February 22nd, 2010 by Alex Coté
Visit your local chamber of commerce website and you are bound to see list of reasons to join – the benefits of membership. Among the most common cited: networking, advocacy and public policy, awareness and marketing, and of course, local credibility. And now we can add another to the list – one uniquely relevant to small businesses in today’s economic landscape: Attracting credit.
According to a Cortera study produced for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), chamber members consistently received better credit scores than other businesses in their region, their states, and across the country as a whole. The study covers 10 regional chambers to ensure both geographic and economic diversity. To a chamber, member businesses scored well above 600, compared to the national average of 557, even in hard hit states like Oregon and Florida.
When we asked the respective chamber execs why such a favorable discrepancy exists, some suggested it matched with the responsible corporate citizen profile of the average chamber member. Others pointed to a great sense of partnership and local commerce responsibility – local businesses helping each other out by paying their bills more rapidly and ensuring fluid cash flow for all. Still others pointed to the types of programs chambers put in place to ensure members were always up to speed on the best finance, accounting and credit practices. Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: When comes to credit in this era of risk adverse lenders and trading partners, chamber members enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.