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Every community has a chamber of commerce. It is the tie that binds the business community together.

The Greater Dufferin Area Chamber of Commerce exists in our community to make it a better place to work, live, and play. Your local chamber is very vibrant and strong with more than 500 members.  

Businesses are proud of being part of an organization that plays a key role in their community.

The chamber is a not-for-profit advocate for businesses. It is an organization managed by a volunteer board of directors, established to promote civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural progress within its community and to work diligently with community partners for the establishment of sound legislation and efficient administration at all levels of government.

The value for chamber members is a sense of pride to belong to an organization that plays a key role in the community.

Members display their membership logos on their windows and advertise their membership in their brochures or online.

Holding a membership in an association that is recognized worldwide allows members to promote to the outside world that they belong to something important and bigger.

Membership provides businesses with information about government issues and adds their voice to the chamber’s efforts to address them.

Not only do members have a voice at a local level, they also receive membership in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. This allows lobbying at both the provincial and federal levels.

The chamber, at all levels, speaks on behalf of the business community at public hearings with media and government on matters that impact the business community and the community at-large.

A chamber membership also provides excellent networking opportunities. Consider that with more than 500 members locally every person you network with is a bridge to someone or something else; the possibilities are endless.

The chamber typically hosts a variety of events throughout the year including Dufferin Women in Business luncheons,  Business After 5 meetings, Business Excellence Awards, golf tournaments and business expos.

Not to mention group buying power also provides access to better Group Insurance Plans, discounts on Esso gas purchases, TD Merchant Services and Bell Mobility. These are not the only benefits of the chamber; there are also great Member 2 Member discounts, provided to members by members.

But the real value of joining the chamber is the positive perceptions of consumers about membership. A survey by The Schapiro Group found some great results for chamber members.

Here are a few key points to consider: The results show that being active in a the chamber is a good strategy for businesses.

It’s an effective way to convey to consumers that the business uses good business practices. Consumers believe businesses that are involved in the community, care about customers and the company is reputable.

When a consumer thinks more favourably of a company because it is a member of its local chamber of commerce, it is because they infer that the company is trustworthy, connected to the community, listens to its customers is successful and is a leader in the business community.

So to sum up the value of membership — chamber membership provides members with an opportunity to have a positive impact on their business community and to be part of a worldwide business network. It gives consumers a positive perception of the business and it provides opportunities for networking and value added discounts.

RaDeana Montgomery is the Public and Member Relations Coordinator for The Greater Dufferin Area Chamber of Commerce and host and producer of The Chamber Matters on Rogers TV. For more information on programs and membership please visit the chamber website at www.gdacc.ca.