7 Reasons Why Joining your Chamber of Commerce is a Winning Strategy

February 14, 2024

Today, more than ever, business is global and online. Chambers of Commerce tend to have a local focus, with many of their activities still taking place offline. So is joining your local Chamber still a good move in the digital age? Here are 7 reasons why it is — from the eyes of a web presence strategist. 

Moving and empowering businesses around the world online is my bread, butter and brie. So you might wonder why I bothered to join my local Chamber of Commerce in a small rural town —  in a developing country, at that.

In fact, belonging to my local Chamber has been a key support to my business — and its most vital asset: me. Here are the seven reasons why I believe good, old-fashioned Chamber of Commerce membership is still a winning strategy in 2022. Yes, even as a web professional.

1. It takes a village to raise a business

Anyone who has started a business that succeeds will tell you that they could not have done it alone. All the motivation, perseverance and hard work in the world can only take you so far. The distance between a stellar business plan and a thriving business can be a very long one. What can make it shorter?

Your Chamber of Commerce can help. Whether it is business advice, connections, referrals or just a sounding board, that is what your Chamber is there for. In troubled times, you will even find a shoulder to cry on — and the strength to keep going.

2. Unplugged community power

While the online world has brought us a wealth of new opportunities, there is a great deal to be said for the power of local community. Joining a Chamber of Commerce not only provides many resources for your business, but also for daily life. No matter how wonderful an online remote expert can be, few can remotely unblock your drain on a Sunday morning.

Local Chamber membership gives you access to an array of small and medium businesses in your area that can support your business and your life when you simply need the right talent on the spot — in person.

3. Tap local expertise

Chances are you have quality professionals within your local Chamber of Commerce who can serve you well, or at least point you in the right direction. Experts in your Chamber may be ready to meet with you in person for projects that are tricky to handle across varied distances and time zones. Supporting your local community businesses can allow your region to flourish economically. Everybody wins, and it begins at home.

 4. Strength in unity

Standing alone as a small business can be daunting and disempowering. Uniting with other businesses through a Chamber of Commerce can give your small business big backing.

Many local Chambers of Commerce belong to larger organisations that represent their members in government and industry circles. In South Africa, the Small Business Institute (SBI) unites its constituent chambers with “the big voice of small business.” During uncertain times, this has been a breakthrough for the small business sector.

5. Cut your teeth

If you are looking to take on bigger roles or expand your reach, your Chamber is a supportive environment where you can test your wings. Whether you want to explore administrative aspects of the Chamber’s work, mentoring, facilitation or public speaking, the opportunities are available. This provides invaluable experience, with the evidence and feedback of your performance built in.

For me, this was perhaps the most valuable opportunity my local Chamber, the Diamond Chamber of Commerce, offered. Despite my experience as a speaker and facilitator internationally, when I returned to South Africa, opportunities were not yet opening up. The Chamber’s invitation to be a guest speaker was an incredible opportunity to serve the local business community with vital knowledge. For members, it was a valuable way to learn about building their web presence. Meanwhile, I got to rebuild my speaking muscle on home soil. Everybody wins. If you are ready to step into a new arena, consider your Chamber of Commerce as a testing ground where you can serve as you learn.

6. The more you give, the more you get

Chambers of Commerce are, at the heart, about community. Yes, they offer a great deal. However, to really tap the potential of Chamber membership, it is important to devote some time and attention to the local business community. Chamber events and forums are a great opportunity for this. Taking business collaboration and mentorship further within the community goes an even longer way. It is possible to offer tremendous value to other local businesses, and enjoy great benefits, with a small investment of time every week, or even every month.

7. You need to get out more

It is fair to say that most small business owners and entrepreneurs spend a whole lot of time working. Whether it is at their desk, on the road, on site or online, and even those many unpaid moments pondering how to best serve our clients. Maintaining a balance between serious work and a little lightness can be tricky.

Chamber of Commerce events are welcoming and purposeful, providing an opportunity to polish business skills, catch up with other business owners and enjoy a bit of social interaction. (I say that as a confirmed introvert who used to dread networking events. The shared purpose makes it easy. Promise.) Chamber time might not convert to billable income right away, but it can give you a fresh perspective, a valuable human connection and simply a chance to get out and enjoy a change of scenery. And you never know where those new connections and discussions might lead.

Your Chamber of Commerce and Your Web Presence

Part of the charm of a Chamber of Commerce is its offline reach and face-to-face networks. That said, your local Chamber and its members are probably online. This means they could bring more opportunities for networking and sharing information, as well as demonstrating your expertise online.

Your Chamber and its members are a rich source of information on the web. They may also be keen to share and recommend your work to their wider virtual audiences. Once again, a sense of community is what drives this. When you support your Chamber and its members online, you are likely to find they will return the favour.

An effective web presence is more important than ever before, yet it can have us spending too much time online and too little with real, live human beings. Connecting with a local Chamber of Commerce, in person, is the perfect antidote. And it just might give you more value to add when you return to your screen.

Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Your local Chamber of Commerce serves the small business community. When I joined as a rookie entrepreneur, I had no idea what immense value this organisation would offer me and my business. My local Chamber of Commerce has been a refuge, an incubator, a source of connections, an opportunity to receive and offer mentorship, and most of all an opportunity to grow into the brave new world of being a business owner. The value the Chamber has given me as a fledgling entrepreneur is simply priceless.


Yes, times have changed, and there is massive potential for your business internationally and online. You have access to international clients, expertise and possibilities. But your local Chamber of Commerce can offer you something of great value, right at your own door. Your Chamber of Commerce offers you an in-person network of talent and resources near you. It gives your business the power of a united voice for the small business community. And most of all, it brings you opportunities to learn, grow and connect as a business owner and community member.


Written by Marie Le Roux

Marie-Thérèse Le Roux is a web presence strategist with soul and the founder and owner of YaziMedia Virtual Media House. She sets entrepreneurs free to flourish with an effective web presence that magnetises their ideal clients.