When businesses are considering joining the Chamber of Commerce network, they often have a number of questions. We've put together the most frequently asked questions to help you understand more about Chamber membership, how it works and an overview of the benefits.*
* Answers to FAQs are correct at date of publication. Last updated 17 June 2020.
Can I send offers to and reach out to other chamber members?
Yes! As a member you can access to your own online profile within our member’s directory, which you can use to upload your content like blogs, events and offers directly to our website member’s area. We can also share your offers in our email newsletter where agreed with our editor.
How are Business West Chambers of Commerce connected with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)?
We are an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce network. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is an independent business network, with chambers across the UK. Local chambers sit at the heart of the community, working with businesses of all sizes, and representing all sectors. The BCC mission is to make the chamber network an essential part of growing business by sharing opportunities, knowledge and expertise: https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/
How many members do you have and what types of businesses can I connect with?
We currently have around 1,100 members. Our membership community is broad by size and type of business. Typically our members are established, B2B, medium sized |SMEs however most of the key employers in the region are in membership and many engineering and manufacturing businesses and the education sector is represented also. Our audience is large and many thousands of businesses receive our newsletters, visit our website and take part on our social media platforms. It's only members who can amplify their message to this audience. Our website receives 50,000 unique visits per month for example. To view a list of all of our active members you can visit our member’s directory here.
Which geographical areas do you cover? Can members be based anywhere in the country and join?
Business West Chambers of Commerce includes the Chambers of Commerce for Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire so by joining you become a member of all four chambers. Businesses can be based anywhere in the country and are still able to become a member of Business West.
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
There are many benefits to joining the chamber including:
• Profile raising opportunities – create a dynamic company profile within the business directory and publish your content in the Members' area - including your formal tenders, business opportunities, events and blog posts. Our website attracts 50000 unique visits per month and 25% reads blog content.
• Chamber Logo - use our logo on your website and marketing materials.
• Stay up to date - subscriptions to our email newsletters with all the latest business news, opportunities and events. Opportunities to share your news, events and offers directly with the membership via our Chamber enews.
• Access free online business resources and blogs from the top business brains in the region on a range of topics from digital marketing to GDPR.
• Regular networking events, training and seminars - including our popular and friendly networking get together- Zoom Around the Room which welcomes 50+ guests every month. This event is held online and is open to all during the pandemic.
• Access to advice, support and information - business support services to help start up and grow your business and trade internationally including support with skills and training.
• Free Professional Advice Service offers expert support on key business topics over the phone for 30 minutes. Chamber Members can apply to be on the Professional Advice Panel.
• Access discounted and added value Membership services including AA Recovery (up to 64% discount), Chamber Health Care Cash Plan and Employee Benefits Scheme (exclusive to the Chamber network), Journolink PR Platform (10% discount), first 3 months free Peer to Peer facilitated Board Meeting with The Alternative Board (eligibility criteria applies).
• Join our popular social media groups and join the conversation.
• Sponsorship and advertising opportunities
• Voice of Business - we are an influential voice for business, helping ensure business issues are at the heart of decisions taken at national, regional and local level, so together we can make a difference to the local and regional economy. Have your voice heard via surveys, committees and our Policy Team.
Do you have any discounted or alternative rates for start-up businesses or registered charities?
A: Yes, we do offer a discounted rate for businesses who are in their first year of trading or who are registered charities. The rate offered for those companies for a year’s worth of membership is £150 + vat. If you would like to take advantage of this rate please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How often do you meet in terms of regular events for networking etc.? Can I join one as a trial?
Currently we are holding networking meetings on the last Thursday of every month. The meetings are currently run via Zoom but we plan to return to physical events when possible. We are also running lots of other non-networking events including economy meetings and training events. A full list of which can be viewed at https://www.businesswest.co.uk/events . Please feel free to join us for free at the next networking event to start connecting with local businesses and to find out more about the Chamber!
Is the Chamber only for importers/exporters?
Not at all! International Trade services are just one of the many areas we can help and support with when you join your Chamber.
So in a nutshell, what can the Chamber offer my business?
CONNECT: events, introductions, social networks
ADVANCE: exclusive benefits and discounted services like HR, H&S, legal, accountancy and export
PROMOTE: your market, your profile and your business opportunities
INFLUENCE: we have a loud voice! We feed your views to government and push for change. No other membership organisation can compete!
Who can become a Chamber member?
Regardless of size, sector or location, there's a Chamber to support and represent every business in every corner of the UK. That's what makes us unique.