March 15, 2017 / By Donna Reist, Corporate Marketing

How the Dayton Chamber Can Help Your Business

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) celebrated a milestone recently: its 110th anniversary. Today, the Chamber supports 2,400 businesses across nine counties—Butler, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, and Warren.  In addition to serving businesses, the Chamber fosters innovation and partners with business and community leaders to promote economic development in the region. It’s not surprising, given DACC’s famed founder, John Henry Patterson, who “… attracted and built a culture supportive of social entrepreneurs who refined his ideas and added their own—people like Charles F. Kettering, Edward Deeds, Thomas Watson, James Cox, and Arthur Morgan.” How does DACC—and chambers all over the U.S.—lend their support to local businesses and spur economic development?

How Do Local Businesses Benefit from a Strong Chamber?

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has earned five-star accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce. DACC demonstrates how it earns a distinction that less than 1 percent of all chambers in America can claim through a variety of programs for local businesses.

  1. Partnerships Help Businesses Save Money—DACC members benefit from the Chamber’s partnerships with prominent businesses to offer discounts on office supplies, shipping costs, electricity, healthcare and more—adding up to an average of $6 million in member savings Some programs extend those benefits to member employees as well.
  2. DACC Fosters Critical Connections—During dozens of events throughout the year, DACC brings together members for networking with other top business leaders and legislators.
  3. Lobbyist Advocate on Your Behalf—With three on-staff lobbyists, area businesses have a voice with leaders on local, state and federal levels. With input from members, DACC lobbyists promote legislation that supports local business and the region’s economy.
  4. Members Receive Unique Training Opportunities—Throughout the year, DACC hosts training workshops and other special events—as well as informative publications—on topics ranging from tips for small businesses to diversity and leadership. One DACC program, the Dayton/Miami Valley Safety Council, offers workplace safety programs to businesses across the region.

And by supporting local businesses, DACC helps to drive economic development.

What Does Economic Development Entail?

Economic development represents more than growth. Rather, it focuses on strengthening the economy and quality of life for the entire community through job retention and creation, which in turn grows income and the region’s tax base. Here are four ways that Chambers of Commerce like DACC—and its member businesses—help with economic development efforts.

  1. Encouragement for Young Leaders—The exodus of young residents is often cited as a reason for economic stagnation. It’s a vicious circle—without career opportunities and attractive living options, young people leave; without a vibrant workforce, new opportunities fail to materialize. Like many chambers, DACC understands the importance of engaging young professionals. The Generation Dayton program’s stated mission is to “… engage, inspire, retain, and attract talented young professionals in the Dayton region by providing opportunities to connect with peers, develop professional skills, build relationships with business and community leaders, voice opinions and concerns to decision-makers, volunteer to improve the surrounding community, and have a positive impact on others and the Dayton region.”
  2. Collaboration with Local Businesses—Chambers work with their member businesses to support economic development. A 45-year DACC member, Miller-Valentine Group has undertaken a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial building construction projects that support the needs of local citizens, whether its mixed-use developments that attract Millennials, revitalizing historic buildings for new uses or manufacturing builds that bring new jobs to the area.
  3. Strategic Programs with the Private Sector—Recognizing the importance of multi-prong economic development strategies, Chambers often partner with a variety of groups to promote growth. DACC, for example, runs the Dayton Area Logistics Association program on behalf of logistics and distribution companies, suppliers and support services given Dayton’s strategic location at the crossroads of America.
  4. Workforce Empowerment—In order to attract companies to a region, you need a well-prepared workforce. Chambers advocate for businesses and collaborate with academic institutions to ensure that the region has the right workforce mix to bring new businesses and fuel innovation and growth.

Congratulations on 110 years of supporting the dreams of innovators, entrepreneurs and local businesses that help the region grow and make the Dayton area a great place to live, work and play.