What Does a 5-Star Accreditation Mean to a Chamber of Commerce?

Chamber News,

What does a 5-Star Accreditation mean to a Chamber of Commerce?

By: Tiffany Esposito, MBA, CCE, IOM, APR, President & CEO, SWFL Inc. 

Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded SWFL Inc. with a designation of Accredited with 5 Stars. It’s a major distinction for our organization and sets us apart from other chambers not only locally but in the state. But to someone not familiar with the chamber industry, what does the five-star accreditation mean?  

SWFL Inc. was presented with five stars for the fourth consecutive time for our sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community. According to Raymond P. Towle, U.S. Chamber Vice President, Federation Relations and IOM, when chambers of commerce earn the distinction of being Accredited, it truly is a mark of excellence for the organization, its staff and its leadership. The designation recognizes the positive impact SWFL Inc. has had within our community, and it honors our commitment to continuing to serve local businesses. From connecting small business owners with needed resources to advocating on behalf of their region with lawmakers, SWFL Inc. has convened thoughtful leaders to strengthen the collective voices of our members.  

Furthermore, the purpose of the U.S. Chamber's Accreditation Program is to facilitate continuing excellence in the chamber industry and to foster a pro-business environment across America. To receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in its operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, communications and technology. This extensive self-review can take 6-9 months to complete. 

Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members.    

We are proud to earn the Five-Star Accreditation for the fourth consecutive time. As one of only seven chambers of commerce in Florida to earn a Five-Star Accreditation, this designation confirms the positive impact we have throughout Southwest Florida. Our Board of Directors and team work tirelessly to promote and protect the business community and we are thrilled to be recognized for these accomplishments.  

Earning our Five-Star Accreditation isn’t the only win we’re celebrating. August 4th of this year will be the second-year anniversary of SWFL Inc., a celebration of the day we created a free membership for our Lee, Collier and Charlotte County businesses. In just two years since the transition, we’re proud to say we’ve grown from 636 members to over 3,000! For more information on SWFL Inc., give us a call at (239) 992-2943 or visit SWFLinc.com.