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Get your business involved in community

Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

So you’re a business owner or manager wondering what you could do to improve any or all of the following: Enhance your brand and image, improve employee morale and, of course, the never-ending challenge of increasing traffic and sales. 

Naturally, as president of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills chamber, if your business is located in Algonquin or Lake in the Hills, my first question would be: Are you a member of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills chamber? My second question: Are you involved in any local schools, organizations or “causes”?   

If you can answer “yes” to both questions, then you already know that:

• Joining your local chamber shows the community you support the economic development of their community.

• Getting involved in your community enhances your company image and provides you with additional exposure you cannot achieve on your own. 

Businesses that get involved in their community and chamber often find that they succeed more than those that just close up shop at the end of the day. Successful businesses know that their success was built with the combined help of family, employees, and community members. Getting involved provides opportunities for others to learn firsthand that you are a dedicated business owner or manager who cares about the interest of the community lending credibility to you and your business. 

To get started, simply determine your target market and choose from the many local organizations, schools or areas that could use your help and get involved!

To understand the impact chamber membership and community involvement represents to a business, results from a survey commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that seven out of 10 consumers believe that being actively involved in their community and local chamber is an effective strategy for enhancing a business’ reputation and for demonstrating that it uses good business practices.

The survey also showed when consumers know that a small business is involved and is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 44 percent more likely to think favorably of it, and 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. 

One of the most important aspects of operating a small business is developing solid relationships with your customers, potential customers, and others in the business community. Influential community leaders are often a part of community events, and this is an informal, personal way to get to know these individuals.

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Join us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. April 25 as the chamber welcomes Half Price Books to the community. Half Price Books is located at  2226 S. Randall Road, Algonquin.

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An after-hours mixer will be from 5 to 7 p.m . April 25 at Primrose School, 2300 County Line Road, Algonquin.

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A chamber orientation will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 30 at the chamber office, 2114 W. Algonquin Road, Lake in the Hills. This workshop is open to new members, members in need a refresher course, or area businesses who are interested in learning more about the chamber. RSVPs are appreciated by calling the chamber at 847-658-5300.

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While we all anxiously await sunny, warm weather, registration is now open for the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills chamber’s annual Golf Outing June 6 at Turnberry Country Club, and the chamber’s summer monthly Cruise Nights which will be held June 11, July 9 and Aug. 6 at the Oakridge Shopping Center. Visit www.ALChamber.com for more information.

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The Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce is a business organization helping to promote, support and educate its business members. For more information, visit www.ALChamber.com or call 847-658-5300.

• Sandy Oslance is president of the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 847-658-5300, or sandy@alchamber.com.

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