We hear a lot from people asking what actually is a Chamber of Commerce. A Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization made up of businesses, individuals, nonprofits and government entities. These organizations chose to be a member and pay a membership for many different reasons. Some join because they want the marketing support, some join because they see the value of being a part of something larger than themselves, and some join because of the connections and advocacy. While not every entity chooses to join, it is our goal to add value to those that are members. We want all businesses to be a part of us, because at the core we recognize that it’s only together that we will actually succeed.
How do you quantify the investment in a Chamber? How do you determine what success for a business community looks like? At the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce and most other chambers, we focus on the 3 C’s, catalyst, convener, and champion. We frame everything that we do around these simple words.
When you hear the word catalyst it can come off vague and unknowing. So, let’s break down what we mean when we say that we are a catalyst. Being a catalyst means we want to be the flint that sparks the cool things that happen in our county. We help make connections to potential business prospects of partnerships. We want to ensure that our members have access to high quality resources, information and training. This helps make sure that our businesses are thriving and growing.
A convener is someone who brings people together to talk about the big issues. As a Chamber it is our job to advocate, influence and collaborate to help move issues forward. We know that sometimes the only way forward is to have the hard conversations that no one else wants to have. We also know that we are stronger when we all work together. So, we work to make sure that we collaborate with similar entities, to increase our influence over issues that directly impact our membership.
Finally, the Chamber is a champion for our community. We want to inspire people to get involved in Mills County. We want to identify ways that we can work together to create change or to scale something up. And overall, we work to represent a vibrant community.
There is a saying though, that when you have seen one chamber, you have seen one chamber. Every chamber addresses and meets the needs of their community in many ways. For the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce this is how we address and implement our work and strive for thriving and vibrant business community.