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Three ways to leverage membership in local chamber

Will Holmes

Will Holmes

Maryland is rich in opportunities and resources to help your business flourish. If you are unfamiliar with all the support Maryland has to offer growing companies, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce. Your local Chamber can help with:

Effective Business Tools
Whether you are a new business, pivoting business or a growing organization, your local Chamber can help you develop your market research so you can better identify local customers who are buying what you are selling. Your Chamber can help you with your business plan so you can apply for funding and help you identify inexpensive ways to test the market and reach new customers. When choosing a location for expansion, it is important to understand these factors as they affect sustainability. The Chamber connects you to business tools that help you identify customers, add jobs and achieve long-term growth.

Local Agencies and Programs
Our State is rich in resources for entrepreneurs but with so many choices, it can be hard to decide where to start. However, one in-depth conversation with your local Chamber can identify your needs and get you properly connected. Chambers have fantastic local partners including the U.S. Small Business Administration, your local Small Business Resource Center, the Minority Business Development Agency, your local Maryland Small Business Development Center, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs and your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Plus, many Chambers have connections to incredible programs like Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Baltimore Means Business through Morgan State University and the Community Consulting Lab at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. When considering a new demographic for marketing or a new city for commercial expansion, it is important to examine the resources in the area designed to help you connect with potential customers and build a sustainable company. Your local Chamber has the partnerships and information to get you connected.

Key Decision Makers
When growing a company, it can be difficult to know who to contact for what you need to succeed. Fortunately, the Chamber of Commerce is well-positioned and well-connected with government agencies, procurement offices, prime contractors and anchor institutions who can provide opportunities for contracts, sub-contracts and mentoring. Additionally, Chambers maintain relationships with local elected officials and keep them informed of the needs of growing companies. And to keep the community connected in an ever-changing environment, Chambers host timely webinars, monthly membership meetings and fun, virtual happy hours for networking. When planning expansion, think about who can help you to quickly get connected to the people and organizations you need to win customers and identify new prospects. Your local Chamber makes those introductions every day.
Take advantage of the lucrative business opportunities that Maryland has to offer. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce today and connect to the tools, resources and people you need to build your business in Maryland and thrive.

Will Holmes is the Chairman of the Board of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce and Owner of Will Holmes Consulting. With over 20 years of management and technology consulting experience, Will is committed to helping government agencies, non-profits, universities and growing companies build initiatives that add jobs and have a positive impact on the local community.

Minority Business/Expanding Opportunities 2020 cover

Expanding Opportunities

This article is featured in the 2020 edition of The Daily Record’s Expanding Opportunities Resource Guide for Small, Minority and Women Businesses. Published in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, Expanding Opportunities explores diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation in Maryland’s small business community. Read more from Expanding Opportunities on this website or read the digital edition.

To purchase a reprint of this article, contact reprints@thedailyrecord.com.

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