Our members say it best:
My membership with the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce has been a great asset to my business. I started my business June of 2013 while I was still working in corporate America. I wanted to build the business up while I still had a steady paycheck. After one year of juggling these two ventures, with little success, I quit my job and started to pursue my business startup full time. I was a small business with little to no local connections. Being relatively new to the Gulf Coast, I knew very few people.
I joined the chamber in October of 2013 at the suggestion of a friend. There was a business expo scheduled and I could showcase my new carpet cleaning business to a whole audience that had never heard of me. I made a few contacts during the expo, one of which ended in a contract which I still have today.
After joining the chamber, I started receiving notifications of events being promoted; ribbon cuttings, chamber socials, events in the local community, etc. What a great way to meet new people and network. I started attending the ribbon cuttings and with the friendly, family atmosphere you feel at all of the events, I became an ambassador for the chamber without even realizing it.
One of the members of the chamber noticed I was attending many of functions and struck up a conversation with me. She soon hired me to do a job for her. The next event after completing the job, she literally took me by the hand and introduced me to everyone at the event and many events to follow. That’s when my business started to take off. Through the Executive Director, Tina Ross-Seamans, of the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, I was introduced to a facility manager for the City of Biloxi. I now have many accounts through the city that I have been working for close to three years.
I really enjoy attending the ribbon cuttings. Again, it is a great way to meet new people and expose my business to a new audience. Much better than trying to cold call a business. I learn what services and products are available locally and I get to let those attending the ribbon cutting learn about my business. Recently, I attended a ribbon cutting at a senior living facility and left my card with them. Within a week, they called me for an “audition” cleaning. I came in and did my magic, saving them several thousands of dollars in potential carpet replacement costs. Now I am their “go-to” carpet cleaner for a 22,000 sq ft facility. All because I came to check them out at a ribbon cutting and was able to drop my card. Networking is awesome!
Approximately 50% of my gross income has been a direct result of the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. I been referred from the customers I acquired from the chamber or through chamber members who know about my business, telling their friends. The more involvement I have with the chamber, the more jobs I get from the people I meet. Investment-wise, the nominal membership fee has paid for itself so many times over.
My membership with the chamber has created great friendships with other members, brought me out of my shell, taught me how to promote my business, and network with others. I recommend to everyone to join the Biloxi Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. It is well worth their time and money in so many ways.
Philip Hollingsworth – Floor Lord, Owner
I was born in Biloxi, at the old beach hospital. I graduated from Biloxi High. I returned, to Biloxi, to practice dentistry for 40 successful years. Although I was blown away by hurricane Katrina, I would not leave my dear home, family and friends. I have now opened a new business in Biloxi, which centers on Solar Electrical Energy, (EDEE- electrical device for economic energy). There are several Biloxians in the business with me.
There is only one reason why I strongly support the Biloxi Bay Chamber. The Chamber IS Biloxi… It supports Biloxi. It promotes Biloxi. It keeps Biloxi in the forefront of its interest and considerations. It strives to make Biloxi a special place, where not only I, but everyone, would like to call home. The Biloxi Bay Chamber holds us up, stands behind us and encourages our advancements. Ask me about my great great grandfather, my great grandfather, both of my grandfathers, and my father, and I will tell you about REAL Biloxians. That is what I feel the Bay Chamber is doing. Promoting more REAL Biloxians.
Dr. C. H. “Hank” Roberts – EDEE, LLC – Solar Systems
“Membership in the Biloxi Bay Chamber is important to me because it has changed my life. I was marketing an energy drink that was distributed online when I was invited by a dear friend to check out the Biloxi Bay Chamber at one of their Bay Connects. I joined shortly after. I signed up to participate as an Ambassador, attending all Ribbon Cuttings, helping at Bay Connects and other events held by the Chamber. One day, I was asked to take photos of our FAM tour. I was glad to volunteer. Little did I know that day would change the course of my life? Soon I was the photographer taking photos at all the Chamber events. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Alabama, so I enrolled in their Certification Program for Photography and completed the required courses within a year.Since joining and participating in the Biloxi Bay Chamber, I have served as an Ambassador, VP of Public Relations and as the official Photographer working closely with Tina Ross-Seamans, Executive Director and the Board of Directors. I started my photography business last year and have not had to advertise because of the friendships I have made through the Chamber. Business is all about relationships! Doing the right thing with the right people! I found the right people in the Biloxi Bay Chamber!”
Albert J. Henrion, Jr. – AJH Photography“Ambassador of the Year – Two years in a row, 2009 & 2010!”