By Cathy Diekmann
Founded in 1920, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC) is the voice and resource for business, civic, education, and community organizations throughout the Eastern Shore. As a membership organization, our primary mission is to serve our members by providing business advocacy, connections, and education. Members support our mission through their annual membership investment which affords them a wide variety of benefits and meaningful value. Here are the top ten reasons businesses invest in that mission.
The Salisbury Area Chamber is continually working for Economic Development throughout the region. Our leadership and member representatives work together to address critical concerns, advocate for new opportunities to create jobs, and establish a business-friendly climate. An investment in the SACC is an investment in your business and community. A strong Chamber of Commerce promotes robust businesses; robust businesses promote strong communities.
Legislative Advocacy for business interests and concerns is a pillar of the SACC. It’s a benefit that is hard to measure yet practically priceless. We focus on public policy issues that impact the regional business climate, build credible, nonpartisan relationships with elected leaders, and make connections among business concerns and legislative decisions on the local, state, and federal level. Successful advocacy is built on mutually beneficial relationships and strength in numbers. We are stronger together!
Membership offers exclusive Business Promotion and Advertising opportunities to gain exposure and market share. Members are featured in our online directory, print directory, and social media platforms with thousands of followers. Digital and e-blast banner ads help members reach an existing audience of business representatives and regional decisionmakers at a competitive price point with direct, click-through links to your website and email. Members can post their press releases in SBYbiz, the SACC’s local, on-line business website and promote your business in “Chamber Chat” or “Curbside Chamber,” which feature member services and news in a fresh, social media-ready video format.
Business Connections can open doors, generate deals, create opportunities, and advance your growth. By actively engaging SACC events and networking opportunities, you get to know who and what you need to know in ways that your competition and nonmembers may not. You can build face-to-face, trusted relationships that make a difference now and in the future. Chamber staff can also assist to help you get past gatekeepers or obtain connections that yield results.
Melissa Geeslin, Owner/Agent of Goosehead Insurance asserts that “As a small business owner, the membership investment that I made in the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce just makes sense. It provides me with the connections in order to support, grow and promote my business. It’s a valuable organization to be part of.”
Continuous improvement and insight are crucial in today’s business culture. The SACC engages industry experts to offer no- and low-cost Education and Professional Development opportunities for our members. SACC training workshops and webinar topics have a wide appeal for business use. In the COVID-19 era, the SACC has offered webinars including “COVID-19 and Business Insurance Claims,” “Understanding OSHA Guidelines for Covid-19 Workplace Safety,” and “Exploring Post-Pandemic Success for Key Economic Sectors.”
The SACC assists their members to acquire Business Referrals. Participate in our networking events or one of our Lead Share groups increase your sales, share “warm referrals” and expand your circle of influence. As State Farm Insurance Agent and SACC member Greg Reddell explains it, “Generating leads is key to business growth and success. Involvement in the SACC helps members build rapport and business relationships that grow your bottom line while supporting each other’s business initiatives.”
The SACC hosts numerous Events and Programs that inform, engage, and connect our members. Most events are free to members. Members receive a reduced price for ticketed events. Business After Hours, Ribbon Cuttings, General Membership Luncheons, State of the Schools Forum, and the Job and Career Fair are just a few of the programs we offer on a weekly, monthly, and annual schedule. Due to restrictions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SACC quickly pivoted to provide all programming through an on-line platform. As restrictions ease but COVID-19 precautions are still necessary, we offer a hybrid of online and in-person events with social distancing and other safety measures in place.
SACC member, Ryan Bass asserts that Chamber events and information are vital in his role as a Branch Manager for Woodforest National Bank. “It helps me keep my ear to the ground and my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in number of different industries throughout the Eastern Shore. This information helps me deal with my customers and be informed when I’m in discussions with other business men and women throughout Salisbury area.”
SACC special events and forums provide Access to Elected Officials and Decision Makers on the city, county, and state level as well as key industry decision makers. The SACC Post-Legislative Session Luncheon, Economic Forecast and Public Safety Forum offer unparalleled information, accountability, and opportunities to gather need-to-know information and access. Your level of involvement is your choice. The opportunity is there because the SACC creates it.
Money saved means money that can invested elsewhere, so Money Saving Member Discounts can positively affect your business bottom line and growth. Because membership loyalty is a priority with our Chamber, members offer discounts to each other that can add up to significant savings for your business and you personally. Members also benefit from the SACC’s Chamber Energy Purchasing Co-op that can significantly lower your business and residential electricity costs. That savings alone can offset the cost of a SACC membership investment. For a business with a large physical-plant or brick and mortar footprint, we’re talking thousands of dollars. It pays to be a member!
The SACC offers Opportunities for Leadership and Influence that businesses and individuals are hard-pressed to obtain elsewhere. The SACC Government and Business Affairs Committee works to identify, analyze, and address governmental and legislative issues that affect the business community. The Education Committee addresses issues, topics, and initiatives relevant to all levels of education in our community. The Young Professionals Committee is committed to the growth and development of professionals between the ages of 21 and 38 and keen to forward their careers. Involvement in these and other committees is an individual decision based on the connections and issues that serve your individual interests and goals.
If you are already a member of the SACC, we encourage you to maintain your commitment by renewing your membership in 2021. If you are not yet a member of the SACC, we welcome you to join our ongoing efforts to make the Eastern Shore a great place to live, work, and succeed.
For more information about the benefits of becoming a member, to renew your current SACC membership, or how to the most of your SACC membership, contact Cathy Diekmann, Director of Membership Services, at 410-749-0144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org