Skip to content

The Chamber is often seen as a Better Business Bureau of sorts. People have confidence in using businesses that are members of the chamber. Chamber membership equates to business respectability (and stability) in many customers’ minds, which often means greater sales for business members. 

Many people see chamber membership as a ringing endorsement of good business. While we don’t advertise that chamber members have better business practices than non-member businesses, a chamber membership does show interest in the local business community and for many, that equals a business endorsement. 

But we’re not the only ones who think chamber membership makes for good business. 

The Schapiro Group Study and Why It Should Make a Difference to You 

A national study of over 2,000 adults conducted by the Schapiro Group showed that being active in a local chamber of commerce pays off if your goal is more customers. That’s because two-thirds of those surveyed believed chamber members use good business practices, care about customers, and are involved in the community. 

While some people may wonder if a study from 2012 still applies today, all you need to do is consider that people (still) do business with organizations they know, like, and trust. Using good business practices, caring about customers, and exhibiting community involvement sure sound like the beginning of “know, like, and trust” principles.   

The study found that when consumers knew that a business was a chamber member they were 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the business in the future. 

People see a correlation between community involvement and being a good company with worthwhile products. Consumers in the study were 10% more likely to think a business’ products were better than the competition if the business was a chamber member. The study also revealed that for national restaurant franchises that are chamber members, people are 36% more likely to look favorably on that franchise. 

The researchers said, “any belief about the chamber of commerce—whether that belief was true or not—could have a significant positive impact on how someone views a member… he or she is more likely to think that the [member] company’s products stack up well and have a favorable opinion toward the company.” 

Why Does Chamber Membership Make Your Business More Appealing to Customers? 

These results aren’t surprising to those of us who work for chambers but they might be to the rest of the community. Even though they shouldn’t be. Here’s why chamber membership makes your business more appealing to potential customers: 

You Care 

Community involvement is important to people who are shopping in Alameda at local businesses. Joining the Chamber shows a community focus, even if the business is not that involved. Having a membership is proof to many people that this is a business that plans to stay in Alameda and contribute to our community. The business has roots and a stake in how things turn out.  

You’re Endorsed 

While the Chamber doesn’t endorse its members or rate them like a Better Business Bureau or Angi (formerly Angie’s List) might do, many people still see that as part of the chamber’s job. Since most chambers vote their members in, people assume there’s a vetting process. Even if there isn’t a formal membership review, the trust people have in the Chamber transfers to its members as well. We have been in the community a long time. That type of reputation for stability transfers to our members. After all, you are the company you keep.

You’re Investing in the Community 

No business must join the Chamber and membership isn’t free. If you choose to join the Chamber, you are investing in Alameda’s economic health and you are taking a leadership role in the business community. People like to support businesses with a cause, so if you invest in your business through Chamber membership, people are more likely to see you as part of something larger than yourself. The bonus is that it’s also good for your business as you’re doing good for the community. 

Establishing know, like, and trust is essential to business these days. That takes time to do. You’re fortunate if you have an established business and have cultivated those things in Alameda. If not, a Chamber membership is a great way to have respected business leaders “vouch” for you as people generally transfer our reputation in business to our members, even if not in an official capacity.