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Merchants Association and Local Chamber of Commerce in Small Businesses


MerchantsAssociation and Local Chamber of Commerce in Small Businesses

MerchantsAssociation and Local Chamber of Commerce in Small Businesses and HowThey Assist Small Businesses in Revitalizing the Business Location


Themerchants association comprise of several property owners anddistrict businesses. The association is aimed at promoting andadvocating for locally owned businesses within the neighborhood. Themembers share a common concern and ensure that all the localbusinesses become successful. The group had to collaborate for zoningthat increases business flexibility as well as improving the generalappearance for safety of their neighborhood. Therefore, theassociation takes opportunity that ensures that the merchants put themedia attention in their shopping corridors. This ensures improvedfrequencies of people visit to their businesses(Fisher, 2010).

Inmost cases, merchant associations aim at protecting and providing acommon business interest for the people in various businesses such asrental, licensed entertainment reproduction and sales.

Merchantsjoin together to unify a common business events or ideas that promotetheir businesses. When combining strategic advertisement plan withother promotional activities, merchants association can form a commonplace of personality in retail development and establish incentivesthat attract the customers back to the business(Fisher, 2010).

Themerchants associations are critical in setting up the brand for ashopping centre and work to increase the traffic as well as resolvethe contacts among tenants. In other cases, merchant associations canchange the policies and procedures, operating hours and lease termsfor the members. Most of the associations may also partner with othercharitable organizations to enhance mutual benefits in order topromote retailers while supporting the cause.

Themerchants association has the strong voice of helping and directingthe city ion what to be done in downtown areas that affect thebusiness directly. The concerns, suggestions and ideas of the membersare promoted through the merchant associations as more members havemore powers. The members are allowed the opportunity of utilizing theservices available and promote the activities associated with thedownward viewpoint of the city-wide chamber efforts. The associationallows free training seminars on the window display, customer serviceand profits from special events. In signage, members sign up for theshop in front of the window to indicate the supporting stability ofone`s business and that of local business community. The more peoplea business knows, the more the potential of having customers flockinginto one`s business(Fisher, 2010).

Theassociation allows the members network with other employees andmerchants to gain more customers as well as expanding the ideas andsupport the business. The membership requires that the customersestablish a build-in support base that helps the members in long-run.The members support each other and enable their fellow members tradeservices with one another to enhance a win-win situation. Themerchant association meetings may be scheduled on any basis and themembers, board of directors and committees meet to discuss concerns,ideas and suggestions on various projects(Fisher, 2010).

Accordingto BAMA president, the merchants association acts as the backbone forsuccessful downtown organization as the members believe in communityand desire the best for the success of the community. This shows theneed for downtown solidarity when the association roots all thebusinesses in the area to succeed. The merchants associations haveunique qualifications of creating community goodwill, promote andadvertise businesses and create opportunity for a business to sellservices and merchandise. The hyper-local attention is equivalent totypical chamber of commerce.

LocalChamber of Commerce

Thelocal chamber of commerce refers to an association that aims atstrengthening the member businesses by enhancing workforce andeconomic development to achieve a good life within their region(Mills, 2005).

Theassociation helps in (Mills, 2005)promotingbusiness. The chamber demonstrates loyalty to the customers byreferring business to their members as well as doing business amongstthe members only. The chamber acts as a referral service for theirmembers by giving loyalty and referring them to member businesses.The chamber also ensures efficiency of sponsorships and partnerships.In this case, the members of the chamber are given the opportunity tomarket the businesses using various advertising and sponsorshipopportunities. In business referrals, the chamber refers newbusinesses and residents to their members and does business alongwith the members and gives loyalty to the member business always. Thechamber, in this case, acts as a referral service for the members andoffer loyalty by referring the member businesses.

TheChamber is instrumental when it comes to return on investment amongthe members. The rewards from nominal membership costs areoverwhelming. The referral service connects one business to severalother resources within the community. This is offered by theChamber’s staff that makes several thousand connections annually.The Chamber allows the member networking opportunities. This way,members, have endless opportunities of meeting with other members topromote their business interests as well as developing long-termrelationships. This can be achieved through various events such asannual dinner meetings, business after hours, committee meetings,special lunch and breakfast meetings, networking with the electedofficials and other special events. Joining the Chamber is a sureavenue of benefiting by tapping the knowledge of fellow members andstaff. This extends the knowledge to the local staff and increasesaccess to government officials and community leaders.

Asa member of the chamber, taking advantage of the array of servicesdesigned by the business owners is necessitated. Over 80 percent ofChamber membership comprise of small businesses. As a result, theChamber has to work in order to take care of the small businessesthrough special programs and seminars. The Chamber also offersprofessional development programs for both employees and businessprofessionals. The chamber plays a major role in determining thelocation of the business. The associations ensure that the membersare informed to encourage them join in downtown events andpromotions.

Thechambers of commerce offer various business events that includepromotional business events and fact-finding visits among others.Local Chambers is considered as the most active networkingassociation in business. The association comprises of highlyqualified professionals with strict policies. The major vision is toestablish the business through positive and strong relationship toenable the business continues to be introduced to new contacts neededfor the success of the business. Through a strong partnership, thelocal chambers assist the member businesses in industrial relationsand offers legal advice to businesses.

Researchindicates that when consumers become aware of their small businessbeing a member of the local chamber of commerce, then there is thehigh likelihood of purchasing goods and services from that company infuture. Membership enhances business credibility by increasing theperception among the business owners and consumers after oneidentifies with a chamber of commerce. This also increases communityvisibility as the business becomes listed in e-newsletters, Facebookor chamber newsletter. This can enhance the growth of the businessthrough advertising and sponsoring events by the chamber. The chambermay be instrumental in the promotion of the major business eventssuch as the grand opening and assist in enahncing public relations.The chamber comprises of various committees that serve to providenetworking opportunities. The chamber initiates business-to-businesscommerce as well as provide opportunities for connecting with thelocal professionals(Mills, 2005).

Thechamber programs and events allow members the opportunity of knowingnew people and expanding their prospect base. The chamber events arefun and innovative ways of helping members meet their potentialcustomers, vendors and clients. This is critical in generating newbusiness leads. Research indicates that chamber membership iscritical in stimulating business-to-business commerce for the localcommunity and that a business takes considerable time to establish arelationship with the community. People have more likelihood of doingbusiness with the companies they trust. The establishment of thetrust depends on how fast a business networks with the community.

Thechamber monitors and lobbies the state and local legislationaffecting the business. The chamber works towards improvement of thequality of life for the community through the flagship programs. Suchinitiatives ensure economic prosperity of the region and skilledworkforce for the business. Therefore, the chamber facilitateseconomic growth in the community by attracting new residents as wellas supporting the recruitment for new businesses. The chamber holdsconvections and expos in the community and this boosts the access byboth members and non-members, especially through discounts. Thechamber leads various groups that are in direct contact with thebusiness by allowing access to various mailing lists that areotherwise impossible to be accessed directly by individuals. Themailing lists are especially critical in B2B businesses as a businesscan access contacts directly or even visit the person rather thanthrowing darts with the hope of reaching the customer with highpurchasing power.

Tosum it up, chamber membership allows members the opportunity ofhaving positive impact on the business community and enable thembecome part of worldwide business network. This presents a positivebusiness perception by the consumers by providing value addeddiscounts and opportunities for networking(Mills, 2005).


Chambersact as an important component of the overall network of statebusiness, with every organization working for the good of thecommunity. The Chamber deals with issues on public policy and supportfor education. The members are marketed to a certain level. Formerchants associations, the scope is normally low with the main aimbeing to get people go to the shop primarily merchants. Similarly,chambers of commerce also fulfill the same roles as merchantsassociations but they are involved with giving their members strongbusiness voice and a broadened vision of the business community. Thechamber works hand-in-hand with the members to identify their needsas well as collectively support the identified needs.

Businesseswithin small geographic areas may join together and form merchantsassociations in promoting specific needs, on a narrower cause thanthat of chambers of commerce. However, there are other people whoperceive the two types of organization Chamber of commerce andmerchants associations, as the same. They believe that the two havesimilar purpose and scope, hence face similar challenges.


Fisher,J. (2010). Keeping ‘the Old Flag Flying’: Merchants Association.HistoricalResearch 83(222),719-46.

Mills,J. (2005). ElReno Oklahoma: Chamber of Commerce.Oklahoma.