New Members Learn what the Chamber Can Do

New Member Learns What the Chamber Can Do

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 12/14/2011)

Lisa J. Schmidt, owner of Schmidt Law Services, decided to join the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce last week after sitting through a New Member Orientation put on by Katie Johnson, who is the Member Services Assistant. The orientation lists the benefits of being part of the Chamber, and is great for those who are considering joining, those who are actual “new members,” and even established members who just need a refresher in what’s being offered.

 

“Even members who are really active don’t take advantage of all our services,” Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg said. That’s why they host the monthly orientation. In January it will be held on the 13th at 9am.

For December, Schmidt was joined by Mark McMillan of Affirmations Community Center. Affirmations is a member, but McMillan had never been to an orientation and wanted to see what other resources the center might be able to use.

The Ferndale Area Chamber began 75 years ago to help promote Ferndale businesses. It has grown into an organization with over 200 members that is active in the community and nonpolitical in nature so that it can focus on serving all its member’s primary interest – keeping Ferndale area businesses thriving.

 

“We did a survey two years ago to see why people join the Chamber, and the top things were to improve visibility and increase sales,” said Johnson. To that end they’ve created an array of services, including:

Members are able to gain exposure and increase sales in several ways including:

  • -new member & renewing member listings in eblast once per month
  • -new member welcome recognition on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin
  • -free listing in printed annual directory*
  • -free listing/link on Chamber website
  • -variety of networking opportunities and ability to host**
  • -access to brochure placement in member-to-member mailings**
  • -access to participate on committees
  • -exclusive customer referrals for our members
  • -free advertising in member-to-member discount section online
  • -free access to FAC online networking forum
  • -access to brochure or promotional item placement at our functions or events**
  • -use of member logo***
  • -free member window decal
  • -opportunity to display marketing material in office lobby
  • -annual awards gala & golf outing invitations**
  • -exclusive rights to membership mailing list***
  • -grand opening & ribbon cutting ceremonies
  • -online business event posting
  • -free message in member bulletin section of eblast***
  • -access to be featured business on weekly eblast**
  • -cross-chamber networking events & business expos**
  • -opportunity for low-cost advertising on 9 mile & Woodward marquee***
  • -Chamber members group on Twitter
  • -exclusive right to promote business on Chamber’s Facebook wall***
  • -exclusive opportunity to participate in merchant discount card program

They provide several money-saving programs and partnerships such as:

  • -advertising media discounts
  • -member rates on networking opportunities, workshops and advertising
  • -discounted workers compensation and long-term care insurance***
  • -access to member-to-member discounts
  • -discounts on office supplies, telecommunications, Ferndale TimeBank and more
  • -use of conference room, free wi-fi & stop-in workstations***
  • -free certificate of origin processing

The Ferndale Area Chamber provides several educational events and partnerships such as:

  • -free access to quarterly educational workshops
  • -access to a variety of free and discounted seminars offered in the area
  • -quicker access to SCORE counselors
  • -partnerships to access Ferndale DDA and Ferndale Career Center free workshops

The Ferndale Area Chamber is an invaluable resource for businesses to assist them with attracting and retaining employees such as:

  • -access to our BCBS/BCN insurance program
  • -access to our compliance & human resources tools***
  • -access for your employees to use our member and member-to-member discount programs
  • -free online job postings on FAC online
  • -free relocation packets
  • -community improvements through your support

Ferndale Area Chamber serves as an informational conduit on public policy issues affecting member businesses at a local, state and federal level. They also partner with local and county government to advance Ferndale’s economic development and attract new business to Ferndale.

Some programs and partnerships include:

  • -advocate for member businesses in public policy issues
  • -access to Vote4Biz.com
  • -invitations to state of the city address dinner and city manager breakfast**
  • -chamber representation on select Oakland County committees
  • -annual commercial property showcase event
  • -business relocation packets
  • -meet the candidate forums
  • -forums on other pertinent local public policy issues

In addition, each year the chamber participates in and promotes events such as:

  • -Ferndale Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society
  • -annual blood drive for the American Red Cross
  • -annual fundraiser for Higher Ground
  • -donation to the Taste of Ferndale Silent Auction
  • -donation to Bowl-a-thon for Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency
  • -designated charity partner for annual golf outing
  • -annual Hilton Fall Festival in partnership with Ferndale Recreation

(**cost likely associated, ***some restrictions may apply)

Schmidt was so impressed with Johnson’s presentation and all the benefits, that she signed up to become a member. “I knew about some of the things the Chamber did, but I wanted to learn more before I made my decision,” she said. “I was excited to hear how active you are online and that you’re social media savvy.” Schmidt, who recently moved to Ferndale from St. Joseph so her husband could attend Wayne State, is working out of her home as a lawyer. Her practice handles cases of criminal, civil rights and family law. She’s considering having her ribbon cutting ceremony coincide with a lecture of some sort, possibly at the Library.

“We are really flexible about doing what works for our members,” said Executive Director Roosenberg. “A lot of small businesses operate out of their homes, so we can pair businesses up with brick and mortar locations to help them celebrate their opening.”

McMillan was also impressed with the presentation, and said Affirmations will start using more of the services as a result of the refresher.

The next New Member Orientation is Jan 13, 2012 at 9am. There is no charge and members and non-members are welcome to attend. Please RSVP through the Chamber website at http://www.ferndalechamber.com/.

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