Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
The Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce is a cornerstone of the Sturgis community with a long history. Founded in 1946, our Chamber has seen the community grow and develop through several decades - 2021 will mark our 75th year promoting business and tourism in the Sturgis area! Our organization is a 501(c)6 nonprofit led by a Board of Directors and managed by a staff of three - the Executive Director, the Office & Membership Coordinator, and the Receptionist & Events Coordinator. Together, our team ensures that the Chamber is fulfilling its mission: “The Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau advocates on behalf of its members and actively supports business, agriculture, and tourism resulting in an enhanced quality of place for the entire community.”
Chambers are often mysterious because they fulfill so many roles – many of which are behind-the-scenes. Our Chamber is also the Sturgis Visitors Bureau, so we have double the fun! What the public typically sees are our social media posts and newsletters, but we do SO much more. Here are a few highlights:
We are your advocate to the City of Sturgis, the Meade County Commission, Sturgis Economic Development, the regional and state Tourism Association, our district legislators, and other entities that help govern and shape our community. If our membership is in need, we are here to listen, collect your opinions, and help you share your insight! We also create opportunities for you to meet each other and share your views through committees and activities.
We collect news, updates, promo materials, and info about upcoming special offers, events, and job postings from our members. We do this by visiting your shops, calling to check-in, and emailing or mailing surveys and information requests. We then share this information far and wide (all day, every day!) by referrals, visitor packets, conversations with visitors at our Visitor Center, via email, via phone, on our website and social pages, and at local events and meetings! Our goal is to help our members SUCCEED!
Community Events & “Quality of Place”
Chambers are traditionally organizers of a variety of community events. We do this because events enhance the “quality of place” in Sturgis – they make it a better place to live with more things to do! They also offer businesses a chance to network together and meet the community’s residents. Our Chamber is pleased to offer numerous retail, networking, and agriculture events, plus business showcases, educational activities, and festivals!
A Chamber of Commerce is many things, but most notably it is a network for local businesses. Our goal is to support our Member network as much as possible by making connections – whether between businesses, between a business and a new customer or between a business and the community as a whole. We are not an advertising or marketing agency, but we do support your individual marketing efforts through our services and business network. We are not an event planner, but we do organize events specifically to give businesses the opportunity to support and give back to the community.
Belonging to a Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest, most traditional ways to lend credibility to your business. It shows the community that you are here not just to make sales, but to give back and help other businesses navigate business management alongside you. In an age of pop-up entrepreneurship, belonging to a Chamber definitively shows a business’s stability and permanence. Membership with the Chamber of Commerce allows your business to be listed in its Member Directory, the go-to location for finding the credible business of all types in the area.
In addition to networking and credibility, Chambers seeks to educate. Successfully starting a business is only the beginning – from that point on it is the business owner’s and employees’ responsibility to continue learning and growing to adapt your operations and strategy to an ever-changing world. The Chamber is here to provide educational opportunities for those who never stop learning, from those that have something to teach.
Chambers are unique in that they act as a liaison between the businesses and the residents of the community. One of the primary ways this is facilitated is through involvement opportunities – Member businesses can volunteer to be part of a Chamber committee, sponsor events, and serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Finally, a Chamber of Commerce is a way through which businesses can protect their interests by banding together. Think of the last obstacle your business faced – wouldn’t it be helpful to find a group of other business owners that have already successfully navigated that obstacle, or that are willing to team up to defeat it? Whether it is a logistic issue, a legislative one, or some other threat to a business’s interests, a Chamber can help bring people together to grow stronger and benefit the business community as a whole.
Your support of the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is more than simply a listing on our website – it’s a commitment to Sturgis’s business industry, way of life, and tourism economy! Thank you for your dedication for the last 75 years.