We all know the statistics…small businesses make up 99.7 percent of American employers and account for 63 percent of new jobs in the United States. They are a key driver of economic growth and many of the most successful communities have a high number of small businesses.
The competition for capturing the attention of small business owners stacks up. From bloggers, e-marketers, and nonprofits to government institutions, there’s a whole business in supporting small business. So what’s a local chamber to do? How do you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to your community’s small businesses that there’s value in joining a chamber?
Let’s start with the numbers. A study commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives with support from Small Business Network Inc. quantified the real value of chamber membership to companies in terms of impact and consumer confidence. The study’s objective was to determine this: “Do consumers really support businesses because they are chamber members?” Here’s what they found:
- 59 percent of consumers think that being active in the local chamber is an effective business strategy overall.
- Consumers are 12 percent more likely to think a company’s products stack up better against its competition if the company is highly involved in the local chamber.
- 44 percent of consumers are more likely to think favorably of a small business when they know the company is a member of the chamber of commerce and are 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.
- Why? If a company is highly involved in the local chamber, a consumer infers that the company is trustworthy, involved in the community, and is an industry leader.
Overall message? When consumers are aware that a small business is involved with its local chamber, it benefits the business.