It's okay to ask, ''What Does the Chamber Do?''
Misconceptions abound regarding what the Chamber does – even in Fergus Falls, where we’ve been serving the business community since 1886. Although just about everyone has heard the term “Chamber of Commerce,” confusion and erroneous assumptions are the norm. The lack of understanding is in large part because chambers across the nation focus on different things and operate in different ways.
Generally speaking, a Chamber of Commerce is an organization of businesses that seeks to further their collective interests, while advancing their community and the region. Most Chambers focus on these primary goals: Building communities to which residents, visitors and investors are attracted; Promoting those communities; Striving to insure future prosperity via a pro-business climate; Representing the unified voice of the employer community and Reducing transactional friction through well-functioning networks. The Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce pursues these goals and so much more!
Our mission is: to serve as the lead advocate and resource for our members and create partnerships that foster a healthy business climate. For every program, activity, event, resource allocation or venture, we measure it against our mission and ask, “Does it match?” “Will it benefit our members?” “Will it have a positive, rippling effect on our local businesses and their prosperity?”
In 2018 we conducted a Membership Survey to help us set priorities for our program of work. We surveyed our 345 members and received a 31% response rate. In addition to the survey, we regularly meet with members one-on-one to learn more about their organization, their challenges and how we can provide solutions. Based on the results of the Membership Survey and our Board of Directors Strategic Planning Session, we have set our top goals as the following:
One way we Connect and Engage Small Businesses is “Showcase Fergus Falls,” on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 from 2:00-6:00pm at the Bigwood Event Center. More than 50 Chamber member exhibitors will have the opportunity to strengthen business relationships, connect with other vendors and meet the general public. Community members are encouraged to attend Showcase and free tickets are available at the Chamber office (202 S. Court St.) or from each of the 57 exhibitors. The event kicks off at 2:00pm with an inspiring message from author and trainer Dave Cornell who’ll present “Cultivate Courage.” Doors to the exhibits and trade show open at 3:00pm, along with a photo booth, Showcase BINGO, cash bar, healthy snacks and a boatload of swag and prizes. We promise you’ll feel a renewed sense of pride and optimism in Fergus Falls just by walking in the door! At the Chamber, we bring sunshine and positivity – we are Fergus Falls’ biggest cheerleaders!
- Connect and Engage Small Businesses to Insure Their Success and Economic Vitality (A rising tides lifts all boats.)
- Be the Resource Center for our Members
Our goal is to continue to Be the Resource Center for our Members. Businesses and organizations (churches, clubs, non-profits, education and municipalities) who are members of the Chamber, have access to a variety of resources – from discounts on commercial insurance to media exposure and opportunities to make personal connections with other businesses. We are the “go to” when people have questions – kind of like the “Google” of Fergus Falls. Our members have said:
Our members support the Chamber’s ability to promote a strong local economy, in addition to receiving a direct return such as new business referrals and to be “in the know” about community happenings. Here’s what a few more of our Members are saying about the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce:
- Staff has been great in helping me get connected and being a resource for all things business.
- I love the level of service from the Fergus Falls Chamber. We are truly lucky to have the staff who are as dedicated to the community as we are and who care about shopping local and helping those around us.
Through our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors and talented staff, we will continue to work to improve Fergus Falls – each and every day, just like we have since 1886. In case you’re still unsure, here are a few more things the Fergus Falls Chamber DOES:
- The Chamber is amazing at including all businesses, knowing who’s there, and making sure to make them all feel welcome at any type of event.
- I love the effort put forth by the Chamber to promote Fergus Falls and our area. We have much to be proud of in Fergus Falls and many opportunities available - I love to see what we have to offer put out there for people who have no idea what Fergus Falls all about is!
- The chamber and staff are "doers" in Fergus Falls. We can count on you for assistance, support, advice and listening/working on our behalf.
“belong. connect. succeed.” sums it up – be a part of something bigger than yourself and watch Fergus Falls bloom!
- Engage and connect our young professionals via Young Professionals Network (YPN) with professional development, social interaction and community commitment
- “Shop, Move ‘n Groove” promoting active living, music/arts & shopping locally downtown Fergus Falls on July 11
- Fergus Bucks – re-investing $100,000 annually in local businesses
- “Shop, Drop ‘n Win” resulting in $137,000+ spent locally for the holidays
- Hospitality – we are the #1 resource for tourists and new (and potential) residents
- Build up our workforce pipeline through high school career exploration and college mentoring
- Fun events: TASTE of Fergus Falls, Chamber Café, Battle of the Businesses Bowling Tournament, Golf Scramble