PORTSMOUTH—It’s not often Chambers of Commerce reinvent the wheel when it comes to their membership types. But the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth has done just that: They’ve added a category called Sole Proprietor.
This new membership is specifically designed for companies of one who do business under a chosen business name rather than the name of an individual.
The Sole Proprietor offering solves a problem. “Previously potential members interested in trying membership in the Chamber had to make a choice between an Individual Membership or a General Business Membership,” said Nate Hastings, membership and business development manager for the Chamber Collaborative.
According to Hastings, Individual Memberships are best suited for retirees, folks looking to network outside of their current employment situation, and artists doing business under their name. Because of this the membership displays only as John/Jane Doe on the Chamber’s system.
General Business Memberships are just that: general business memberships. They are designed to be a broad umbrella fitting as many businesses as possible under them. Unfortunately, this is not the greatest fit for companies of one.
“I would like as many folks as possible to become aware of this new option offered by the Chamber Collaborative. Ideally this would lead to at least a rush of interest, if not a rush of signups,” said Hastings.
So just how did this change come about? Collaboration, of course!
The Sole Proprietor idea came up during an honest conversation with Krystal Hicks, a very active member when she was part of a very large company within our market, according to Hastings. But “Now that she has her own business—JOBTALK—she wasn’t finding her fit within the Chamber.”
According to Hicks, founder of JOBTALK, a Portsmouth-based career counseling practice, "The Seacoast is such a great place to start a business because the entrepreneurial network here is so supportive."
"As helpful as the Chamber was to me when I was in corporate, I didn't feel the same connection to their offerings and events when I became a one-woman-shop. This addition of a Sole Prop option is more than just a new membership and price; it's the start of a whole new sub-community within the Chamber that allows us to connect with other businesses who share our unique challenges and needs."
For information, visit https://portsmouthchamber.org/member/newmemberapp/, and then skip to step 5 you’ll see all of the membership types. Email Nate Hastings, at Nate@PortsmouthCollaborative.org for further information.
The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth celebrates its 105th year as a Chamber. Learn more about the Chamber at PortsmouthCollaborative.org.