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What exactly is your Chamber of Commerce?

Happy New Year! 
What exactly is this organization called Chamber of Commerce?  As a individual citizen, what do they offer?  As a business who is asked for membership dues to support the programs, what do they offer and what’s in it for me?  Very good questions.  There are several answers.    There seems to be a common misconception that the Chamber is only for retail business.  We do spend a lot of time working with our retail businesses because of the importance of their pulling power to get people into our community.  A strong retail sector is a necessity for any successful community.  However, a balance of business diversity is also a necessity for success.  Algona is fortunate to have that great business diversity between retail, service professionals, industry, health care and education.
All businesses are equally important to the Chamber.  All businesses benefit from what the Chamber does.  We are providing events and activities for everyone to participate with.  These activities create opportunities for all ages.  Some businesses, just because of the nature of their business, can get an immediate tangible return on their investment.  In a perfect world, the Chamber could be a customer of every member business.  That is not reality! What are some of the ways to benefit if you are not one of those businesses who can get that immediate tangible return?  Have you ever attended a Legislative Forum to have direct contact with our legislators?  Frostbite Olympics is coming up in early February.  Activities for the entire family.  Our new event is Achin for Bacon – a bacon sampling event.  Have your employees attended Women Networking Together Event?  How about Party in the Park – a great family event with free entertainment, food and games.  Have you attended the Founders’ Day activities?  Have you needed maps or phone numbers or promotional materials for a vacation destination?  Have you had a student who needed information for their school project?  Have you attended Band Day parade? Autumnfest Craft Show?  Live Greeting Card Windows?  This is just a partial list of all of the Chamber sponsored activities — But if not the Chamber, then who??
What is reality is that the Chamber is doing all the things that most people think just happen.  A Chamber of Commerce, like all businesses, exists because it has a product to sell.  A Chamber of Commerce has an intangible product but it is still a product.  The product is the organization itself.  It is a vehicle for mobilizing the people of a community to accomplish agreed upon goals for the betterment of that community.
So – what’s in it for me?  A strong, healthy, progressive community.  A great place to do business, work, live, play and raise a family!
The Algona Area Chamber of Commerce – we put the GO in Algona!

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