Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce is an action agency designed to meet the community's needs. The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization of individuals and businesses who band together to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of Norwalk. It is a community resource clearinghouse, a public relations counselor, a legislative advocate, and an information and promotion medium.
2. Who runs the Chamber?
A volunteer Board of Directors sets policy for the Chamber. The policies are implemented by the President/Executive Director and paid staff.
3. How does the Chamber work?
Committees are the backbone of the Chamber. They accomplish the organization's Goals and Objectives. The needs of the community and the policies of the Chamber determine the number and kinds of these action groups.
4. What does the Chamber do?
The variety of the Chamber's activities is virtually unlimited, depending on Norwalk's needs and the desire and ability of the Chamber to meet those needs. First, we are a business networking organization. Second, we serve as a community resource by providing information to people who are interested in relocating or visiting our city.
5. Who pays for the Chamber?
The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit organization that is funded by membership dues, annual fundraisers, and the City of Norwalk.
6. Can I file a complaint wtih you regarding a business?
The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce does not function as a regulatory agency. Therefore, we do not log complaints or take action against businesses. Chamber membership is strictly voluntary.
7. Can you tell me if a business exists in Norwalk?
Yes. We can tell you about a business; if they are a member of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. You can also look up a business in our Business Directory. If not a member, and they are not in the telephone book, you can contact the Business License Department at the City of Norwalk (562.929.5713) and verify if they do business in Norwalk.
8. Doesn't the Chamber primarily serve the needs of big businesses?
Many people are surprised to learn that 85% of all Chamber members are small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Many programs are designed with small business needs in mind.
9. I would like to volunteer to serve on a committee or task force at the Chamber. Who do I call?
Feel free to visit our Join A Committee page or give the Chamber Office a call at 562.864.7785. We look forward to hearing from you.
10. I don't have time to become heavily involved in Chamber activities. Does the decrease the value of my membership?
Not at all. As a matter of fact, only about 15% of all Members participate actively in volunteer positions with the Chamber. Your membership is designed to give you a tremendous return on your investment even if you don't have time to get heavily involved. If you do have the time, you can certainly reap extra benefits.
11. How do I submit atricles to the Chamber for use in the Norwalk Chamber News?
12. Why is the Chamber so involved in legislative issues?
Many companies, especially small businesses, don't have the time to attend county board meetings or travel to Sacramento on a regular basis. So the Chamber is here to represent your best interests and ensure California remains a business-friendly land of opportunity.
13. How does the Chamber decide how to assess membership investment?
In the vast majority of cases, the formula for setting the level of investment combines a minimum base rate plus a small fee per full time permanent employee. The system is designed to result in a "fair share" contribution by businesses of all sizes. In some special business categories a different formula is sometimes used, but the goal is always fairness.
14. I would like to let my customers and vendors know I am a member of the Norwalk Chamber. Can I use the Chamber's logo on my letterhead and business cards?
You are encouraged to show the pride you have in your membership by using the Chamber's logo on your printed materials and on your website. You may download the official version of the Chamber's logo, which includes the terms "Proud Member," at our Logo Usage Policy. You may also contact the Chamber Office at 562.864.7785 for assistance.
15. What is the charge for Voluntary Donations on my invoice?
The Voluntary Donations item on your Chamber invoice is strictly a voluntary contribution to help support the Chamber's day-to-day operation. The Chamber works very hard to protect your interest in Norwalk by acting as a united voice for business in Norwalk and throughout Los Angeles County. Although the contribution is strictly voluntary , it is put to good use, greatly appreciated and makes it possible for you to be heard by City, County and even State officials.
16. It seems like the Chamber is always trying to raise funds and is always asking for donations. What does the Chamber do with all that money?
Gifts and other donations to the Chamber are used to deliver the quality of programs and resources our members expect and deserve. We consider the financial support as an investment into our community because the Chamber not only aims to enrich member businesses, but to also enrich the working environment - our community. The Chamber is a non-profit member-driven organization. Without those donations and contributions we are not able to represent the best interests of business, our members and our community.
17. Does the Chamber receive any tax dollars for its operation?
No. The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce is a no-for-profit, 501(c) 6, organization and derives 100% of its income from membership dues, donations and gifts.
18. What does the Chamber do - beyond helping businesses - to improve the quality of life in Norwalk?
There are a number of ways the Chamber adds to the quality of life we all enjoy. The area in which we are most active is education. The Chamber continually looks for ways to partner the k-12 students with local businesses through programs such as Job Shadow Day , Principal For A Day , Scholarships and a Mentoring Program. Not only does the Chamber support children and their education, but also the education of business men and women. The Chamber works with institutions, such as Cerritos College, to help provide educational opportunities for everyone.