Western Chester County Chamber, the community connector, mediator and advocate.
Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce (WCCCC) is honored to be able to send you, a local resident, this publication twice a year. It is very important to us, to share the stories behind the businesses and families that make up our community. We want to make sure that our business owners and residents understand that the Chamber is a resource for businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. Every day we get the question, what is a Chamber of Commerce? To us, that question has an expansive answer, because as you can imagine, different types of businesses have very different needs and challenges. The Chamber of Commerce works to fill those needs and help businesses grow. How we do that, we’ll get into below, but let’s start with this simple statement; the Chamber is a connector, a mediator or an advocate for your organization.
What is the framework of a Chamber of Commerce?
The Chamber is a non-profit organization (not connected to government) that operates as a member-driven group made up of business owners, community leaders and professionals that collectively work together to make western Chester County a better place. Members of the Chamber share resources, connect, patronize one another and create a community network that drives growth. With its members’ interest as a driving force, the Chamber addresses issues in the community that affect the business climate and engage in initiatives that strengthen our local economy and community. Donna Horvath of Honeybrook Golf Club puts it, “I am truly amazed by the intensity and commitment of all the members, we really get a lot of information and have made a lot of great connections.” Any size or type of business can join the Chamber of Commerce, whether they’re a small new start-up or a company with 100+ employees. Chamber Membership has annual dues that provide members the access to the many resources the Chamber offers.
The answer of what can a membership with the Chamber of Commerce do for you, is entirely dependent on what your type of business needs. A retail store owner may not need the same things as a manufacturer, in the same way that a farmer is looking for resources much different than a dentist. WCC Chamber pushes up our sleeves and focuses on providing 5 branches of service to its members; education and resources, networking, advocacy and visibility.
Networking and building relationships are a popular avenue that members leverage when joining the Chamber. The relationships an individual can build through the Chamber’s network can lead to strong business or community partnerships. If your business ever runs into issues, you can tap into the Chamber network for guidance and insight. Matt Gorham Real Estate Team Keller Williams explains,“ WCCCC is authentic, you can build real relationships with real people. When I have a client moving to the area, I can call the local businesses around and really introduce them and show them the community through my Chamber connections.”
The Chamber hosts 35+ events a year where professionals can connect. We host smaller casual networking events and large signature networking events for members to attend. For those that prefer less social atmospheres, the Chamber staff welcomes them to reach out for one on one consultations to discover what connections and introductions they are looking for to build their business.
Our programming of events touch on many topics and sizes. In addition to networking events, WCCCC hosts educational seminars on relevant business topics that are taught by seasoned professionals. In April and December the Chamber spotlights and connects skilled trade businesses through our Time for the Trades Initiative and in August we celebrate the strength of agriculture businesses to our local economy at the Taste of the Farm event. In between we also host many ribbon cuttings and grand openings, our Golf Outing, Home Show and Annual Dinner to name a few.
We also provide platforms for business owners to stay up to date on civic and regional community updates (Municipal Update Luncheon November 4, 2022) and insights on action and future plans in the area (Future Focus May 2023) as well as legislative and municipal roundtables and panels (Legislative Roundtable March 2023) so businesses can voice their local concerns to elected officials.
With so much going on around town these days, a major factor for businesses is their visibility and marketing. Chamber membership allows a business to elevate its positive brand recognition. We share news and updates from our business members with our network through our quarterly newsletter, this bi-annual magazine, our Checks In Show that reaches thousands of online viewers monthly, sponsorship visibility at events and through our social media platforms. Businesses can leverage these marketing outlets with their Chamber Membership to heighten their visibility across the region.
When it’s all said and done, community truly stands as the Chamber’s foundation. WCCCC and its members focus intently on leaving a better tomorrow for ChescoWest. Our Regional Planning Committee meets monthly to discuss infrastructure and transportation, workforce and education, and many other sectors that have a direct impact on doing business here. This one of the many committees we have that members can join if they’d like to increase their community input and engagement. WCCCC maintains relationships with many community partners to make sure that our businesses are in the know and connected to all the resources and information available to them. Cliff Masscotte of SERVPRO of Kennett Square / Oxford says, “ We’ve been involved for 5 years now with the Chamber, we’re also annual gold partners with WCCCC and it has been a fantastic asset to be a part of.”
Where is WCCCC?
Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s office has been located in the City of Coatesville since 1916. We were created when three leaders, A. F. Huston (Lukens Steel), Harry I. Schotter (Electric Light Company), and F. W. Harris (Midvale Steel Plant) came together during the big industrialization of the area with a goal to fill the growing needs of the business community. Since then, WCCCC has forged paths for businesses through the great depression, Black Monday, our present-day global pandemic and the tough times and positive revitalizations our communities have experienced in the last 106 years. During that time, we have expanded our area to serve the 24 municipalities that make up the western region of Chester County, fondly known as ChescoWest. Today our service area includes:
Atglen Borough, Borough of Modena, Borough of Parkesburg, Borough of South Coatesville, Caln Township
Christiana Borough, City of Coatesville, East Brandywine, East Nantmeal, East Fallowfield, Elverson Borough, Highland Township, Honeybrook Township, Honeybrook Borough, Sadsbury Township, Wallace Township, West Bradford, West Brandywine, West Caln, West Fallowfield, West Nantmeal, West Sadsbury, Valley Township
I encourage all business owners to visit Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce, pop in to one of our events and reach out to discover what can be next for your business or organization. Visit Westernchestercounty.com for more information or contact the Chamber at 610-384-9550 | Chamber@westernchestercounty.com