamber of Commerce Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These larger associations provide leverage to smaller groups and can advance issues on a larger scale than if one Chamber were to do it alone.

The mission of the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture is to provide leadership by fostering a progressive economic environment in support and promotion of the business and agricultural community. The Sidney Chamber has a long history of working for member businesses and will continue to be a resource for visitors, residents, and the economy for Sidney and the surrounding area. The Sidney Chamber is kicking off a membership drive, “Love where you live, it starts with us!” If you or your business would like to join the Sidney Chamber or have questions about membership, please contact the office at 433-1916 and visit with Executive Director, Susan Joy or Communications/Office Manager, Madina McGlothern.

 

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