When considering whether to join the local Chamber of Commerce, business owners ask, "How will my company benefit?"
For a recent article in the Globe and Mail, reporter David Israelson spoke to a number of business experts and came to this conclusion; "In most cases, it's good to be a joiner."
This is what he learned. Peter Constantinou, a Toronto accountant who has worked with many small-and medium-sized businesses says, "Joining can help you grow. Being a member lets you source valuable information and learn about industry trends."
The article goes on to say, "Mr. Constanti-nou's view, shared by many business owners and advisers, is that, while there is a cost to membership, it's a net benefit for small business owners and operators to belong to a business organization such as a board of trade or, almost identical, a chamber of commerce."
It can benefit your business's social network and provide a sophisticated, professional inroad into the political structure of your community. Belonging . . . can offer direct, tangible economic benefits, too."
Membership fees are tax-deductible and the benefits to your business can be immediate.
These benefits include discount programs exclusive to chamber members such as: preferred rates for processing credit and debit card transactions; discounts on auto fuel, office supplies, human resources and payroll services, plus access to group health and dental packages at affordable rates to businesses as small as one person.
The Abbotsford Chamber hosts two or three networking events each month, ranging from breakfast and lunch meetings featuring excellent speakers, after-work networking meetings, a golf tournament, awards banquet and business-to-business trade shows. These events offer owners of small businesses the opportunity to meet leaders of larger businesses who are also members.
Israelson's article quotes Montreal-based public relations consultant Deanna Drendel saying, "Networking is critical . . . at some point, we all need a pool of contacts . . . you get access to an enormous group of peers, whom you can do business with and learn from. It can help you grow your business, make better decisions, build your team - or just have your voice heard."
? To learn more, call Meredith at the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, 604859-9651 ext. 350.