As a small-business owner, joining a Chamber of Commerce is a great way to increase the visibility of your business, network with local business owners and uncover a wealth of information beneficial to growing your business. Local and federal Chamber of Commerce organizations also act as a voice for your small business helping influence business-friendly policies at all levels of government.
As a Canadian small-business owner you have a number of opportunities to join a Chamber of Commerce and let your voice be heard while enjoying a number of member benefits. Below is a guide to Chamber of Commerce organizations throughout Canada.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce represents more than 200,000 businesses in all sectors of the economy and in all provinces. Joining the Canadian Chamber of Commerce offer a wide variety of benefits starting with access to some of the top business minds in the country through networking events, professional development sessions, roundtables and policy committees.
At the Corporate and Association membership levels, business owners are allowed to participate in the Chamber’s policy committees helping shape the focus of advocacy efforts through deep research and development of policies on issues that affect Canadian business. Members who join at a Chamber level are allowed to approve any policy resolutions at the Chamber’s annual general meeting.
Whether you join at the Corporate, Association or Chamber level, all Canadian Chamber of Commerce members are granted access to a variety of networking events plus direct access to policy experts and the latest information on federal legislation and business initiatives. Members also receive a variety of business related discounts including benefit programs for reduced rates on credit and debit card transactions, SME-oriented online training courses, 24/7 access to HR specialists, a 10 percent discount of all ICC publications and more – see all of the member benefits programs here.
Provincial Chambers of Commerce
Throughout the 10 Canadian provinces, small-business owners have ample opportunities to join a local Chamber of Commerce. These organizations offer many of the same benefits as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce but have more focus at the local level. Many businesses join both the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and their local initiative.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Formed in 1910, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce connects local businesses and service organizations with all levels of government to create a flourishing business environment. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey and found that consumers are 44 percent more likely to rate your business favorably, and 63 percent more likely to purchase your goods or services, if it is a Chamber member. In addition to amplifying your voice to local government officials, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce increases the visibility of your company, provides access to essential business resources and offers a number of advertising, promotional and business development opportunities.
Quebec Chamber of Commerce
The second largest province in Canada, Quebec is home to several thriving business communities. The Quebec Chamber of Commerce offers members many of the same benefits including ample discounts on credit and debit card transactions, group and personal insurance and savings at more than 75 retailers in Quebec through the Program Plus card.
British Columbia Chamber of Commerce
The British Columbia Chamber of Commerce represents more than 36,000 businesses in the province advocating for business-friendly public policies. Member benefits include a plethora of networking opportunities and deep value discounts on things like hotels, gas, office supplies, online business networks, distribution services and insurance.
Alberta Chamber of Commerce
The Alberta Chamber of Commerce fights for the lowest possible tax and regulatory environment in Canada by reviewing and assessing the newest legislation and advocating at every level of government for more than 23,000 businesses.
Manitoba Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1931, the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce is comprised of the most influential business owners in the province. Membership grants you access to leading private- and public-sector decision-makers, vital business information, networking events and increased visibility for your business.
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce has been representing businesses throughout the Atlantic Canadian coast since 1896. Membership in the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce includes a stable of benefit programs, from worldwide travel discounts to group insurance plans.
Find your local Chamber of Commerce and visit any of the pages above to learn more about fees, opportunities and benefits of joining. Make sure to keep checking back with the Vistaprint Canada blog for more in-depth info and resources to help your business grow and achieve continued success.