Membership in the Chamber of Commerce is a smart business investment. While accurate, it’s pretty dry business-speak that in no way captures the very real passion for community harnessed by business leaders within the Greater Federal Way Chamber.
As we work to support and promote commerce, I am often reminded of a line from Walt Whitman. “I am large,” he wrote, “I contain multitudes.” So it is with our Chamber – companies with many individuals focused on creating a network of growth and success in our region.
Creating community sustainability requires us to be thoughtful in how we generate and spend our dollars. A stable foundation for economic prosperity is built when we invest in ourselves. This Chamber will never ask you to shop local. However, it will always, and with passion, ask you to Shop Chamber.
When you Shop Chamber, you are spending your dollars at a business that has invested in a network of leaders looking to enhance business opportunities for everyone – small, medium and large companies are in that economic mix. Our region is in growth mode, and there is money to be made in Federal Way. But when looking to spend your dollars, I ask you to consider: Who is here to take our money and leave, and who is here reinvesting that profit back to the business community through Chamber membership? It matters because you matter.
With the Chamber window cling, we say “yes!” to small business and “yes!” to the big box stores that invest in our business network. This is particularly important given how many national chains are in the area. Let’s face it, the hard fact of a global marketplace is that we are likely nothing more than a demographic pin on a map, in an office, in some other state … if we’re lucky. But when you see the Chamber cling, you know that company, wherever its headquarters may be located, believes Federal Way is more than a pin. That company knows we are the people who keep this business community humming.
I have often heard the comparison of chamber membership to that of joining a gym. I dislike that analogy – intensely. Whether or not you get psyched about hitting a gym, the Chamber is not a static place that requires you to pass through its doors to find value.
Since 1953, this Chamber has been working to offer networking, education, training, fellowship and, hopefully, a little bit of poetry every so often. Why Shop Chamber? Because those investing in the community through membership support programs and initiatives that allow businesses to do and achieve more. Shopping Chamber supports efforts to keep you informed on important civic issues and business trends that impact our community.
Today, the strength of our Chamber comes as businesses of every size stand together to say in one passionate voice: “We mean business. We take the Federal Way.” I hear it every day. And so, like Whitman, I too shall stand in green beauty, and sing the Chamber electric. Because Shopping Chamber matters.
Rebecca Martin is CEO of the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce.