Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Chamber of Commerce?

A chamber of commerce is a membership-based business association whose goal is to further the interest of businesses. Chambers of commerce are independent non-governmental organizations and may cover geographies or regions (individual municipalities, communities, business districts, states, metropolitan areas, countries) or special interests (specific trade industries, ethnic groups, etc.)

All chambers of commerce differ in terms of programmatic offerings and primary areas of focus. Many large/regional chambers of commerce focus on advocacy, policy, or pro-business lobbying. While smaller chambers of commerce (municipalities or business districts) tend to focus on providing communal amenities like marketing, advertising, meeting space, networking, and organizing events or festivals.

In the United States, chambers of commerce are typically listed as 501c6 not-for-profits that are exempt from federal taxes but usually pay state, local, and sales taxes. Chambers of commerce derive most of their income from membership fees and revenue from events, sponsorship, and advertising.

Some chambers of commerce may receive partial government funding for participating in economic development activities, tourism promotion (CVBs), or business improvement districts (known as SSAs in Illinois).


How can I get involved in Edgewater Chamber?

Get involved in Edgewater Chamber by becoming a member, attending events, and participating in committees. Maybe after participating in some committees and getting involved, you’d make a good fit by serving on Edgewater Chamber’s Board of Directors.


How does Edgewater Chamber help my business?

Membership to Edgewater Chamber is just like your gym membership. It only pays off if you show up and use it!

Don’t just sit at home and assume that being a member of Edgewater Chamber is automatically going to generate new leads for you, or step in to save your business during hard times (we are not superheroes, unfortunately). For membership to be worth your while you have to SHOW UP and GET INVOLVED.

Here are a couple easy ways to leverage your Evanston Chamber membership:

  1. Promote your events, promotions, job postings, and more using the member portal on edgewater.org – if you upload your events, promotions, and job posting to the appropriate pages, we can use Edgewater Chamber’s e-newsletter and social media feeds to provide an extra signal boost
  2. Attend events (like a Happy Hour networking session) and meet other chamber members
  3. Tag us on social media so we can re-post to our full audience
  4. Sponsor an event (like the Edgewater Monday Market)

Participating in Edgewater Chamber is a long-term pay-off. The biggest return on your investment is always going to be the highest level of involvement, like sponsoring a large event and/or joining Edgewater Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Serving on the Board of Directors is an excellent way to become a leader in the Edgewater business community and make connections and partnerships that last a lifetime.


Will Edgewater Chamber sponsor my event?

Unfortunately, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce is not a foundation or a tourism organization with a large endowment or budget to support outside events. We do not actively sponsor outside organizations, events, festivals, or fundraisers. 

Edgewater Chamber does support our members through communications and marketing. If you’re an Edgewater Chamber member with a big event, fundraiser, or special offer to promote, please submit this information to us in the member portal on the website and we can help promote it on our channels.


How do I become a member of Edgewater Chamber of Commerce? How much does it cost to become a member? What benefits do I receive as a member?

The easiest way to answer all of these questions, to see our pricing structure, and to register to become a member is by going to the membership page on our website. You can pay by credit card online or by mailing us a check.

(We promise that it is much easier and much faster to become a member on our website than by calling us or showing up in person at our office. Our staff is very small and not always at our desks during business hours.)