Venango Chamber not affiliated with U.S. Chamber
Recently, I have had several chamber members inquire whether or not the Venango Chamber is a member of the U.S. Chamber and if any of their dues support the activities of the U.S. Chamber. The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce does not currently hold membership in the U.S. Chamber. The Venango Chamber does belong to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. While we reserve the right to lobby for certain positions, we typically choose not and we don’t endorse candidates. Local chambers are often, but not always, paying members of their state and national chambers of commerce. This connection is one of voluntary membership and does not extend to control or governance. These organizations often provide business information tools that are useful to our organization and our members but we understand the diversity of our membership and for that reason do not align ourselves with them politically.
We have had occasions to become involved in regional and state wide issues that have obvious bearing on our members and the business community. Most notably was our support of the repeal of Act 44 which called for the tolling of I-80. Along with other Chambers throughout Pennsylvania, we actively lobbied our legislators to this end. The Chamber initiated a meeting and letter writing campaign to save the commercial air subsidy to the Venango Regional Airport and is now participating in the Save Our Service campaign to increase ridership on Gulfstream. This is crucial to the future of the service to our region. The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to being a leading business advocate for our members and all business in the region. However, member dues are only used for general operating expenses and are only subsidized by our fund raising efforts. Any activities which our board determines worthy of our financial contributions are only funded as our members respond to specific requests.
If you would like to read more about the history of Chambers of Commerce and how they operate take a look at this article Chambers of Commerce: The Basics , published by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.