Without professional networking channels, businesses would have to communicate via soup cans connected by strings or messages encoded in the daily crossword. Talk shop more efficiently with today’s Groupon: for $199, you get a one-year individual or business membership to the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, good for businesses with up to 30 employees (up to a $620 value). Memberships must be activated by December 31.
With a membership of more than 1,200 firms and 1,700 individuals, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce connects savvy professionals with educational and social events and helps businesses to flourish with exclusive benefits. Businesspeople mingle at power breakfasts and after-hours events to discuss corporate concerns, commercial opportunities, or how to succeed without really trying. Educational forums and seminars hone skills as members can take advantage of low-cost, direct-mail opportunities, access demographic and business information, or purchase the Chamber’s member mailing lists for a small fee. Discounts from vendors such as Staples and Constant Contact keep everyday costs low, and the Chamber’s website nudges browsers toward members’ sites with direct links.
Members can cite 90% of their fees when making tax deductions as an ordinary and necessary business expense, allowing members to grow their collections of pending government forms. A portion of all membership fees goes to the nonprofit Topeka Chamber Foundation’s charitable, scientific, and educational grants. The Foundation’s training programs help community members to secure jobs, and microloans give socially and economically disadvantaged community members a hand up.