Michigan Chamber of Commerce protects, connects & strengthens businesses
With almost 45 years of experience in the metal fabrication business, DeWys’ team including Mark Schoenborn, the company’s president, thought they had seen everything – until the pandemic.
The employees at the Marne-based company, DeWys Manufacturing, quickly had to pivot. Some employees left due to concerns about COVID-19 while others required flexibility for childcare and other issues.
For Schoenborn, who started sweeping floors at the company when he was 16 years old and worked his way up to become president, it was a challenge he never expected to face.
But thanks to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, he didn’t have to face it alone.
“The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in helping us navigate the pandemic,” said Schoenborn, who has been a member since 2014. “They are always listening and connecting with us on new regulations and how they are fighting for the best interest of business.”
Michigan’s leading statewide business advocacy organization, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is the unified voice of thousands of members — working to protect, connect and strengthen Michigan businesses.
“They are huge advocates for business,” he said. “They have helped us save so much money, and those savings easily pay for the cost of joining.”
Here are three ways that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce helps members take their business to the next level.
1. Protecting members
Voted Michigan’s No. 1 most effective membership lobbying organization 16 years running, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping its members succeed. It does this by supporting pro-business policies in Lansing — and helping Michigan businesses run efficient operations that protect them from higher taxes, over-regulation and red tape.
“The Michigan Chamber exists for one purpose: to help our members succeed,” said Amanda Toy, senior director of corporate partnerships and strategic opportunities for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “Because when businesses can grow and thrive, our economy, communities and families do, too. We do this by listening to our members and serving their needs.”
The Michigan Chamber’s team of lobbyists works tirelessly to advance good public policy and protect against anti-business legislation, and members can help to advance issues by participating in policy committees and testifying at committees.
Schoenborn has experienced those efforts first-hand.
“The recent laws that were being pushed forward were extremely concerning to our business, and they have advocated for us and kept in close communication on how things were progressing,” he said.
Members receive timely advocacy and legislative updates from Michigan Chamber staff and are able to read the latest Capitol news every week with special subscription to MIRS.
“Every business is different so we customize their experience based on what they need and how we can have the most positive influence on their operations,” Toy said.
2. Connecting members
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce also helps to connect members to a wide variety of resources — ranging from networking events and in-demand information and trainings to a secure online member directory.
“There is an overwhelming need for businesses to connect with peers to have big-picture conversations on key issues,” Toy said. “Members enjoy free webinars, discounted professional development as well as engaging signature events led by industry leaders talking real issues and real solutions.”
Schoenborn and his employees have enjoyed having access to webinars that have helped them navigate the pandemic. He also enjoyed being one of the Michigan Chamber’s spotlight companies.
“They came on site and did a very thorough review of our business,” he said. “Their marketing team is great and really helped to promote our business. They have been a great advocate for us.”
3. Strengthening Michigan businesses
The Michigan Chamber not only helps to protect and connect — it also gives members the information they need to succeed and strengthen their business.
Members have access to savings for their utilities, lighting and telecommunications — something the Schoenborn has found extremely valuable.
“We utilized them to review our utility bills and found some substantial savings for us,” Schoenborn said.
Another important benefit is free legal advice on unemployment law and unemployment insurance.
“Not all businesses have the capacity to have their own general counsel on staff,” Toy said. “Members love the access to free employment law questions to be sure they are taking care of their team, staying compliant and having access to any pop-up issue where they need quick advice. This is worth its weight in gold, especially for some of our smaller to medium-sized members.”
Other membership benefits include free access to tax policy and environmental health and safety regulations.
"We couldn’t be more proud of the hard-working people in Michigan who day after day grind it out to help their team and company – and local communities – succeed,” Toy said. “Our crew at the Michigan Chamber has a diverse skill set and is armed with resources, information, connections and heart to serve and help our members.”
To learn more about a membership at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce can boost your business to the next level, visit michamber.com/membership.