We had a record setting Food Truck Festival this past month, and it followed a very successful crawfish festival the month prior. Now we are gearing up for our Education Luncheon this month, a Women’s Luncheon this July, and are casting our gaze to the Gala in September.
We are proud of our large events, and I look forward to continuing the tradition of service and success as we hold the next round and continue into the future. But I thought I’d take the opportunity with this month’s LINKED Letter to make you some assurances.
This is a Chamber of Commerce, not a Festival Company. At the end of the day, we do what we do to promote, build, connect, and strengthen the business community of the Greater Heights. And as much as we haul our large scale happenings in the spotlight at every opportunity, the real meat of the Chamber is the regular monthly events – our Breakfast Connection, Noontime Networking, HYP, Business After Hours, and Ribbon Cuttings. It’s our Directory and our Website, this newsletter in your hands, the speakers and information we bring you that keep you informed, the networking, the referrals, the relationships built within our membership. These are the important things, the things that make the Chamber who we are.
So why the big events? First, because we think they are of benefit to you and the community. Our festivals bring the area together and strengthen the ties of neighborhood identity. Our luncheons inform and connect on a large scale, or in the case of our Education Luncheon shows both gratitude to our schools and educators and invests in our future leaders.
Second, because we want the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce to be accessible to all. This is not downtown with its towering buildings and multibillion dollar corporations. This is not the East End with its shipping firms, warehouses, and global companies. This is the Greater Heights where most businesses are small family style shops, firms, and eateries. As such we have an obligation to our businesses to be an affordable option. And we are; our dues are some of the lowest in the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area.
To keep dues that low we have to supplement with fundraisers. This is not unique. The industry standard for Chambers of Commerce is that around 60% of operating costs is covered by Membership Dues. We float between the 50% – 55% range. Thus, our larger annual events also raise funds.
Having said that I encourage you to recommit to our monthly events. Go to the ribbon cuttings, wake up a little bit early for our Breakfast Connection. By doing so not only are you making the most of your membership, but you are providing value to your fellow members. And that, at the end of the day, is why we are here.
Your Chamber President