• Membership Benefits ... or what's in it for me?

  • It's actually quite simple-- a chamber of commerce is a group that's dedicated to protecting and promoting the local business community. The primary goal? To help business owners connect and grow.Chambers host networking events, fundraisers, workshops, and other activities, all with the aim of connecting local business owners.

    The Chamber of Commerce has a good reputation, and many consumers have positive perceptions of members and their businesses.In fact, you may be interested to know that according to a 2012 study conducted by the Schapiro Group, 49% of consumers were more likely to think favorably of a local business if it was a member of the local Chamber— and 80% were more likely to purchase a product or service from a Chamber member.

    Overall, most business owners feel a Chamber of Commerce membership is a must-have. There aren't many cons-- it's an affordable group that will foster immediate connections and promote your business. However, the Chamber of Commerce isn't a magical business solution where you'll see immediate ROI. No matter what, you'll have to work hard to get what you want out of it. And, you might run into your competitors. You'll have to put on your game face when you do.Businesses that operate solely on the Internet or don’t plan on staying in the area for an extended period of time might find that there are other associations that better meet their needs. Chamber of Commerce members are typically area businesses who want to invest in the local demographic.

    Other benefits include:

    • VPCC Website: Receive "free" listing in online Business Directory, access to  members’ only section, advertising opportunities on Hot Deals, M2M coupons, job listings and more!
       
    • Business Directory & Community Profile listing: A comprehensive annual publication that reaches thousands of business leaders in the area and people across the nation.
       
    • Business Development: The Chamber assists small business development in numerous ways: seminars, webinars and hands-on workshops. Access to business consulting  services. Referrals to those inquiring about products or services provided on the Peninsula.
       
    • Tax Deduction: As a 501(c)(6) organization your membership fee may be tax deductible as a business expense.
       
    • Mailing Labels: Membership mailing lists may be purchased to help businesses with mailings to existing members.

     

    • Events and programs—The local Chamber of Commerce will likely facilitate a whole host of activities and events over the course of a given year, each designed to help you as a small business owner to either get to know your peers, your competition or your customers that much better.  These kinds of programs provide tremendous business opportunities for people to get to know one another and expand their prospect base and generate great leads. Membership pricing and sponsorship opportunities are available.
       
    • Mentoring—The Chamber can assist you locate a mentor when you are starting or trying to grow your own small business, and the local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to find one.  It’s also a great place for you as an established small business owner or entrepreneur to offer your services to an up and comer in this regard.  Nothing pays you back like paying it forward, and mentoring is no exception to that rule.
       
    • Networking—While today’s technology and the ability to network online may have you wondering if the Chamber of Commerce way of doing business in person is obsolete, think again.  There’s still nothing as strong as face-to-face communication where building trust, respect and name recognition is concerned…nothing.  And it’s only through building that level of relationship over time that you are likely to acquire customer referrals and find the most suitable vendors, consultants and distributors you need to help you grow your small business long-term. In the world of business, connections are priceless. The Chamber offers opportunities that are convenient and allow you to connect with other business professionals. Such events are: Business Connections After Hours, Coffee Connections Before Hours and Bridge, our young professionals organization ... just to mention a few opportunities.
       
    • Promotions and publicity—We present programs that offer promotional materials, events and activities to welcome new residents and businesses to the area, ensuring that your business is front and center and ahead of the local competition with this very valuable target audience.  Additionally, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) advertising and publicity opportunities are oftentimes available to members exclusively, and mailing list access alone could be worth its weight in gold.
       
    • Government access and impact—Because the local Chamber of Commerce speaks with a united voice, one very much in favor of business interests, members are more likely to have an impact on government decision-making as part of a larger body than they would on their own.  Additionally, elected officials are much more likely to entertain an audience of concerned local Chamber members than they are any one individual business owner.
       
    • An Office Away from the Office—Small business owners, especially those who work from a small home office, will have a place they can go to congregate with other professionals when and if the need for human interaction and exchange becomes preferable.  Moreover, they can oftentimes use the Chamber’s facilities to host clients and hold meetings, ensuring they have a more professional office environment available to them that may even be available at a moment’s notice. Use the Chamber meeting rooms at a discounted rate.  Available with wireless connectivity and coffee service. Great for small meetings and conferences.