Do you work full time? What do you do anyway? These questions really puzzle us because at the chamber, we not only work full time, we work more than full time ... nights, weekends, you name it, to promote small businesses and to keep Fairfield economically viable in a sea of constant change, and to make Fairfield a vibrant community in which to live, work or do business.

I like what the ACCE (American Chamber of Commerce Executives) wrote back in 2008. It goes something like this: The best places to work tend to belong to their local chamber of commerce. Of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" in the United States and Canada, 94 of the recognized businesses are members of their local chamber, including all of the top 24.

Separately, ACCE found that in a random sampling of 100 companies in the Fortune 1,000, at least 75 were members of their local chamber.

Local chambers of commerce are associations of businesses that come together to improve the local economic climate and help members network and find new business. Strong employers link with and learn from like-minded peer companies through business-led civic organizations -- chambers of commerce.

The Fairfield chamber's programs are designed to connect the business community of Fairfield. Members of the chamber there is no other organization in the area that offers better variety, quality and frequency of networking planning, education and special events.

Consumers seem to expect chamber members to be better-than-average companies. A study by an Atlanta-based company last August found that consumers are 63 percent more likely to buy products from companies that they believe are chamber members.

For information about membership in the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, contact the chamber office at 203-255-1011 and talk to any member of the staff. They are all professionals and can tell you what you need to know about the Fairfield chamber's activities, and why it is the voice of business in the community.

Shop local, use

`Chamber Bucks'

It's time for graduations, Mother's Day, weddings, Father's Day, end-of-year events, and a change into seasonal clothing. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to purchase these items and any others you might need from local businesses. By shopping locally and supporting small business owners, you help to keep Fairfield's economy solvent.

We hope, also, that you will dig out those Chamber Bucks you might have hiding away in a desk drawer and use them. There is no expiration date on them, but they were paid for by a friend or a family member and are meant to be spent. Be sure that they are a part of the Fairfield chamber's current program and the words "Chamber Bucks" appear in the upper left-hand corner. Check the chamber's website for the most current list of participating merchants, too. It's www.FairfieldCTchamber.com. Chamber Bucks gift certificates are a nice way of giving a gift that can be readily selected by the recipient right here in town and the local merchants appreciate the support.

FAIRFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEW MEMBERS FOR APRIL:

- KATIE'S KITCHEN, Kate Wachtel, 259 Old Spring Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824

- DAWN M. ROY, LCSW, 540 Tunxis Hill Road, Fairfield, CT 06824

- FAIRFIELD FENCING ACADEMY, John Tejada, 85 Mill Plain Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824

More Information

FAIRFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEW MEMBERS FOR APRIL: • KATIE'S KITCHEN, Kate Wachtel, 259 Old Spring Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824 • DAWN M. ROY, LCSW, 540 Tunxis Hill Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 • FAIRFIELD FENCING ACADEMY, John Tejada, 85 Mill Plain Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824