Chambers of Commerce are membership organizations that advocate on behalf of local businesses. No other organization represents the business community like Chambers. In New Hampshire, there are approximately 50 Chambers of Commerce located throughout the state representing the business community.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chambers have emerged as a vital conduit of communication between state and federal officials and our businesses. Chamber leaders are talking to our governor, state legislators, our congressional delegation and senators, commissioners and many others. We are advocating for the needs of the business community both at the state and federal level on an almost daily basis, bringing your real-time issues, questions and concerns to top officials. We have worked tirelessly to provide the business community with the most current information available and to assist them in navigating Coronavirus funding options, NH Employment Services, COVID-19 guidelines and more.
Chambers have had to become innovative in presenting our business education programming, and are now using applied technology to host webinars and virtual workshops. Chambers throughout the state have offered a range of topics pertinent to COVID-19 issues featuring legal and other professionals designed to help businesses emerge from this crisis.
With COVID-19 and social distancing, Chambers have had to re-invent how we provide opportunities for our members to attend networking events. Offering virtual events has boosted morale during times of isolation and allowed our members to maintain important business connections.
Chambers are also working closely with our business and government partners to secure the safety supplies and personal protection equipment they will need to reopen.
As we flatten the curve in NH and business sectors start to re-open, Chambers continue to work harder than ever for each business and for the future of our communities. As the “voice” of business on both state and federal levels, Chambers will be crucial during the recovery and over the months and years to come. No one ever predicted our lives would be so quickly impacted by a contagious virus, and Chambers have proven themselves to be a lifeline for our businesses during COVID-19.
Are you wondering if joining a Chamber of Commerce is worth the investment?
Wherever are you in the life-cycle of your business (i.e., just starting out, looking to take that next growth leap, or considering a sale of your business), Chambers have programs and solutions for all stages of business.
Why now is the time to join:
Now is the time to get connected and build meaningful relationships. Chambers offer a variety of options to do this, including networking events, volunteer opportunities, ribbon cuttings to celebrate our member milestones. Even in times of social distancing and working from home the Chamber offers virtual events to continue the engagement of our members.
Now is the time to be seen. Chambers are a trusted source and by being listed in our membership directories you can increase your SEO to help customers better find your business.
Now is the time to promote your business. As a member you can submit your events, job opportunities and business updates to share with the community. Chambers offer different levels of membership and sponsorship opportunities to maximize your visibility.
Now is the time to advocate. Chambers advocate for your business every day at the local, state and federal levels. We help you navigate issues that you couldn’t do on your own. When you are a member of the chamber you are not alone.
Now is the time to grow professionally. Chambers offer a variety of business education seminars on topics that are relevant to your business, giving you an advantage in business best practices, marketing, and technology.
Now is the time to educate. Many Chambers have strong partnerships with local school districts to help in developing tomorrow’s work force through interactive programs and career exploration. Through us, find future employees by offering internships.
Now is the time to invest in the future. Young professionals are the future of the business community. Through Young Professionals (YP) programs, chambers can foster collective action among young business leaders and entrepreneurs by giving them the tools to mobilize and network.
Now is the time to join. We invite you to join your local Chamber of Commerce to help your business grow and thrive during the recovery. We think you’ll find that becoming a Chamber member will be one of the best business decisions you’ll ever make.
For a complete list of NH Chambers of Commerce, visit www.gmsvcc.org and click on the NH Chambers button at the top of the homepage.
Submitted by Wendy Hunt, President, Greater Merrimack-Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce & Board Chair of the New Hampshire Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives