Engaging Your Chamber of Commerce

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This training walks through the process of engaging your local Chamber of Commerce. Given their prominent voice within many communities, building relationships with your local Chamber can help grow your members’ support for the Energy Innovation Act.

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/topics/engaging-influencers
TOC and Guide Section
 
What is a Chamber of Commerce?

Chambers of Commerce are local, non-profit membership organizations whose members are local employers. They are governed by a president and a board, often lean conservative, and advocate for the voice of local business priorities. They are influential in communities because of  their economic power.

Beyond local Chambers, many larger cities and regions also feature affinity chambers, who specifically organize around businesses operated by women, people of color, or the LGBT community. To find out more about your own local Chamber, search for "local chamber" along with your community's name to see what results come up. You can also reference the US Chamber's page here, which accredits local Chambers across the country.

How Do I Engage My Chamber?

Start by developing a relationship with your Chamber. Treat them with respect, admiration, and appreciation, just as you would your member of Congress. Meet with them often to build a long-term, trusting relationship, finding ways that you can be useful. Here’s how to get started:

  • Identify someone you know at the Chamber. You can look up members on your Chamber’s website and ask your network who they know.
  • If you are part of a local business, consider joining your local Chamber.
  • Invite a member or board member to coffee.
  • Attend Chamber mixers to form relationships.
  • Propose a presentation on market-based solutions to managing climate change.
What Should I Ask my Chamber?

Remember that Chambers can take many different actions to indicate their support for the Energy Innovation Act to your member of Congress. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Attend a lobby meeting
  • Attend an editorial meeting
  • Issue a press release
  • Engage their colleagues

In your outreach, consider highlighting this recent statement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the importance of addressing climate change: 

“Inaction on climate is not an option.”

Additional ways to work together include:

  • Meeting with a trade association or union
  • Hosting a Congress member at a site visit
  • Writing a joint op-ed
  • Issuing a statement of support for climate solutions
  • Endorsing the Energy Innovation Act

Remember: Our goal is to continually demonstrate to Congress that there is strong support in-district for the Energy Innovation Act. We want our members of Congress to feel certain that voting in favor of climate solutions is what their constituents want. Gaining the support of local Chambers is a key way to demonstrate this support from some of the most important employers in your district.

Remember: Our goal as a volunteer network is to continually demonstrate to Congress that there is strong support in our districts for the Energy Innovation Act. We want our members of Congress to feel 100% certain that voting in favor of climate solutions is what their constituents want. Gaining the support of local chambers is a critical way to demonstrate this support from some of the most important employers in your district.
 

The Jay Butera Story: South Florida Case Study

“When I walked into Congressman Curbelo’s office with three Chamber of Commerce presidents and three mayors, it totally changed the conversation” 
- Jay Butera

 

CCL Advisory Board Member, Jay Butera worked extensively with influential members of the South Florida Community to get support from Representatives Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for federal climate policies. Both went on to join and help lead the Climate Solutions Caucus. 

First, Jay started by collecting endorsement letters from influential members of the community, such as local mayors, professors, university presidents, and the local Chambers of Commerce. Jay and CCL Florida volunteers asked these leaders to complete letters of support for their members of Congress.

Jay's team then scheduled meetings with Congress and delivered these signed endorsement letters to the district offices. While this was impactful, by far the greatest impact came when they brought local community leaders and business owners to lobby meetings in the members of Congress's district offices. 

 Getting the involvement of local community influencers in CCL lobby meeting shows strong support in district for climate action. Think about helping your local chapter with this sort of community outreach and be amazed how far it gets you!

Length
Press play to start the video (7m 33s)
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6089518
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Agenda & Overview
(from beginning)

Jay Butera Case Study
(1:18)

What Are Chambers & How To Engage
(2:22)

Ways To Collaborate 
(5:31)

Instructor(s)
Greg Hamra
Downloads

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (7m 33s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline

 

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Agenda & Overview
(from beginning)

Jay Butera Case Study
(1:18)

What Are Chambers & How To Engage
(2:22)

Ways To Collaborate 
(5:31)

Instructor(s)
Greg Hamra
Downloads
Go Deeper
Discussion Topic
To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Grasstops Outreach
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Slides, PowerPoint (.pptx)
Training Resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Statement on Climate Change

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

The resources above are specific to this training, see all resources associated with Grasstops Engagement.