You’ve seen our name around the Jefferson County community. You know we’ve been a small business resource for entrepreneurs for years, and any “How to grow my business” tips you’ll find online probably include joining a local chamber of commerce.

However, knowing all that information is different than understanding what we do and knowing how we can help your business grow. Let’s start with how chambers began across the country and what these organizations do in a thriving community.

History of the Chamber of Commerce

The push to create an agency designed to promote the interests of businesses across the country began in 1911 when President William Howard Taft addressed the need for what he called a “central organization in touch with associations and chambers of commerce throughout the country and able to keep purely American interests in a closer touch with different phases of commercial affairs.”

The following year, a group of 700 delegates from a wide range of commercial and trade organizations gathered together to create what would later become the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Today, the organization has grown to become the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. The national chamber also represents state and local chambers and industry associations.

What does a chamber of commerce do?

While every chamber is unique to its community across the country, a chamber of commerce’s main function is to serve as an association or network of businesspeople designed to promote and protect the interests of the chamber members. Sometimes known as a “board of trade,” chambers of commerce are often made up of business owners who share a locale or interests. However, chambers can also be international in scope, depending on the type of businesses the chamber serves.

On the local level, this translates to chambers of commerce serving the business interests that are unique to that community. For example, in areas that rely heavily on the tourism industry, a chamber of commerce will promote businesses that serve tourists.

How do we help businesses in Jefferson County?

The business community in Jefferson County benefits from a wide range of industries, so our primary goal at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is to find ways to promote, empower, and grow the business community as a whole. Below are just a few of the reasons why joining the Jefferson County Chamber can be a game-changer for your business.

  • Inclusion in the chamber directory

Imagine a Rolodex (remember those!) that included names and contact information for many of the largest, highest-growing businesses in Jefferson County. And then imagine your name and your business included in that directory alongside these other successful businesses. That’s what is included in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Directory. It provides instant exposure to other businesses that could be looking to you to provide for a need or growth opportunity.

  • Opportunities to engage with the community

Our chamber regularly organizes events across Jefferson County to promote new businesses, groundbreaking for new construction, ribbon cuttings, etc., plus local media coverage for many of them.

Attending these events are great opportunities for positive exposure around the area, and hosting an event gives your business an even bigger spotlight.

  • Affordable marketing tools

The Jefferson County Chamber regularly creates and promotes marketing campaigns that advertise the business interest of the community. Whether it’s promoting fishing tournaments on Douglas or Cherokee Lakes, events at Carson Newman University, or one of the many community events that happen throughout the year, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is here to spread the word on what’s happening in the Lakeside of the Smokies.

We also work to promote your company with events for individual businesses like grand openings, business referrals, Business-After-Hours, mailing lists, brochure displays in the  Chamber office and exclusive event sponsorships, recognition and publicity.

  • Resources and training

You probably don’t have time to stay on top of all the different local, regional, and state issues that could impact your business. But the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is constantly monitoring events or problems that could affect the businesses in Jefferson County, and the cooperative community our chamber has built over years of working with business leaders and elected officials will ensure you know we’re working for your best interest.

  • Giving back

It’s so important that we do all we can to lift our community as a whole. That’s why the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce provides ample opportunities for businesses to give back through charitable events and organizations throughout Jefferson County. This work helps the business community continue to be vibrant and strong, which makes the local economy stronger. And all businesses benefit when consumers are able to spend in the local marketplace.

Join the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce

If you’re ready to grow your business, it’s critical to become a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Our Chamber members share the collective focus of making Jefferson County an incredible place to live, work, play, and do business while holding on to our strong history and culture. The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities and resources that empower community business owners to expand, flourish, and grow. Our members enjoy benefits like networking opportunities, business referrals, advertising options, educational opportunities, and small business resources.

If you have a business in Jefferson County and successful business growth is your goal, we’re here to help. Don’t waste time searching the internet for “networking events near me.” Becoming a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce today is a great opportunity to start taking advantage of all the benefits we have to offer. To find out more about how to join or to learn about how we can be a difference-maker for your small business, contact us online or by calling 865-397-9642.