The thought struck us last year, and again lately (with the rapid uptick in social media-driven local business economic development advocacy activities) – that a new (or extended) breed of “Chamber of Commerce” may be developing – the “Online Chamber of Commerce” or “New/Social Media Chamber of Commerce”.
Sure, many traditional Chamber of Commerce institutions around the country are beginning to leverage social/new media to help attract, retain and empower their membership…but there exists a “business divide” in this model, in the form of paid membership requirements.
Most Chambers of Commerce require an annual membership fee for businesses and their representatives to participate – this covers in-person meeting venue costs, organization operating expenses, etc. Many Chambers offer “sliding scale” membership fees, i.e. reduced rates for smaller businesses; however, this fee hurdle in many cases is simply one that a lot of small businesses (in particular) can’t afford or choose not to invest in. Therefore, such a Chamber may not truly and fully represent the interests of the entire business community, and its stakeholders.
Read more at Dulles South Online – Online Chamber of Commerce – Gateway to Loudoun County Blog