What is a Chamber of Commerce?
The Chamber of Commerce is the place for community businesses to work together. It is the central agency that corrals the forces of the community for its improvement and development in business, industry, and in the professions. Together, the Chamber does what no person can do by themselves. The Chamber is a voluntary organization. Chambers of Commerce has been forming since the Declaration of Independence. The first Chamber of Commerce originated in New York, in 1768, and then Charleston, South Carolina in 1773.
The Four Flags Chamber of Commerce, first established in 1919, has been in continuous operation since 1930, and proudly serves nearly 40,000 people in four townships.
How is the Chamber Organized?
The Board of Directors of the Chamber, elected by its Members, sets the policy for the Chamber. Serving without pay, the Board also supervises several committees, which are set up to handle specific projects. The paid head of the Chamber is the manager, who has a paid staff. The size of the Staff depends on the demands and needs of the community, and the amount of work that the Chamber carries out. In some smaller communities, the manager may be a voluntary or part-time employee. Management titles vary in different communities. Examples include President, Manager, General Manager, Executive Secretary, and more.
What Does the Chamber Do?
The Chamber’s job is community development of industry, trade, civic activities, publicity, and public relations for the community. The variety and scope of activities is virtually unlimited, depending on the needs of the community and the desire and ability of the Chamber to carry them out. The Chamber may aim to increase community payrolls, improve the buying power of its citizens, attract more customers, and suggest the betterment of the licensing system.
The Chamber may also suggest changes and improvements in legislation of the local body, the country, state, and nation, in such matters as taxes, the freight rate structure, and others. The Chamber does not carry all this work alone, but often works closely with others. Its aim is to help all members of the business community-firms and individuals alike. In some cases the Chamber works with the city and county government, such as in industrial public relations and development programs.
What specific services does the Chamber offer?
As the “front door” to the community, the Chamber welcomes newcomers, visitors, and all others making inquiry of the community and business. It maintains a library of directories, reports, surveys, maps, tourist, and travel folders, and community calendars of functions and events. The chamber accomplishes this through the Internet, personal interviews, use of the phone, fax, email and other correspondence. The Chamber also maintains its own website and member management functions. Members are listed on our website 24/7 and in the annually Printed, full color Member Directory, that includes your business listing in two sections: alphabetically and categorically. For a full list of benefits and services, please view our Membership Benefits.
How is the Chamber financed?
The chamber is financed by membership dues, sponsorships, donations, and other revenue. Its expense is apportioned among its members. The membership consists of those who have a sincere desire to build a better business climate and a better community in which to live. Membership in the Chamber of Commerce is an investment in the present and future of the individual and community’s welfare.
Who are the members of the Chamber?
Membership is available for any business, whether a firm, corporation, sole proprietorship, or LLC, other business types including, civic clubs, non-profit organizations and concerned citizens. Ethical and community-minded members are welcome. A membership in the Chamber of Commerce is an investment in a better community- a stronger economy, and a better place to live and do business.