ED Message: Back to the Basics – Who Are We and What Do We Do?
Posted in August 2017
By Wendy Laros
With nearly 100 new member businesses joining the Chamber this past year, it seems like a good time to talk about the basics of our organization – who are we and what do we do?
Who are we?
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization made up of 500 member businesses that represent a wide range of industries in the private, non-profit, and even public sectors. Member businesses range in size from single-owner entrepreneurs to large, multinational corporations. Approximately 60% of our members are categorized as small businesses (1-10 employees) with medium, large, non-profits, associates and individuals making up the rest. Each member business can list representatives and we currently have over 1,700 representatives involved with our chamber today.
Contrary to what some might believe, we are not a government agency such as the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, an agency that provides business registration services. We field calls about business registration daily, but that’s not what we do.
What do we do?
The mission of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi. We do this by providing networking opportunities that help to promote the community and strengthen the local economy. Collectively we can represent business interests with government and lead political action.
Members are welcome to join committees to voice their concerns or promote initiatives. Recommendations from committees go to the board of directors, the leadership of the organization, for approval. Our staff is charged with executing the decisions made by the leadership. Our standing committees include Economic Development, Education and Workforce Development, Marketing, Membership and Sustainability. Each group meets monthly at our Chamber office; please check our event calendar at www.kona-kohala.com for the day and time.
What services and benefits do we provide?
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce provides multiple ways to market and promote our members. All members are listed in our online member directory at www.kona-kohala.com as well as listed in our published annual directory and business magazine The Source. Members have an exclusive opportunity to advertise in this publication. We also encourage members to send in press releases about their businesses to add to our monthly Kona-Kohala Connections newsletter or participate in our low-cost email advertisements called 15 on the 15th – sent to our list of 1,200 business leaders in our community. For more information about these and many more member marketing opportunities, please contact our marketing manager, Rae Nguyen, at email@example.com.
We also conduct events, expos, seminars and fundraisers throughout the year where members can meet, greet, learn, build relationships and have some fun! This includes our monthly AfterHours events, Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Mayor’s luncheon with Business Expo, and Annual Membership and Installation Luncheon that often has our governor as the keynote speaker. And, don’t forget our Annual Golf Tournament – a sold-out event each year!
For more information about membership services, please join us 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4 for Membership 101, a member orientation for new member businesses and representatives from our existing membership who may want to learn more.
Please stop by, call, or email anytime to learn more about who we are and what we do. The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is your organization and we are here to help you get the most out of your membership!
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- Posted in: August 2017