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What is the Chamber's Job?

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birdwatcher

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Ongoing argument with DH about what the county chamber's job is in a county were its depressed and not many jobs. New chamber president wants to promote business but I think he has the wrong idea-
What is the number one job for a county chamber? Promoting business to come into the county that is depressed and has little population or promote tourisim to the fullest to bring visitors to the area to spend money?
I say promote tourism and the people will come and spend money and then business will come and spend money and then it will prosper...my husband said no.
 

greyswan

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I would prefer that a chamber promote tourism. The national chamber is political and I want to avoid that part.
 

Alibi Ike

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The Chamber's job is bringing in jobs. Connecting local businesses with other local businesses. Helping local business people start businesses. The Chamber's job is about business. Tourism is a sideline because the Chamber should be able to answer questions from tourists about what businesses are in the area. (Not all of them can do this, which means they need to get off their butts and learn what's going on in their own community!)
Tourists won't come if there's nothing to do, no place to eat, no place to sleep.
 

gillumhouse

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The job of the Chamber is to bring business into the county and support the businesses in the county. UNLESS the Chamber also serves as a CVB. People who know how to promote business often do not have a clue about how (or where) to promote tourism. they really are two different entities.
Our county Chamber promotes the same two cities that destroyed our COUNTY CVB by each setting up their own CVB. That is why I serve my City as an unpaid CVB. My City saw the light and now has a Development Authority and we work together. I bring in the tourists that the business community saw coming here and the new businesses have brought in other businesses. We have not formed a Chamber yet but are all working together to help each other.
I am getting them to give me a discount amount (or a small gift for stopping in) and will be putting together a coupon book to give to my guests - a Shop Shinnston. It will have a $5 Jimmy's Diner Dollar and a primitives store is doing 10% off $25 or more or 15% off $50 or more and I have to talk to a couple other shops yet. Our City is doing an Entrepreneur Appreciation Reception Thursday and I will see more of them then.
 

Copperhead

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Ike stated: The Chamber's job is bringing in jobs. Connecting local businesses with other local businesses. Helping local business people start businesses. The Chamber's job is about business. Tourism is a sideline because the Chamber should be able to answer questions from tourists about what businesses are in the area. (Not all of them can do this, which means they need to get off their butts and learn what's going on in their own community!)
Tourists won't come if there's nothing to do, no place to eat, no place to sleep.
Very well put. If your area does not have a CVB it would be worth the effort to promote it with the local government. Get other tourist type businesses to work with you. Your state CVB may be able to provide data to assist you in this effort. As you know promoting an area takes $ which means tax dollars or private sector will pay. It also may be worth checking for grant money.
 

gillumhouse

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Ike stated: The Chamber's job is bringing in jobs. Connecting local businesses with other local businesses. Helping local business people start businesses. The Chamber's job is about business. Tourism is a sideline because the Chamber should be able to answer questions from tourists about what businesses are in the area. (Not all of them can do this, which means they need to get off their butts and learn what's going on in their own community!)
Tourists won't come if there's nothing to do, no place to eat, no place to sleep.
Very well put. If your area does not have a CVB it would be worth the effort to promote it with the local government. Get other tourist type businesses to work with you. Your state CVB may be able to provide data to assist you in this effort. As you know promoting an area takes $ which means tax dollars or private sector will pay. It also may be worth checking for grant money..
Each of us are our own mini-CVB as we are smart enough to know that we are the lodging place - not the destination (for the most part because some ARE the destination). We promote our areas with our web sites, ads, blogs by telling people the things to do and places to shop. Some of us actually do more of it AND BETTER than the CVB. We are often mini Chambers as we promote working with other businesses in our areas to give our gusts the places to go and things to do. DANG!! We re good!!!!!
 

EmptyNest

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We are such a county. We have a economic Dev. Council, planning commission and a bunch of others who's job it is to seek out new industry..whatever. The Chamber works with the ones that are here. Since we are big into tourism...that is the biggest job of our chamber. It is a combination chamber and visitors center. I don't hear anyone asking our Chamber to bring in new jobs. BUt I do hear that they don't do enough to support the local businesses that are not tourism related. Though in this county...any company can benefit from our tourists. They just don't see it.
 

JBloggs

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The question is what is MY chamber's job, not THE chamber's job. They are not all the same, whereas some have tourism depts and economic development directors in a town/city/county not associated with a chamber at all.
 

Alibi Ike

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The question is what is MY chamber's job, not THE chamber's job. They are not all the same, whereas some have tourism depts and economic development directors in a town/city/county not associated with a chamber at all..
Mission statement from a local chamber: nothing about tourism but if you call them they can tell you where to stay, eat, shop and find things to do. I think that's what anyone has to look at- what does the chamber itself say it is going to do, then hold them to it, or go to meetings and get them to change the focus.
"...Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit membership association that seeks to independently promote the interests of business and encourage economic development in a manner that is compatible with and sustains the heritage of the communities it serves. The Chamber’s mission is accomplished through business advocacy, membership education and support services, and forums for communication, partnerships and legislative advocacy."
 

birdwatcher

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Ok I see what the chamber is all about-its different in every county-this particular county does have their Visitor's Places on the highways-but no county CVB just state tourism-the chamber here wants to bring business here- but the problem is if its not BIG enough to employ enough people to sustain it the business eventualy dies and then another new one takes its place it seem like there are plenty of NEW small business but not enough stay open because there isn't enough $$ in town to spend in those businesses. If a Kroger's had to close due to lack of $$ this says to me that the thing to do here is to promote tourism so that people from this very state can come see what this county is all about-and maybe this way someone that comes to visit and has $$ will want to stay..but it takes $$ and commitment to tell others that this county has wonderful things to do not just one huge festival a year.
I do think that a CVB would do great in this county-
 

Joey Camb

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I think it is two for one if you promote tourism then they come and spend money ie in a shop or B&B then they can employ more people and spend money ie do renovations but you also have to promote business else why would they come? it is what I am always banging on about "The Package" something to do, somewhere to eat and somewhere to stay. Get all the factors in and you will do well.
 

Samster

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Ok I see what the chamber is all about-its different in every county-this particular county does have their Visitor's Places on the highways-but no county CVB just state tourism-the chamber here wants to bring business here- but the problem is if its not BIG enough to employ enough people to sustain it the business eventualy dies and then another new one takes its place it seem like there are plenty of NEW small business but not enough stay open because there isn't enough $$ in town to spend in those businesses. If a Kroger's had to close due to lack of $$ this says to me that the thing to do here is to promote tourism so that people from this very state can come see what this county is all about-and maybe this way someone that comes to visit and has $$ will want to stay..but it takes $$ and commitment to tell others that this county has wonderful things to do not just one huge festival a year.
I do think that a CVB would do great in this county-.
Yes, the Chamber can be different everywhere depending on their mission and scope. We have many different entities here and our chamber (as I see it) really doesn't do much at all. :-(
You have to have business to support tourism to begin with - it's really a symbiotic relationship - where both with hopefully grow with each other. If you somehow manage to get people somewhere and there are no services, they won't come back.
 
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