(Editor’s note: The Blount County Chamber of Commerce serves 1,350 businesses and organizations from Blount and surrounding counties. During the month of August, the Chamber is conducting a membership drive with incentives to join and become involved in the Blount County Chamber. Information on contacting staff, including Julia Kyle, Executive Vice President of Membership, (865-273-1213, firstname.lastname@example.org) and specific board members who can provide information, is available on the chamber website (www.blountchamber.com) or by calling the chamber.
Blount County’s Chamber of Commerce leads the region in membership penetration, according to latest figures from the World Chamber of Commerce.
“We believe the success of this Chamber comes from an incredibly supportive business community,” says Chamber volunteer Boyce Smith of Wal-Mart. “Members are always willing to pitch-in whether with ideas or volunteering to execute the chamber’s many programs.”
A comparison of Tennessee Chambers of Commerce shows the Blount County Chamber as a leader in the region for market penetration. More than 55 percent, or half, of the county’s businesses are members of the Blount Chamber. Morristown-Hamblen County ranks second with 52 percent.
“It is our job to stay relevant to member businesses in our community,” says Smith. “We are consistently asking ourselves and our membership to help us bring them the tools and programs they need to thrive and grow, especially in this economy.”
A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives revealed that 94 of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” are members of their local Chamber. Meanwhile, a national study from the Atlanta-based Schapiro Group in 2000 found positive perceptions of chamber members among consumers. Respondents were 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from a small business if it was a chamber member.
“Local Chambers are great places to connect with the best companies and to raise your credibility in the minds of consumers,” says Smith. “In addition to giving business owners access to exceptional programs, the membership gives them opportunities to make valuable connections.”
Throughout the month of August, the Blount Chamber is offering a $25 discount on new membership. For more information on chamber programs and membership, visit www.blountchamber.com, or call 865-273-1211.