Vail Daily column: We’re stronger together | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: We’re stronger together

Henry Ford once stated, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Mr. Ford was right, of course. Working together often results in greater success than going at it alone, and working together is a key element of what makes Vail Valley Partnership successful in our community endeavors.

The fact is our community is stronger when we work together. From a business standpoint, Vail Valley Partnership provides your business with resources, information, advocacy and savings. We provide access to things that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve individually.

Why exactly should an organization join the Vail Valley Partnership?

1. Resources: Being a VVP member means joining Eagle County's largest business group, connecting you with over 800 businesses representing over one-third of the business community in the valley and representing over 80 percent of the workforce. Members receive access to the Vail Valley Partnership's marketing benefits to grow awareness of your business to locals and destination visitors; networking events to grow your professional network; and educational programming and signature program participation to grow your skill set.

There is strength and credibility in numbers and speaking with a combined voice. Vail Valley Partnership exists to serve our members, primarily by doing our part to build an environment in which your business can grow and succeed.

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2. Information: As a member of one of the largest business organizations in Colorado, Vail Valley Partnership members have access to a variety of information and research. Available research includes tourism research such as daily occupancy reports and airport operational reports, and business research such as demographics, monthly economic indicators and annual workforce studies. The weekly Vail Valley News & Views e-newsletter features economic analysis, community event details, member profiles, nonprofit spotlights and more.

3. Advocacy: Membership supports our continued efforts to enhance the business environment in the Vail Valley through efforts to build a business friendly Eagle County, provide a voice for business throughout the region and in Denver, grow air service at the Eagle County Regional Airport, support state-wide tourism efforts and to advocate for our mountain resort community on issues such as broadband access, workforce development and workforce housing. Your membership also supports our destination marketing efforts to promote the entire Vail Valley.

4. Savings: Members are eligible for complimentary entrance into Business After-Hours and Breakfast Scrambler networking events. Members also receive discounted member pricing to Vail Valley Partnership educational and recognition events including Annual Success Awards, Vail Valley Business Forum and Lobster Blue Jeans Pre-Season Party. Special member pricing also exists for participation in signature programs including Lodging Quality Assurance, Certified Vendor Program and Platinum Service Program. Members are eligible to participate in additional programs including the U.S. Chamber Small Business Network and our Office Depot affinity program.

EFFECTIVE BUSINESS STRATEGY

A national survey of 2,000 adults, conducted by The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta-based strategic consulting firm, reveals that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy because two-thirds of consumers believe that such companies use good business practices, are reputable, care about their customers and are involved in the community.

The study found consumer perceptions of chamber members to be positive in many ways:

When consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 49 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

Small businesses represent the vast majority of Vail Valley businesses, and the study indicates that chamber membership has consistent and powerful benefits for small business members.

For example, if respondents know that a small business is a member of its local chamber, then the business enjoys a 49 percent increase in its consumer favorability rating, a 73 percent increase in consumer awareness, a 68 percent increase in its local reputation and an 80 percent increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.

Most people know fairly well what their local chambers do; the study assessed the effect of this knowledge on perceptions of chamber members. The researchers said "any belief about the chamber of commerce — whether that belief was true or not — could have a significant positive impact on how someone views a member … he or she is more likely to think that the (member) company's products stack up well and have a favorable opinion toward the company."

There is strength and credibility in numbers and speaking with a combined voice. Vail Valley Partnership exists to serve our members, primarily by doing our part to build an environment in which your business can grow and succeed. We do what we do to positively influence the environment in which your business operates. We provide training through our educational programming, advice through our economic development efforts and research outputs, information, resources and support to the community, and the ability for our community to speak as one voice to regional and statewide groups.

Learn more about Vail Valley Partnership and join our collaborative efforts at VailValleyPartnership.com.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.