The Impact Behind Merger of TwinWest, Minneapolis Regional Chambers of Commerce
Two of the Twin Cities largest chambers of commerce have merged. The Plymouth-based TwinWest Chamber of Commerce has announced a merger with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. The two groups began exploring a merger before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“We began exploration about nine months ago,” said TwinWest president Shannon Full, who will become vice president of the new group.
“We brought the chairs of the board of both of the organizations together in January and really started to elevate the work we were doing. Then COVID hit. And it did actually add an expedited fashion to this for numerous reasons. But the main reason was we know coming out of this we need to put all of the necessary resources possible together and leverage those to help our businesses recover. So that’s really the motivating factor for the consolidation.”
The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce has 11 northwest suburban communities in its service area. They include Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope and Plymouth. The Minneapolis Regional Chamber serves the 11-county Twin Cities metro. TwinWest has more than 700 members. The Minneapolis Regional Chamber has 1,500.
So what’s in this for small businesses?
The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives projects that between 25 to 30 percent of U.S. chambers will not operate in the same form post-pandemic. For TwinWest, 83 percent of the businesses affiliated with the group have 50 employees or less.
“Particularly for small businesses it gives a greater access to a larger network,” said Full. “Small businesses join us to they can create visibility. They can create connections. They can build their business. This will allow access.”
Full says the two chambers have about 60 dual members leaving opportunity for growth. She expects the combined group to create a stronger public policy platform.
“Both organizations have done a lot in public policy. This will allow us to have a collective vision around pro business policy. So that we’re able to represent both the suburban voice and the urban core voice,” Full said.
It will take 30 to 60 days to complete the merger. During that time a joint board will decide on a name for the organization.
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