A national study by The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta based market research firm, reveals a number of important findings about how consumers and business owners perceive the local chamber of commerce and the businesses that are their members. For example:

• When consumers know that a business is a member of the local chamber, they are 44% more likely to think favorably about it.
• Consumers who are told that a business is a chamber member are 51% more likely to be highly aware of it and 57% more likely to think positively of its local reputation.
• Consumers are 63% more likely to buy goods and services in the future from a company that they believe is a member of the local chamber of commerce.  The study also has good news for businesses that sell to other businesses.
• When business decision-makers believe that a business is a chamber member, they are 37% more likely to think favorably of the business, 51% more likely to be highly aware of it, 58% more likely to think positively of its local reputation, and 59% more likely to buy goods and services from it.

Supporting the previous findings, the study also reveals a positive perception for the local chamber itself:
• Regarding the chamber’s impact on the local economy, 82% of respondents believe that the local chamber of commerce helps create jobs and promotes local economic development.

The results of the Schapiro study are clear: Positive perception increases among consumers and business owners when a business is identified as a member of the local chamber of commerce.  Simon Brackley, President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber, said that the research is the first of its kind, and confirms what many have thought about Chamber membership for years. Brackley stated, “Membership increases the visibility and credibility of a business. I think this is just as true for businesses that depend on the local economy as it is for internationally focused businesses. Many countries place an even greater importance on their Chambers of Commerce than America does. Letting business know in foreign countries that you are a Chamber member could be very important to potential business. If I was a member of our Chamber, I would be putting it on my letterhead, on my website, and in my ads. The research is clear that joining a Chamber is good business.”

This study was sponsored by IBM, Administaff, Jim Blasingame and AskJim.biz in cooperation with American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The study was conducted by The Schapiro Group and coordinated by Market Street Services. For the full study, please click here.

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