In my role as CEO of the Elko Area Chamber, I’m often asked, “What does a Chamber of Commerce do?” Not every Chamber is the same, nor are their mission statements, but I am speaking of what Chambers SHOULD be focused on.

You might know chambers for their activities — perhaps ribbon cuttings, or the Chamber’s annual Home and Business Expo or you know that they print the business directory, hold lots of meetings and have some fun events. But what does the Chamber really do beyond those tactics and why is your annual investment so important?

Chambers should offer their members P.E.A.C.E. of mind.

P is for Problem Solving — The Chamber is a resource for solving challenges and needs our members may have, as well as being a hub for discussion on key issues affecting the business community.

E is for Economic Development — The Chamber is an engine for economic development through work in business retention and expansion, helping solve workforce issues and helping members grow.

A is for Advocacy — Simply put, Chambers fight for the interests of our members every at the local, state and even federal levels and provide forums for you to voice your concerns and ideas to leaders at all levels of government. Sign up, join in and engage when we host these events. Adding your voice makes every business in the community stronger.

C is for Connection — Whether it is networking receptions, thousands of referrals we provide, cost savings programs, tools we provide on our websites to connect our members with other members and the public, business expos, partnerships we can help build between businesses and community non-profits, or connecting our members to new customers through our social media platforms, the Chamber can connect companies to those they need to do business with every day.

E is for Education — Whether it is policy events, candidate forums, business education series, information-packed weekly newsletters, business councils or other events throughout the year, Chambers give you the information you need to succeed. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities that make our businesses more informed and more prepared to address the challenges of the day.

PEACE of mind doesn’t come easy; it takes a full team committed to core values to serving you. It’s not just staff — the board of directors steer the ship for each organization.

Chamber boards are the principal governing and policy-making body of the organization and are integral to a Chamber’s success. The board represents a variety of sectors within the economy and the community. They are equally committed to adding value to the business community through the Chamber’s programs and advocacy efforts.

So, to answer that earlier question of “What does the Chamber do?” Together, our staffs and boards help create PEACE of mind to the members of the business community.

If you want your business to increase its activity in the Chamber or have a need, contact your chamber. They want to help you. For more information contact The Elko Area Chamber at 738-7135 or stop by at 1405 Idaho St.

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