Our local Chambers are a great benefit to our communities, and we want to express appreciation for all they do. Today we’re doing this by discussing what a Chamber of Commerce (CoC) is. After all, it’s difficult to appreciate something if you don’t understand it’s purpose.
In the simplest of terms, a Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit business network. While joining a CoC often gives business owners and leaders the opportunity to promote their companies, many CoCs recognize a responsibility to do so much more. This network often acts as a liaison between local businesses, city government and other community organizations working to promote economic success in the communities they’re part of.
Bettering Communities Through Business
Local business leaders who are part of a CoC often work on behalf of all businesses within their cities. The CoC can be a voice when it comes to things like city ordinances that can be important to help local businesses thrive. This can have a positive domino effect, possibly attracting new businesses to the area and thereby aiding in economic development, creating new job opportunities, increasing local revenue and making our communities great places to live.
Many Chambers also serve as a city directory of sorts, for visitors and local citizens alike. They often encompass or work closely with tourism boards in their towns. Visitors may swing by the CoC office for maps or brochures of things to see and do in the area, purchase city souvenirs or educate themselves about the town. Local community members or new area residents may call to find local businesses in the area that can fulfill their specific needs, like caterers, plumbers, electricians or internet providers.
Chambers of Commerce also usually play a big part in community events and celebrations. Chamber members often help sponsor, promote and volunteer a lot of time preparing and working to pull off such festivities. Some examples that come to mind in GVEC’s service territory are the Cuero Turkey Fest, Yorktown Western Days, Yoakum Tom-Tom, Shiner Half Moon Holidays, Skylight Balloon Fest, and Gonzales Come and Take It, along with many local youth events and livestock shows.
More Than Benefiting Businesses
As you’ve read, local Chambers of Commerce have a much bigger impact on your community than merely hosting ribbon cuttings and promoting business members. An active CoC often equates to economic stability that improves the quality of life in your town.
Promoting the communities as a whole brings tourism and visitors as well as attracting local customers to shop and spend where you live. This can attract other companies and businesses to open in your community, offering new jobs, contributing to competitive marketing, and paying local taxes that recirculate back into the community. This can to create a revenue stream that helps maintain public parks and recreation, city infrastructure and strengthen local school systems where you live.
We encourage you to find out more about your local Chamber of Commerce. Many Texas Chambers’ directory information can be found at uschamber.com. You can also check your city’s website, or click the links here for the Chambers of the following cities: Yoakum, Yorktown, Cuero, Shiner, Gonzales, Seguin, Marion, La Vernia, New Braunfels, Schertz, Cibolo and Selma, as well as the Texas Tri-County Chamber of Commerce.