What is the importance of a Chamber of Commerce?
Examining what a Chamber of Commerce actually does for its community.
My name is Kristen Misak, and I have been an intern with Uniondale’s Chamber of Commerce for about a year. When I first accepted this internship opportunity, I knew that it would mean working with the businesses in Uniondale, but I didn’t truly understand what kind of influence a Chamber of Commerce has on a community or what exactly one did, and I realize that many others also don’t know.
A community such as Uniondale contains many small and family-owned businesses. In this day and age, it can be difficult for small businesses to stay afloat. It can also be especially difficult for those businesses to advocate for themselves in government affairs. That’s where a Chamber of Commerce comes in.
Chamber of Commerce meetings give local business owners and community members a space to network, help each other, work together, and stand together in trying times. The Uniondale Chamber of Commerce represents and advocates for the interests of Uniondale businesses to entities such as the Town of Hempstead Board, Nassau County Legislature, Industrial Development Agency, Nassau County Planning Commission, and the Town of Hempstead Building and Zoning. One person alone would have a very hard time making their voice heard against these government bodies, but united by a Chamber of Commerce, a real impact can be made.
Not only this, but it is also a network of people who can share information regarding many different things. For example, it could be events that are happening locally that may benefit other business owners or the community as a whole. Or the Chamber could provide information that would be helpful to new or existing small business owners, such as demographic and economic data for the area. Another task of the Chamber of Commerce is to provide information about the area to those who are looking to relocate to the area and do not have any knowledge of the community.
For all of these reasons and more, a Chamber of Commerce can have a broad and lasting impact on its community, and my experience as an intern in Uniondale has showed me firsthand the importance of working together for common goals in one’s community.