An inside look at Lakeland’s Chamber of Commerce

Get to know this not-for-profit business organization.

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce overlooks a scenic view of Lake Morton | Photo by LALtoday

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We may be biased, but we think Swan City is the best place to live — and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce plays a big role in that. We’re setting out to answer questions about our city’s Chamber of Commerce.

What is it?

Don’t let the long name scare you — we’ll break it down bit by bit. Simply put, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a:

  • Catalyst for business success
  • Convener of leaders and influencers
  • Champion for our thriving community

We like to think of the Chamber of Commerce as a cheerleader for Lakeland’s business community — celebrating success, offering support, and holding up the megaphone to amplify the voices of those who need it most (think: small businesses, startups, etc.).

By combining charitable donations and thorough knowledge of Lakeland’s metrics, the Chamber is able to equip local businesses with vital support to help influence public policy and improve Lakeland’s quality of life.

If you’re looking for another reason to be a proud Lakelander, our chamber is the largest in Polk County with nearly 1,200 investor businesses. It ranks in the top 1% of all chambers in the nation and is one of only 128 chambers recognized by the US Chamber of Commerce with a 5-Star Accreditation. This distinction is given for sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive community impact.

What does it do?

The organization tackles a wide variety of activities, from hosting events and growth workshops to promoting community engagement. This year, the Chamber held Politics in the Park on Tuesday, Aug. 9 to encourage awareness of local and state politicians. During the month of September, the Lakeland Chamber hosted New Business 101, a four-week workshop for small businesses that covers business planning, marketing, branding, and licensing.

Who’s involved?

Lakeland’s Chamber of Commerce is made up of five initiatives (AKA committees):

  • Advocacy
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Investor Experience
  • The Works Business Resource Center
  • Events

One way the Chamber reaches the community is by highlighting individuals and organizations. Events such as the Emerging Leader Awards and Athena Awards (which took place on Thursday, Aug. 25 and Thursday, Sept. 8, respectively) shine a spotlight on local movers and shakers in Lakeland.

How can I get plugged in?

The Lakeland Chamber has eight different membership plans with varying opportunities and tiers of investment. Members can benefit from connecting and promoting their businesses and learning from professional development partners.

Ready to get involved? The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is accepting applicants for each of its initiatives.