During the membership drive this year, I was asked this question many times and I always found myself answering with the new features and benefits that the Chamber has added, plus those that it plans to add in the near future. Within the last few years, the Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce has undergone a complete change and is once again representing the business community of Boundary County. We now offer a new interactive website that allows each individual member to control and add to their own web page on the site. They can add photos, text of any kind, specials of the week, or just general information about their business and/or their own website link. Actively promoting events on the website will draw attention and people to the area through advertising dollars. Co-sponsoring events to attract tourists to the area will, in turn, increase business activity. The website also features location maps directing people to each individual business door. Working with the City of Bonners Ferry, the Chamber is operating and staffing the Visitors' Center with volunteers to provide information about Boundary County and the surrounding area. The Visitors' Center location provides business owners the opportunity to promote their individual businesses by providing flyers, brochures and business cards.
There is more, but let's get back to the original question: What's in it for me? I have finally changed, or should I say, I have expanded my answer to address what I believe to be the most important aspect of Chamber membership: Community! Chambers from all over have never been designed to address individual needs.
Traditionally, they are set up to help the entire business community grow and work together. The stronger the community, the stronger the individual businesses will become. A program that helps "XYZ Business" today will eventually help "Business ABC" tomorrow. It is the "Big Picture" approach and is the only way that a community can prosper. It is important to note that the Chamber is YOUR organization and YOUR responsibility. If you really want to find out, "What's in it for me?" become involved. Attend the monthly meeting, sign up for committee work and bring along your ideas so that you and your business will be represented.