Sure, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce is the place to go with your queries and requests concerning economic development, military and political affairs, and talent retention. But, the perks you’ll collect as a Chamber member don’t end there.
Explore the constantly expanding list of enhanced benefits and discover new avenues for your business to grow.
1. Member-to-Member Exposure, Reggie Luther @ TracSoft
The monthly Chamber Newsletter offers new member highlights, business information resources, information on upcoming meetings, and chamber events. A chamber e-blast is a great way to announce a special offer, event, coupon, or just introduce yourself to your fellow members.
Member-to-member exposure is a beneficial side-effect of simply banding together with the common goal of growth. By becoming a Chamber member, you can count on your brother businesses and sister companies to not only give you family deals, but to actively promote your trade while plying their own.
Networking with key businesses is an important part of the value of Chamber membership. One new client secured at a networking event could bring more in profits than years worth of Chamber membership dues.
2. Referrals, Mike Mayhew @ Automated Business Machines
Networking is an activity that takes place at the monthly Eye Opener Breakfasts, Chamber Power Lunches, and quarterly Business After Hours. Think about networking this way: you become a walking, talking billboard for your company. There are potentially 300 business contacts you could meet each month at networking events. What could that mean to your business if only a small percent of them purchased products from you?
Word-of-mouth advertising is the ideal form of promotion. It’s free. It’s sincere. And it works. There is no better testimonial for a business than a satisfied customer’s referral and recommendation. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce is determined to facilitate an open and enduring business community, one that marries healthy self-interest with a sincere desire to help others.
That’s why we recommend and promote chamber members for local businesses. New customers are the life blood of any business and the Chamber’s mission is to contribute to that growth. Your chamber membership gets you much needed exposure to a key segment of the community — other Chamber members.
3. Inter-City Visits, Leah Braxton @ WC Bradley Real Estate
Many of Columbus’ most important projects have benefitted as a result of the Chamber’s Inter-City Leadership Conference initiative — the city’s successful Branding Initiative, The Valley Partnership, The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, and The High Tech Incubator. The Columbus Riverfront development is a great example of the impact and benefits of these fact-finding missions, especially now as we enter the next phase of Riverfront Development with the Whitewater Experience.
In 1994, the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce chartered a trip to Charlotte, NC to evaluate the city’s attempts at regional economic development, specifically the development of downtown within the inner city. This excursion would lead to the formation of the Valley Partnership, resulting in the City of Columbus buying four uptown blocks of property which would become the home of the global credit card processing giant, TSYS.
Since 1994, the Inter-City Leadership Conference plans yearly outings to other communities of comparable size across the nation to examine the successes and challenges that face our own region. A visit to Greenville , SC ’s Peace Center of the Performing Arts paved the way for our own state-of-the-art RiverCenter. A stay in San Antonio brought back fresh ideas on riverfront development. These expeditions have helped to establish Columbus ’ reputation as a model for public/private partnerships, proving that when private organizations openly collaborate with governmental officials, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.
Join the Chamber to see how your business can fuel urban renewal.
4. Directories, Amy Adams @ St. Francis Hospital
The key to successful networking is putting in the energy required to make it work. The Chamber can help you get organized. Keeping a business card file or computer database helps. The Chamber membership list is a great place to start to stay in contact through regular phone calls, email, and holiday greetings. Then, set goals for yourself on reaching out to others. Interacting with other Chamber members has been a great help in building my personal network.
The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce has been forging strong and lasting relationships in this community for well over a century and a half. We currently serve the interests of hundreds of local businesses. We have maintained direct open lines of communication with the Columbus Consolidated Government. We have established a firm affiliation with the military brass at Ft. Benning. In short, we have established a vast network that our members can plug into to meet any need that could possibly arise.
With a network of this size, newcomers and veterans alike need a map to negotiate the complex web of relationships we have created. That’s why the Chamber has connected all the dots and provided our members with a comprehensive directory. Here you will find the contact information for every business we deal with, as well as a newcomer’s guide and an economic guide. This is your ultimate networking tool to access the engine of economic development in Columbus.
5. Advertising, Tripp Wade @ Wade Linen
We believe that the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber is a catalyst for the business community, and potential prospects visit the website to preview our community and region to get a feel for the business environment. We advertise on the Chamber website and newsletters for the exposure to existing and new potential customers who visit the site as a resource for their business.
You’ve had the “big idea.” You’ve found the perfect piece of real estate. You’ve filled out all the proper paperwork. And now, with the brunt of the grunt work done, your company is poised to open its doors to the public. But you’ll need more than just a open door to generate the traffic needed to take your dream and establish it as a viable business enterprise. You are going to need to advertise.
The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber Of Commerce can help your company decide how best to approach an advertising campaign that will put your service in the public’s top-of-mind awareness, whether it be the more traditional route of radio, television, and/or billboard, or new communication innovations like guerilla marketing and social networking. Join the Chamber today and let up help put you on the map.
6. Sponsorship Opportunities, Col. Mark Ridley @ Columbus State U. ROTC
The Chamber Eye Opener Breakfast offers a great avenue to reach vendors, customers, future business partners. It allows you to present yourself and your networking objective in a much more personal way than an advertisement, promotion, or an online resume can. During their junior and senior years, college students especially should be aggressively networking. While lacking professional experience, the ability to ‘pitch’ yourself may hold more weight than a resume from a more experienced candidate when making a hiring decision.
We are living in the Age of Social Networking. With the rise of Facebook, Myspace, and the like, it has never been easier to connect to the world around us. While the bells and whistles of the New Media seem a revolution in communication, the fact is that the Columbus Chamber of Commerce has been a social networking “site” for more than 165 years!
There is no better way to market your business and showcase your goods and services than to sponsor one of our events, from our frequent breakfast gatherings and our annual golf tournaments to the many other events that fill up a calendar year. Not only does the Chamber give you the ideal platform to strut your stuff, we’ll also be the first in line to give your product or service support and showcase your success.
7. Columbus & The Valley Subscription, Mike Venable @ Columbus & The Valley Magazine
Columbus and the Valley Magazine has its finger on the pulse of our community and region. By tapping into the hub of business and lifestyle in the Valley area, we offer insight and perspective into what makes our part of Georgia so special. As the authoritative resource on the Columbus business community, we like to think that we are, in fact, the voice of the Chamber. Read Columbus and the Valley and you know what’s important to Columbus.
Columbus is one of the fastest growing communities in the nation. But don’t get us wrong: we’re not “all work and no play.” Quite the contrary. We know a bit about the social graces and we love to share our stories and showcase our pride. And no other publication captures the perfect balance between our cities noble business pursuits, our appreciation of the arts, and the many ways we blow off steam than Columbus & The Valley. Here is the unfolding story of ourselves, our triumphs, our heroes, our stories.
With your chamber membership you get a free annual subscription to this premiere publication.
8. Georgia Trend Magazine Subscription, Murray Solomon @ Raymond Principal
It may seem a small perk compared to all the other benefits of our Chamber membership, but our free subscription to Georgia Trend actually provides a wonderful service to our company. In our capacity as Investment Advisors, here at Raymond James, we must be informed on current business analysis and political trends. With timely information made available to us in Georgia Trend Magazine, we are better prepared to serve our clients. If the subscription was not a free benefit of the Chamber, we would gladly pay for it.
This perk is small, but sweet. Not only will you get the latest business news and trends from across the state. Not only will you have a continually refreshed selection of reading material for your clients and customers to peruse while waiting. The main reason to love this little perk is the inspiration that can be gleaned from your Georgia Trend Magazine subscription every month.
Because, after all, you could be featured in its pages.
9. Committee Involvement, Sean Knox @ Knox Pest Control
Serving on Columbus Chamber Committees has afforded me the opportunity to be more active and helpful in my community, meet and work with fellow business and civic leaders, and learn more about the Columbus region. The chance to not only help make Columbus a better place to live and work, but to do that with those that can be long-term friends and customers is invaluable to me professionally and personally.
We here at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce fiercely believe in civic duty. We have been blessed with successful businesses, and felt that we are in a unique position to give back to the community that has supported us all these years. Our members share this sense of civic duty, as evidenced by the creation and participation in a wide range of committees and groups formed in the best interest of the community at large.
Opportunities to become involved on committees such as these not only provide you the platform to promote your ideas and views on pressing issues of the day, it also gives you the opportunity to put your business’ best face forward. Positioned and promoted as “the expert” in any given subject, you and your business become an indispensible tool in the development of the community. You get back all you give when you share with others the priceless knowledge and experience only you have.