Why Be a Chamber Member?
Chamber Chat: January 2020
Scott Sluis, Islanders Bank Sr. Loan Officer & Board President of San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce checks in with the January 2020 edition of Chamber Chat:
It has come to my attention and that of the Chamber that some people wonder “why be a member of the Chamber?” Well allow me to answer that:
My simple answer is “you get out of the Chamber what you put into it” – to expect to pay your membership dues and then sit back and wait for the business to come storming through your doors is quite unrealistic. Allow me share my story with you please:
I have been in banking for almost 25 years and have worked in 3 major communities in Utah – Davis, Weber and Salt Lake counties, and now this one, San Juan County or Island, so 4 communities in all. In every instance in which I was the new guy/businessman/banker in town, my very first stop I made in EVERY one of those communities was to join the CHAMBERs OF COMMERCE.
I would introduce myself, ask if I could get involved with the Chamber in any way and would do just that – GET INVOLVED – I attended the Chamber Socials, volunteered for Chamber events (for example here on San Juan Island, I volunteer for the 4th of July parade and fireworks event every year and the Island Light Festival both ever since I moved here) and did you even know that the Chamber is the organizer and presenter of those events? Imagine the 4th of July or the Holidays here on the island WITHOUT those events! Unimaginable isn’t it? It is!
In addition, your Chamber membership dollars go to the Chamber’s operational budget to allow the Chamber to staff and run the Visitor’s Center – which by the way directs business/tourists to you the member – and allows the Chamber to represent you the business owner/operator at the town, county and State levels with your needs and concerns.
I have never had to sell myself to anyone or ask for the business – we support each other because we get to know each other and WANT to support each other – so get involved, meet some people – new ones and old acquaintances alike. Also asked frequently is the difference between the Chamber and the Visitor’s Bureau: like “well what does the visitor bureau do? Well to put it simply the Visitor’s Bureau gets the visitors here and the Chamber that runs the Visitor’s Center, gives the visitor something to do!
So why join the Chamber? If you are still wondering I welcome you to contact me and I will buy you coffee and explain it. I love the Chamber and what it does for and in this community.
Thank you to all of the members for supporting the Chamber and its efforts – so one last time, I will say it again – get out there and get involved in the Chamber at any level and you will get back what you put in to it.
I will see you out there in the community!
With very warm regards,
Scott A. Sluis
Chamber Board President