For centuries the Chamber of Commerce has operated in essentially the same way. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the International Chamber, the U.S. Chamber, your local Chamber, the Asian Chamber, the Hispanic Chamber, the Black Chamber, the Gay Chamber the Green Chamber or other Chambers, all Chambers rely on the same business model of charging annual dues and event fees. And for the most part, it has worked fine, especially for larger businesses.
The value members receive in terms of perceived trust and credibility by the public, opportunities to do business with other members and the good will created by helping the business community has kept members involved with the Chamber. However, the uncertainty in our current economy and diminishing support small businesses are receiving from many sources they have relied upon in the past, is causing Chamber membership to plummet for most Chambers. And yet, while membership in Chambers with the old traditional business model is plummeting, membership in MainStreetChamber™ is soaring. Why?
MainStreetChamber™ uses a new, modern business model similar to that of social media. Membership is free with no annual renewal fees ever. You will never pay a fee to attend a MainStreetChamber™ networking event, mixer or business expo. Because we want to encourage active participation by our members, we do not create obstacles to networking by charging fees for our events. Our motto is, “Give first while expecting nothing in return and business will come back to you a hundred fold.” ~ John Bellave, CEO, MainStreetChamber™
Our revenue is generated through local and national sponsors. This allows us to provide many services to our members and hold events without charging any fees. Is it any wonder that our membership is soaring? To add the icing on the cake, as our membership grows, service providers are lining up to offer our members discounts based on group pricing for services that most entrepreneurs and small business owners need to succeed. Some of these services include:
- Health Insurance and Property & Casualty Insurance
- Working Capital Advances
- Accounts Receivable Collections
- Merchant Account Services (very low rate)
- Barter Exchange System
- Discounted Advertising
- Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing
- Mobile Text Marketing
- Plus several services provided locally
- And more on the way!
Complete details on the services available to our members can be found on the website of the Chapter closest to you. There is a listing of current Minnesota chapters on the menu located on the right side of every page of this blog. If you don’t see a chapter in your area, you can still receive numerous benefits by joining MainStreetChamber™ Minnesota online. And, the more members who join in your area, the sooner you will have your own chapter.
MainStreetChamber™ members are not required to spend a penny unless they wish to purchase the services listed above. In most cases, if they do, they will receive an attractive discount.
So which Chamber will you join?