Focus On Members
For less than $3.00 a week, you can get a return on your investment by taking advantage of the benefits listed under the Why Join tab on this website. As effective as conventional advertising is, the benefits of a membership organization focused on business and committed to promoting your business is worth it!
In 2004, the Board of Directors of the Salisbury Chamber and the membership of the Millerton NY Chamber, felt that the small towns surrounding the New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts borders would benefit by combining forces and promoting an area rather than each town recruiting members in that town. Many businesses serve a wider geographic area and the strength of a membership organization depends on numbers and diversity. The towns served by the Tri-State Chamber are Salisbury, Lakeville (including Lime Rock, Amesville and Taconic), Falls Village, Canaan, the Cornwalls, Sharon; Millerton and Amenia NY; Ashley Falls and Sheffield, MA. We also have members on the outskirts of these towns that do business in these towns or draw customers from these towns. The town of North Canaan, CT still has its’ own Chamber of Commerce;northcanaanchamber.comand the New York towns are also served by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber at dutchesscountyregionalchamber.org Massachusetts towns are served by the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce at www.greatbarrington.org
I’m self-employed and have an ongoing niche clientele, so how would joining the chamber benefit me?
A healthy business community benefits everyone who lives and works in the area. My choosing to contribute to the membership group that promotes a healthy business climate, for the greater good, you and your family and friends reap the overall benefit to the area. At the least, you’ll meet some new people, learn about new businesses, and have some fun along the way!
In 1993, the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce required office support, a phone presence and an answering service, which the Northwest Chamber offered for a fee. This affiliation has been reduced over the years in those areas, yet has expanded in membership benefits to all of our members at an approximate cost of $25.00 per year (part of the $150 annual dues) for our CT members. Northwest Chamber nwctchamberofcommerce.org serves twenty towns including the towns served by our Tri-state Chamber. With over 500 members and a full-time staff, Northwest offers our membership workshops, programs, and forums we could not afford to host. Our membership needs to be proactive in utilizing these terrific resources, as inconvenient as it may seem to drive to Torrington for many of these events.
Many chambers have tiered annual dues amounts based on the number of employees, and we have done this in the past as well. The reality is that whether you are a business of one or a business with 40 employees, each business gets the same benefit with singular representation. There is one business listing, one mailing to each member, one invite to each event, etc. Many larger businesses are solicited for sponsorship of Chamber events, contributing large lump sums in exchange for additional promotion. For not-for-profit organizations with no paid employees, we created a lower dues amount, since their budgets are entirely dependent on fund raising and donations. For a person with multiple businesses or a couple with two businesses, there is also a discount to encourage two memberships.
The precursor to the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce was actually the Lakeville Businessmen’s Association in the early 1900s. Since that time, there have always been active downtown groups usually spearheaded by ambitious and energetic business owners who want to focus on the Main Street businesses and aren’t necessarily interested in paying dues to a larger more diverse membership group like the Chamber of Commerce. Most Chambers have committees that focus on niche groups, such as downtown groups, professionals, and home-based business, since each entity have their own issues and regulations. Ideally, these downtown groups are not formed out of dissent or dissatisfaction, but as sub groups under the umbrella of Chambers that represent multiple towns.