What is a Chamber of Commerce and what is it exactly that they do? For me the answer to that question has a long list of answers.
At the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce our role changes depending on the day. We work as business advocates for our members, tour guides for our visitors and even a concierge service for those folks that call us up with questions.
But I think the real answer to that question lies not only in our membership but in the Rhinelander community. As an organization, we at the Chamber, find needs within our community and then search for ways we can help lead folks to a solution to fill those needs.
But why would you and your business want to join the Chamber?
There are a variety of benefits involved with your membership in the Chamber but I think one of the biggest is the network of resources your membership investment connects you with. Yes we work to promote your business and make people aware you exist but I think that is just one minor benefit of becoming a part of the Chamber.
One of the biggest benefits my members most often talk about is the networking. As a member of the Chamber you instantly gain access to 350 other businesses in our community that you might not otherwise have a connection to.
Our Business After 5 events are always drawing in new and different attendees and each one offers you the chance to connect, meet with and chat with a fellow professional in our community. Currently we are focusing on our Young Professionals program and looking at how to help create a strong environment for the younger generation in Rhinelander to make a connection to our community.
If we can help provide social outings, educational resources and volunteer opportunities for these folks to make a true connection to Rhinelander and the Northwoods then we have a much better chance of preventing them from moving away and choosing to build a career and family outside of our community.
At the Chamber we also try and connect you with resources to help grow your business that you might not otherwise know about or have knowledge regarding. Our educational workshops, Lunch ‘n’ Learns and various seminars all hopefully offer you insight into a topic that you might have questions regarding. We discussed things like creating media relationships, the conceal and carry law and just this past week the ways that the new Affordable Care Act might change the benefits you offer to your employees.
One of the biggest things we can do is try and offer tools to help strengthen your business because each and every business in our community is tied to helping make Rhinelander a strong, vibrant and prosperous community.
Another very visible role of the Chamber is to serve as a tour guide for our many visitors in the area. We not only hold several community events each year to help draw in visitors to our community but we help to promote and market the events being held by other community groups and organizations.
Coming up in August, for example, we are helping to sponsor Fairway to Food, a golf outing organized through K-Tech Kleening and WJFW, to help raise money for area Food Pantries; working with the many businesses involved in the first annual W.I.L.D. Hodag Mini Triathlon, where all the funds raised will go toward W.I.L.D, a leadership development program in our area; and helping Downtown Rhinelander spread the word about the first annual Potato Fest to be held Labor Day weekend and is sure to be a party downtown.
I personally feel it’s an important role for the Chamber to be advocates for our community and that means working alongside many different partner organizations to help improve, promote and grow this community.
I could go on for days about the different things happening at the Chamber but the important thing is that our members truly are who we are here for. Without the support of each and every one of our Chamber members we would not be able to provide programs, events, services and support for the Rhinelander community.
If you are interested in learning not only what the Chamber can do for your business but also how your Chamber Investment is put to work on a larger scale in the Rhinelander community, give me a call, I’d love to chat about it with you.
You can also check out the things we do on our website, www.ExploreRhinelander.com or stop in our office anytime for a chat. I hope you’ll think about joining us as we work to strengthen the Rhinelander community.