Guest column:What about chamber membership?

The Daily Ardmoreite
Janee Auten

Our community is starting to emerge from the pandemic. We’re getting out more, getting together more, shopping, eating out, and adding some pre-pandemic activity back into our routines. For local businesses, this means an uptick in sales and activity, and a welcome boost to the bottom line.

If this has you looking at your business’s annual budget and wondering where you could spend a little to help your business go from surviving back to thriving, consider joining your Ardmore Chamber of Commerce as a Member.

Perhaps you have thought about in the past but are still undecided about whether it is the right place to invest your money. You wonder: Do I really get any benefit from joining the Chamber if I’m already an established business? Is it worth it to join a brick-and-mortar group when everything is now online?

When deciding, it is important to consider your business and your clientele. Are you looking to build local relationships and grow local business? If these are your goals, then the Chamber is a good place for you to start.

The Chamber is dedicated to advancing the economic vitality and quality of life of our area. It helps business owners network, learn, and grow by protecting and promoting the local business community. It supports local industry partners who employ those who buy local products and services. It connects various organizations in our community with our local businesses.

Your local Chamber advocates for pro-business legislation and supports its Members at the local, state and national levels. They participate locally in City Commission and Planning Commission activities as well as provide valuable information to our elected officials at both the state and national level on those items most important to our Members.

Chambers of Commerce have a good reputation and many consumers have a positive perception of Members and their businesses.

You may be interested to know that according to a survey of The Schapiro Group, consumers are 49% more likely to think favorably of a local business if it was a Member of the local Chamber and 80% more likely to purchase products or services from a Chamber Member.

If you’re looking for tangibles, Chamber Members are listed in the annual directory (hard-copy and online) and have access to the Chamber’s conference rooms, demographic and economic information, and lists of local clubs, organization, major employers, etc.

But how much does it cost?

The average cost of membership depends on the size and number of employees your business has. Many small business Chamber memberships average less than $30 a month.

Keep in mind, the Chamber of Commerce is not a magical business solution where you will see an immediate ‘return on investment’. Advertising on the Chamber’s Facebook page, attending a Member Showcase event, participating in virtual seminars, keeping your business info updated in the Chamber Master database, and being involved in Chamber events and programs, like attending Legislative Lunches to learn about current state legislations, are just a few of the things that will help promote your business. As always, your Chamber of Commerce is here to help, anyway we can.

Like so many of you, the Chamber anticipates having most events and resources back to a pre-COVID level by the end of Summer. We worked hard for our Members and the community during the pandemic. Our hearts ached for so many that struggled, we rejoiced when most came out victorious.

We still have work to do and invite you to consider partnering with the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce. You can visit www.ardmore.org for more information on being a Member, as well as sign up and pay your dues online.

If you have more questions about joining the Chamber, please call us at 580-223-7765.

Janee Auten

Coordinator of Membership Development

Ardmore Chamber of Commerce