What is a Chamber of Commerce?
A chamber of commerce is an organization of businesses seeking to further their collective interests, while advancing their community, region, state or nation. Business owners in towns, cities and other territories voluntarily form these local societies/networks to advocate on behalf of the community at large, economic prosperity and business interests.
Chamber missions vary, but they all tend to focus to some degree on five primary goals: Building communities to which residents, visitors and investors are attracted; Promoting those communities; Striving to ensure future prosperity to the business environment; Representing the unified voice of the employer community. Chambers have other features in common. Most are led by private-sector employers, self-funded, organized around boards and committees of volunteers and they are independent. They share a common ambition for sustained prosperity of their community/region, built on successful employers. Most operate resisting attempts to overly burden private sector enterprise and investment.
Local businesses are voluntary paying members of a chamber. The membership, acting collectively, elects a board of directors to set policy for and guide the workings of the chamber.
Chambers do not operate in the same manner as a Better Business Bureau or trade association, which can bind its members under a formal law. Businesses and other employers pay dues to belong and expect to receive the benefits of membership as long as they continue to invest in the organization.
What doesn’t the chamber do?
While many organizations have “contracts for services” or “performance contracts” with municipalities or government agencies, chambers are not run, managed or controlled by any City, County or State Government.
Probably one of the most ill-conceived misconceptions of chamber membership is that the act of joining in itself will create increased business. The Chamber provides opportunities for businesses to grow and enhance their future vision.
How important is a Chamber of Commerce to your business?
A study has shown that consumers are 80% more likely to purchase goods/services from businesses that belong to a Chamber. And, when a company is involved in a Chamber, it believes you are trustworthy and interested in the community. In addition, the SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce has been serving business for over 35 years with a staff that has friendly personality and experience. When you cannot represent your business, we are advocating on your behalf.
How do I calculate my membership investment (dues)?
Membership investment is based on the number of opportunities you take advantage of throughout your year of membership. There are also different investment categories for various levels of Sponsorship. Call the Chamber at 251-666-2846 to find out more!
May I attend Chamber events as a non-member?
Many events are open to the public, including the Monthly Business Luncheon, Business After Hours, Business Expo, Citizen of the Year Banquet and etc…. Please contact our office if you would like to attend one of these events as our guest to get a feel for our organization.
Do you have Chamber members that are not Tillman's Corner/South Mobile County based businesses?
Yes, there are numerous businesses that are not based in our area, but choose to support the community in which they do business.