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Chamber membership return on investment proves significant for small businesses

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is a network of nearly 3,000 public and private companies, including more than 100 nonprofits. These companies include roughly 400,000 employees who earn more than $15 billion dollars annually and represent nearly 23 percent of the regional GDP.

As one of San Diego’s largest business resource centers, the chamber helps to distribute nearly 30 business referrals to its members each day, totaling more than 7,000 referrals per year.

The chamber leverages the volume buying power of all its members to provide significant savings and discounts for businesses. The chamber’s exclusive Blue Shield program offers chamber member businesses with five to 50 employees savings of between $366-$6,728 each month on health care coverage.

Through a member-only offer with Office Depot, small businesses save an average of 20 percent off their office product needs. Aflac provides 50 percent off annual chamber membership when businesses make Aflac benefits available to their employees. Not to mention that the San Diego Advantage Card — a local rewards card coming in June 2012 — will help businesses build customer loyalty while enabling individuals to save money at each of their favorite retail outlets across San Diego County.

The heart and soul of the chamber, however, is helping businesses make connections. Today, the chamber is still known for offering some of the “best networking in town.” Each year, the chamber welcomes more than 17,000 people to over 85 mixers, workshops, special events and meetings. These include 20 member-only events and right signature events, ranging from the Congressional Luncheon and the Military Ball, to the Golf Classic.

On average, individuals make three to five connections at each chamber networking event. Through chamber events, hundreds of business professionals have successfully built relationships, gained referrals and grown their network.

The chamber also offers smaller-scale networking opportunities with its premier leads and referral network. Business alliance groups provide an opportunity to exchange leads, build strategic partnerships and develop substantial relationships with peers and colleagues across various industries and sectors in San Diego.

Additionally, the chamber offers up to 40 complimentary training workshops — a value of $40 per person, per training — to help provide the tools necessary to be successful in the business alliance groups and in networking.

Most importantly, the chamber is fighting the good fight for San Diego businesses. Last year alone, in its effort to make San Diego more business-friendly, the chamber’s public policy team worked on more than 200 different issues, specifically reviewing and advocating for nearly 70 business-related pieces of legislation. On average, the chamber interfaces with 300 elected and public officials, and spends in excess of 4,000 hours advocating on behalf of the San Diego business community each year.

As you can see, the chamber is working hard for San Diego businesses. We encourage you to learn more about the San Diego Chamber and how it can help you and your business. Contact us at 619-544-1337 or BecomeAMember@sdchamber.org, or visit us at sdchamber.org.

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