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Reece: What your Chamber of Commerce can do for you

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

WIIFM? What’s in it for me?

You might be asking yourself that question on occasion about your Chamber membership, especially if you don’t feel you’re active or involved.

Well, you’re not alone. Because they’re busy people, 90 percent to 95 percent of most chambers of commerce members do not do a thing during the year. Zip. Nada. Nothing. If that describes you, well, then what is in it for you? 

The mission of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce is to “create value and opportunity for our members with the belief that a positive business climate is an integral part of a healthy community.” The Chamber leadership, staff and volunteer committees go to work every day with that mission in mind.

First, the Chamber is your most local advocate for your business. The Crystal Lake Chamber has been out front as the leading voice of business, acting to help ensure a strong, vibrant local economy that directly affects your prosperity. The Chamber moves quickly to support what improves business conditions and to oppose what harms business interests. 

Through the Government Affairs Committee, your Chamber has held roundtables and luncheons where Chamber members spoke up about issues affecting all businesses. In roughly the past year, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman Peter Roskam, former Illinois governor candidate Bill Daley, and current Illinois governor candidate Bruce Rauner have attended events, not to mention local and state elected officials.

I also attended a roundtable with Congressman Randy Hultgren. In addition, the Crystal Lake Chamber was out front almost a year ago to help stop another back-door effort to make fire sprinklers mandatory for single-family homes (and certain other types of buildings) in Illinois. Frankly, your Crystal Lake Chamber investment gives you the freedom to focus on business while we work to protect business’ interests.

The Chamber belongs to and participates in McHenry County Economic Development Corp. events, and is a member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The chamber supports these organizations because they also go to bat for you.

As Chamber president, I am an active member of the city of Crystal Lake’s Economic Development Committee. In the past few years, the committee has developed grants and incentives for businesses that are locating, as well as expanding, in town.

In addition, with other Chamber members, we share the load of attending the twice monthly city council meetings.

We market in five publications totaling 120,000 copies that promote Crystal Lake Chamber members.

Have you thought about the next time you need a product or service to look at the Crystal Lake Chamber website – – for a fellow member who provides what you need? Oh, and we have had a mobile app coming up on three years now.

So that, my friends, adds up to a whole lotta WIIFM without being “involved” one iota. Oh, and as for the hundreds of other things that we do year in and year out to provide opportunities for building business relationships? Well, that’s all gravy.


From 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, join Park Place Banquet Facility. 406 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, as it hosts an after-hours mixer supporting Turning Point. On Oct. 11, join us at Outback Steakhouse, 4751 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake, for a lunch mixer from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All Chamber members are encouraged to attend for great relationship building opportunities. 


Please welcome our newest members: 365 Wellness Center, Dr. Michael Louise DC; Beyond Rhetoric, John J.W. Guanci III; Cherry Hill Consulting Inc., Christopher Mackie; Crystal Lake Natural Health Care, Dr. Amanda Cwikla; Joey’s Limousine Service, Joey Alejandro; LTI Network Consulting Group, Keith Lichthardt; Nerium, Donna Miller; Platinum Wealth Solutions, Larry Jacox CLTC; The Commercial Cleaning Co., James Kopher.

• Gary Reece is president of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce. Email

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