If you run a small business you should be a member of the local chamber of commerce. Most cities which 50,000 people in them have 5000 small businesses. Yet these same cities only have 500-1000 people in their chambers of commerce. There are many reasons for this. Some say it is a huge expense, which is somewhat short sided because you will get a good return on your chamber membership business through additional steady and loyal customers. Others negative comments might be, they never do anything for me. This to is an incorrect perspective in that you only get out what you put in or as JFK said, Ask not what your country can do for you. If you are a member of the chamber of commerce then you have an advantage over the 80 to 90 percent of the businesses who are not. If you participate you have another 80% advantage over other members who do not participate.It is important to attend chamber of commerce meetings. Since most of the people at these meetings will already know you, they will typically engage you in conversation and this will prevent you from meeting new people. You should be careful to mingle and go out of your way to meet new people at mixers. It really helps to have more than one uniformed employee at a chamber of commerce meeting or mixer.Another great idea is for you to go in and offer free certificates to your business. You can offer to do this for your fellow business person who cannot attend and ask them to do this for you on the meetings you have scheduling conflicts with. If you cannot make a meeting you can arrange to reciprocate at a later meeting. This works killer. It makes both of you look great and it permeates teamwork. It is what separates you from the competition. What competition? Huh, they are not even members of the local chamber of commerce. Think about it.