WHY DO WE NEED A CHAMBER?
by Sheri Heiney, President & CEO of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce
The Prescott Chamber of Commerce is uniquely situated to be the connecting force in the Prescott area, as well as across the nation. Your chamber helps bridge together businesses, schools, development authorities, tourism, citizens, churches, the arts community, sports, and agricultural groups. Chambers are more than just an entity or nonprofit that provides a business directory on a website. The POWER chambers wield is in the wide network of members and even non-members.
Because many chambers have longstanding reputations as being the “welcome wagon” for new residents to communities, they are set up to have information centralized. Your chamber helps connect residents, visitors, and new residents to services and events happening in your area. When people want to know when the fireworks display starts, who do they call? When people need directions to the historical church, or the phone number to a government office or professional services and retail options — who do they call? The local chamber is the answer to all these questions – and more. Chambers have the ability to align resources more so than any other agency in the area. Our goal at the Prescott Chamber of Commerce is to develop a community calendar that will help the broader community plan events, with a goal of eliminating event conflicts and boosting respective attendance.
While many local governments are developing tourism departments and visitor centers, the chamber has been leading the way on tourism for years. Locally, our chamber is a state-designated Visitor Information Center, which houses materials promoting historical sites, retail shops, restaurants, area maps, area special events and ministries, just to name a few. But we don’t stop there. We help arrange tours for visitors as well.
Chambers promote the welfare and advancement of area businesses every day. Many times, the chamber is the first point of contact for someone interested in opening a new business. We are the gateway connecting new businesses to the appropriate development group. We also market and promote our existing businesses. Hosting ribbon cuttings is something you have most likely seen. But there are so many other ways the chamber connects businesses and members. We host monthly networking events and a Business Educational Series, Quarterly Women in Business Luncheons and an annual meeting. You can find those events at www. Prescott.org. The chamber also leverages social media and email marketing by promoting special events, promotions and announcements from our members. We support our members in communicating their message.
Area businesses routinely contact local chambers to announce a job opening. Through our network, chambers are able to connect applicants to job opportunities. We also support the workforce by offering soft-skills coaching.
Chambers, with their unique makeup of members, are able to advocate for their members’ concerns. Bringing local government leaders and chamber members together at chamber events allows for casual conversation and discussion. Our newsletters and involvement with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce allows us to push out vital information affecting businesses. The influencing factor that local chambers offer is vital to community concerns. Chambers provide the hands and feet on the ground for local nonprofits, ministries and events. The chamber understands the pulse of the community
So when someone asks, “Who is the chamber?” the answer is, “You are the chamber. We are the chamber. The chamber is everyone!”
For more information about the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.prescott.org or call us at 928-445-2000 or 1-800-266-7534, or stop by the Visitor Information Center located at 117 W. Goodwin Street, Prescott, AZ 86303.