It is important for me to understand why some chamber members choose not to renew their annual membership. It’s important because I want to ensure we are a valuable resource to our members. The number one reason for non-renewal is, “I can’t make the networking events.” There’s more to the Chamber besides networking events, but the value increases significantly with your involvement. So, let’s break it down:


One of the least expensive ways to gain trust and credibility for your business is through your local Chamber of Commerce. According to The Schapiro Group, The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce; if you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, you automatically increase your credibility and visibility. However, you will significantly increase your credibility and visibility the more active you are in your local Chamber of Commerce.


To make it even easier for you, the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce offers a minimum of three events each month; morning, noon and afternoon. With three options to choose from, surely you can make one?


I take it to heart when members do not renew, it makes me think we are not doing a good enough job conveying how your membership benefits you. We look at memberships as a partnership between the Chamber and every member business.That being said, a partnership requires commitment from both parties. Collectively, the chamber and members create unbelievable synergies and value for each other in our Fort Payne business community. The more active you are and the more you communicate with your Chamber, the more value your membership will bring to your business.


But, don’t take it from me, we have testimonials from a few of our members:


“The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce is a valuable partner for Heritage Wire Harness. The Chamber provides a great network with other business leaders in Fort Payne.” Mary Reed, Owner, Heritage Wire Harness.


“As a small business owner and real estate agent in Fort Payne, being involved with the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce has been very beneficial to the growth of both my businesses.” Tracy Jones, Ole Heritage Realty and DeKalb Sportsman and Pawn.


“Through the Chamber our business has a valuable resource for the varied businesses in the community providing information on the availability of products and services that are available locally.” Steve Eberhart, President, First Fidelity Bank.


“Fort Payne is such a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family! My participation with the Chamber of Commerce allows me to interact with other local businesses to build strong relationships, and, most often, friendships.” Amy Justice, Funeral Director, Wilson Funeral Home & Crematory.


“Being involved with the Chamber of Commerce, I have more of a business and personal relationship with the City of Fort Payne, Economic Development and the Tourism folks.” Alan Kilgo, Owner, My Supply.


“The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce has been a vital resource for networking and professional improvement for myself and my employees. The Chamber really cares for each of its members and is always eager to help.” Randy Posey, Owner, Posey Allstate Agency.

“The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce is the heartbeat of our business community. They create a networking platform for our local businesses. Fort Payne is a thriving community and the Chamber is the driving force behind it. When you join the Chamber, you are investing in our community’s future,” Tricia Dunne, Publisher, Times Journal.


So, maybe you are rethinking your decision to not renew, and that’s great. Come on back! Bottom line, we want you to feel like your membership is valuable to your business, and, if you do not feel that way, let’s talk. Give us a chance to help you better understand how being a Chamber Member will benefit your business. You may reach me at 256.845.2741.