Before we know it, it will be holiday time. Where in the world did 2017 go? In some ways, we will be glad to see it go – Tropical Storm Harvey being the greatest one. Many are still recovering and still need help. We keep hearing about neighbors who do not plan to rebuild. This could have a major effect on our community. One of our prettiest neighborhoods was the hardest hit in our area. Some of the residents have been there for many years and are finding it hard to survive an event like this. Our sympathies and concerns continue to go out to our neighbors.
Annually, the Baytown Chamber honors our first responders. This is the time that we name a Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Fire Fighter of the Year and Constable Deputy of the Year. Public Safety Recognition will be held on Tuesday, November 14th, at 11:00 at the Baytown Community Center. This is a luncheon meeting sponsored by local business. For more information, please call the Baytown Chamber 281-422-8359.
The great economic engine that is Texas keeps churning every day, and because of the businesses that fuel, it we as Texans enjoy great places to live, work and play. One key component in that engine is the local chamber of commerce. While often behind the scenes, the work of the chamber helps support and create an environment in which business can thrive. Beyond the work of the chamber, however, there are incredible business benefits and a great business case for chamber of commerce membership.
In the past, chambers have been viewed by some as socializing bodies where business people come together to network. Although still a valuable networking venue, today’s chamber is much more. In every arena from business advocacy, to economic and community development, to education and workforce development, chambers fight for business interest to ensure there is an environment in which they can thrive. A little known fact, however, is the impact local chambers have on “the business side of business”. Among these positive impacts are increased consumer confidence and patronage both of which are critical to business success.
The Shapiro group, an Atlanta based research firm, surveyed 2,000 Americans and found that chamber membership causes consumers to see a business in a more positive light and increases the likelihood that they will shop or purchase services from chamber member businesses. Although these figures may vary slightly amongst size of organization and industry sector, the fact remains that businesses that are members of their local chamber garner greater consumer credibility, trust, and loyalty than those that are not affiliated with the local chamber.
The Shapiro study revealed that there is a distinct correlation between chamber membership and a company’s bottom line. Whether in the area of patronage frequency, favorability or purchase intent, consumers’ tendencies lean heavily toward involved chamber members. Consumers state they are:
• 36% more likely to think favorably on insurance companies.
• 49% more likely to think favorably of small business and 80% more likely to purchase goods and services from the company in the future.
• 68% more likely to eat at a franchise restaurant
Small business is the backbone of America and the bulk of chamber memberships. If a person is a member of the chamber of commerce, the business will see a 49% increase in consumer favorable ratings, a 51% increase in consumer awareness, and an 80% increase in the likelihood of patronage.
Tracey S. Wheeler, IOM
President & CEO