The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce currently has nearly 400 members in Athens County and the surrounding areas and has been the trusted partner of local business leaders since incorporating in 1972. The Chamber’s mission is to strengthen the Athens business community, and that means your membership is an investment not only in your own business but in the Athens community at large.
Join today and let us help your business thrive through our
Six Core Member Benefits:
Visibility: Stand out to community members and potential customers.
Members are included in our popular online membership directory and have the opportunity to be featured in weekly and monthly email publications, which have an open rate well above the national average. We can also help raise your visibility on social media – we regularly post about our members and sponsors of our many events to our 2.5K+ social media followers on Facebook and Instagram, and the Chamber has an organic post reach in the several thousands. And whenever the Chamber answers one of the hundreds of business inquiries that we receive each year, we make sure to only refer our members.
In 2023, the Chamber also added two new membership services that will help to further connect our members and raise their visibility within the Athens business community: Virtual Introductions and Curated Introductions. Click on each service name to learn more or to apply.
Sponsoring a Chamber event is another great way to raise your visibility within our business community, as we make it a priority to advertise our sponsors through all of our communication platforms. With every annual event, the Chamber will announce sponsorship opportunities, and we also have many options for sponsoring and contributing to our regular networking events – click here for more information on networking event sponsorship opportunities.
Credibility: Boost your reputation by joining our respected and trusted organization.
Being a member of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce increases your reputation as a respected and caring member of our community. According to a study by the market research firm The Schapiro Group, if respondents know that a small business is a member of its local chamber, the business enjoys a 49% increase in its consumer favorability rating, a 73% increase in consumer awareness, a 68% increase in its local reputation, and an 80% increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future. (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives)
Another perk of Chamber membership is that the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce is able to assist our members with obtaining a Certificate of Origin at no charge. Learn more about our Certificate of Origin service here.
Networking: Enhance your circle of influence and connect with other area leaders.
In our small, close-knit Athens community, relationships and connections are extremely important to the success of your business, which is why the Chamber makes sure to provide many exclusive opportunities for our members to build connections and foster relationships. To give our members ample chance to find out what’s happening in the community, garner new clients, and build relationships we host member-oriented events like ribbon cuttings and grand openings and annual events like our popular Golf Benefit, Celebrate Athens Auction & Dinner, and the Athens Area Women’s+ Summit.
In 2023, the Athens Area Chamber also restructured our regular networking events to offer 3 new networking opportunities:
- Business After Hours: a quarterly evening event that provides valuable content and opportunities for quality connections, with a structured timeframe, loosely guided networking, and a learning component.
- Coffee & Conversations: a morning networking event that provides our members with valuable and direct access to local and state agencies and officials, giving our members the opportunity to discuss issues important to the Athens business community.
- Connecting Athens Professionals: a monthly (April through October) happy hour event where emerging and experienced professionals can connect on a social level in a laid-back gathering space.
Our regular networking opportunities also provide many ways for our members to contribute or sponsor events, click here for more information on networking event sponsorship opportunities.
To see all the events we have coming up, check out our events calendar.
Advocacy: Let your voice be heard and become part of the discussion in private and public sectors.
The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce has been and will continue to be a driving force in elevating the business needs of our community. In just a year’s time, the Chamber’s involvement and advocacy has helped establish parklets Uptown, assisted in the orchestration of the approved DORA legislation that establishes a designated outdoor recreation area Uptown, joined the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia (ORCA) to help oversee the funding and management of the Baileys Trail System, and assisted our local businesses in navigating the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan system.
Our Coffee & Conversations events also give our members the opportunity to directly engage with local and regional officials and agency contacts, allowing our members the opportunity to discuss issues important to the Athens business community.
Growth: Sharpen your competitive edge with the Chamber’s vast network of resources.
To help our members grow their business we offer professional development opportunities, workforce statistics, and can connect our members with partnering organizations who can offer detailed assistance. Our members are also welcome to use our exclusive Curated Introduction services, in which the Chamber will work with our member to discover their business goals and needs, and then cultivate a list of contacts for that member to help them further connect and grow within our local business community. Additionally, the Chamber helps plan and coordinate learning and training opportunities that are open to our members for free as a member of the Entrepreneurial Development Group (EDG). And because the Chamber recognizes that a thriving region translates into more opportunities for our members to succeed, we also work with our partners to attract new businesses, tourism, and events to the area.
Discounts: Increase your buying power through members-only cost-saving programs and discounts.
Our members saved over $83,000 last year in Bureau of Worker’s Compensation premium discounts alone, and we like to think of all that money going back into the bottom line of our local economy. The Chamber also offers discounts with Anthem Health Insurance, Chamber Energy Program, and for prescription drug coverage, and members are eligible for discounts on ads and marketing in our publications. Learn more about our cost saving affiliate programs.