Small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups in every industry can vary dramatically based on what it is they do, but they do all share some common interests and needs.
Your local Chamber of Commerce may be one of the most useful networking tools for your business, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or startup who may not have developed a long list of relevant contacts.
In addition to helping local businesses network, Chambers of Commerce also advocate for the interests of local businesses in a variety of ways.
What Is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses that advocates for its members. These organizations are often local in nature and overlapping. In Tempe, there’s the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, but those members could also belong to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce’s purpose is to lobby for the interests of Tempe’s businesses, while the Arizona Chamber of Commerce advocates for the whole state, and so on.
These organizations can vary in size (from a few dozen businesses in a small town to a million or more on the national level) and exert all types of influence. Membership in a Chamber of Commerce is voluntary in the United States.
Although the overarching goal of a Chamber of Commerce is to promote the success of its members and by extension the local community and economy, there are several ancillary benefits membership offers, most of which contribute to that primary mission.
For example, a Chamber of Commerce may lobby local legislators or city councils for business-friendly policies that will benefit its members. They may also help connect B2B vendors with other local members in need of their services.
Membership in a Chamber of Commerce can also provide both passive and overt marketing and advertising in the form of exposure through membership and with various overt promotional efforts.
Some of the Many Benefits of Getting Involved with Your Local Chamber of Commerce
- Find out about local events or trade shows where you can network with other relevant professionals (or even set up a booth)
- Get connected with local vendors to find reliable partners to outsource or acquire things like accounting, IT, raw materials or other support services
- Find potential partners, clients or joint venture opportunities that will be beneficial to you and other businesses in your community
- Connect with local mentors or likeminded business owners who can help you better your business
- Get your business press by being associated with efforts to improve your local community
- Free marketing – other businesses looking for the services you offer may be pointed your way through the Chamber of Commerce
- Your local Chamber of Commerce may have partnerships with local publications making it easier or more affordable to get your ads in local papers, pamphlets or magazines
- Potentially find allies or lobby for civic improvements, economic development and even favorable local legislation
If you’re manufacturing products that you want to get stocked in local stores, connecting with local Chambers of Commerce near you may be the most efficient way to get your foot in the door.
Some of Our Local Chambers of Commerce
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce advocates for the interests of more than 70,000 workers at almost 600 Tempe businesses. The chamber’s history dates back to 1893, when Tempe’s Board of Trade represented local businesses. It officially became the Tempe Chamber of Commerce in 1908 and continues to support educational and workforce development initiatives, beneficial public policy and local business development efforts.
The East Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) is a partnership between seven East Valley Chambers of Commerce and their members. They help find common ground and leverage the lobbying power of its Chamber members to accomplish goals like:
- Lowering the cost of doing business in Arizona
- Developing a better trained local workforce
- Promoting private sector job growth
- Advocating for transparent, streamlined Arizona governance as it pertains to local businesses
In recent months they’ve focused their efforts on bringing focus to the impact COVID-19 is having on struggling local businesses and are using data to aggressively advocate for struggling members.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s policy focus tends to be broader than the local Chambers’ agendas but is still generally focused on the same goal of promoting the success, growth and prosperity of Arizonan workers and businesses.
Network with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce at MAC6
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce currently has offices at MAC6 and regularly organizes and participates in various events in our coworking spaces. If you’re a local Tempe area entrepreneur or small business that wants to connect with other local businesses and make a positive impact on the Tempe community, MAC6 may be the place for you.
Read through our pricing and amenities to learn more about our flexible private suites, offices, manufacturing and coworking space options. Potential members can also book a tour to see our great amenities and coworking spaces for yourself.