Business growth and sustainability are no accident. Businesses need to find effective ways to build meaningful relationships, promote their products or services, take care of employees, have their finger on the pulse and keep costs in check.
That’s why every good business plan should involve joining the local chamber of commerce.
The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-based business support organization that has been in existence since 1897, which means it carries plenty of caché when it sits down with every level of government. The chamber has advocated for businesses and non-profit organizations for more than a century, but its benefits go much deeper than that.
“Year after year, our members tell us the main reason that they joined is for the networking opportunities,” GVCC executive director Dan Proulx says. “The opportunities that we create through a number of events throughout the year allow them to build relationships, make connections, grow their referral network, generate sales, get advice from other members or just create friendships within the community.”
It isn’t always business at the chamber, which is neither a service club nor a part of government. The membership has plenty of fun, too. One of its most popular events is Business After 5, a social event that is held on the third Tuesday of every month and is a key contributor to the organization’s vast networking system. It also co-ordinates other annual events like the community expo, golf tournament and Christmas cocktail party.
The granddaddy of them all, however, is the Business Excellence Awards, which honour the best and brightest businesses and non-profits. It’s a chance for the membership to get dressed up and celebrate all the hard work that is done throughout the year. The 38th annual awards gala was just held in November.
While networking and business growth are excellent reasons to join the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, there are plenty more motivating factors for businesses and non-profits.
One of those is the unique group benefit plan for businesses, non-profits and even individuals are allowed to join once they become a member. Offering benefits can be a costly endeavour for businesses, but the chamber’s group plan pools the premiums with other members to help stabilize costs from year to year.
The chamber also beats the drum for local shopping, which in turn helps everyone in Vernon and surrounding area—chamber member or not.
“We promote supporting local within our community,” Proulx says. “We have a number of support local campaigns throughout the year, where we always want to drive economic development. Part of our mission is ensuring that this community is sustainable and prosperous. So we’re continuing to build opportunities within the community for business and non-profits to succeed.”
One of the more attractive features of joining the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is you don’t have to jump in with both feet. The chamber offers a value-based membership model that allows businesses and non-profits to join at a cost that fits their needs.
And then there is strength in numbers. The chamber has a growing membership of 640 businesses and non-profits, and it speaks on behalf of those members as a collective voice to influence business friendly policy at all three levels of government. It draws on member feedback and expertise to formulate its position, which makes the chamber the leading voice of business in the North Okanagan.
Members join as a business or non-profit, which means any or all employees can represent that organization and take advantage of the networking or educational opportunities.
Joining the chamber just makes good business sense.
For more information about the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, visit its website here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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