When I joined my first chamber in 2011, I had, what I thought was, a good understanding of the chamber role in a community. Of course, I’d attended chamber events, connected with many members and thought I knew about the purpose of a chamber of commerce. Becoming the CEO of a chamber of commerce was eye-opening, to say the least.
Fast forward seven years, and I still am learning about a chamber of commerce. There is an old chamber adage: ‘if you’ve seen one chamber, you’ve seen one chamber’. In other words, they are all different. But really, are they?
A Historical Perspective
Chambers of commerce are the business hub of a community. In communities with a thriving chamber of commerce, you will find a thriving community of business. They go hand in hand. The first chamber of commerce was founded in Marseille in 1599, providing merchants, tradesmen, and craftsmen a forum to discuss issues they faced in their community. The Boston Chamber of Commerce organized the Boston Tea Party, launching the Revolutionary War. Chambers of commerce make a difference. They are the strongest and most important assembly of businesses in the world. Being a member of a chamber of commerce lends a business credibility in the marketplace and more importantly, a deeper connection to the community.
The chamber of commerce model has lasted for centuries because of its ability to provide value to members. Chambers do this through a variety of programs and services, providing members with exposure to markets, a voice on legislative issues and a place to gather to solve problems within a community.
Commitment to Community
The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to our community is no different than it was 100 years ago at its founding. The Chamber will continue to be the premier business association in McMinnville, provide our members with quality promotional opportunities, build strong networks and relationships, and provide education and awareness on public policy issues.
If you’d like to learn more about what the Chamber is doing for you, give us a call at 503-472-6196.