There are many benefits to joining the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce – below are some of those benefits, and how you can make them work for your business.
Marketing Opportunities: The chamber is a great way to market your business. We’re always working to provide additional opportunities for our members to market their products and services or gain exposure through chamber activities, publications, and events.
Networking: Come to our next Business After Hours, attend a membership luncheon, or help out at a chamber event. You’ll have fun and meet future customers and create business contacts. The chamber constantly promotes a ‘shop members first’ philosophy and our members are great at supporting and referring each other. The benefits of this philosophy alone provides an excellent return on your membership investment.
Business Referrals: The chamber receives thousands of inquiries each year from people looking for services in our area. When referring businesses we show preference to chamber members first. If someone is looking for a type of business that is not represented by our membership, we will refer to the yellow pages and tell the customer to let them know the chamber provided the contact information.
Web Page: The chamber boasts the busiest web site on Fidalgo Island and directs visitors to our member businesses. A tour of the site reveals numerous ways for web visitors to access information on your business while gathering desired information on visiting, relocating, or living in Anacortes. Your listing in our preferred business directory will link directly to your website at no additional cost, and benefits your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Membership Directory: Members are listed alphabetically by member name, alphabetically by contact name, and by category in the Membership Directory. The directory is printed in the spring and mailed to every business on Fidalgo Island and is included in relocation packets.
Publicity & Exposure: Is there something special going on in your business? Have you or one of your employees won any special awards? Completed special training? Let your fellow chamber members know! Through our monthly newsletter, you can put news about your business in the hands of hundreds of other area business people and public officials. Send us your press release. Deadline for all press releases is the 10th of the month prior to publication.
Visitor Information Center: Our VIC serves thousands of people annually who stop in to the center, contact us by telephone, or visit our web site. Chamber members can display their brochures in the VIC and our staff and volunteers will refer those with inquiries to your business.
A Powerful Voice with Local Government: The chamber is the voice of the business community on local and statewide issues. We maintain favorable relationships with elected and appointed officials to ensure that issues important to our members, and the community at large, are recognized and addressed. We are also a part of the Skagit Business Alliance made up of Skagit County chambers of commerce, SICBA, the realtors, and EDASC. During legislative session, the SBA hosts weekly conference calls with the Association of Washington Business.
Economic Development: The chamber engages in the retention and expansion of existing businesses through business education seminars and management counseling while also working to attract appropriate new businesses to our community.
Bulk Mail Permit: Using the chamber’s bulk mail permit gives you a significant savings over first-class postage. You must have at least 250 identical pieces. For direct mail advertising it’s great! Depending on the size of your business, using this service alone once per month for a year could cover the cost of your membership investment.
Conference Room: Our conference room works well for your business meetings and seminars and fits up to 20 people. Members do not pay the $25/hour fee – call the office to reserve the space.
Education & Professional Development: The chamber sponsors seminars on topics of interest to our members. Examples include management, marketing, finance, legal issues, customer service and hiring strategies. Let us know which of your concerns we can address in a business seminar!
Community Support: Your membership investment helps to support the chamber’s important work in the community, which benefits us all.
Some examples of that work are:
Beautification and Decoration: The chamber purchases and installs the downtown flower baskets; the welcome garden at 35th Street and Commercial Avenue; decorative lamp pole banners along Commercial Avenue; the Holiday white tree lights; the lighted Holiday lamp pole decorations; the community Christmas tree; and more.
Tourism Marketing: The chamber manages a regional, national, and international marketing campaign to promote Anacortes both as a destination and as the gateway to the rest of the San Juan Islands and Sidney/Victoria, Canada. Television, radio, online and print media are used to convey the attractiveness of our community while ongoing relations with travel writers, representatives from tourism periodicals extend the reach of our message. Potential guests are directed to the chamber website and Visitor Information Center. Collaboration with other chambers provides benefits of countywide tourism promotion enhancing our local efforts.
Partnerships with Community Organizations: Support and collaboration with community groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, Soroptomist, Eagles, Elks, Lions, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club and others is important and common. Working together, we can accomplish much more than any business could working alone. The chamber is committed to creating a strong community where business can thrive and quality of life is always enhanced.
Partnerships with County Groups: The Anacortes Chamber of Commerce works very closely with the other chambers in Skagit County. Your Executive Director sits on the Skagit County Chamber Executive Directors group, which utilizes county tourism funding on collaborative marketing.
Have questions about these benefits? Call the chamber office at (360) 293-7911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.