The Business Chamber

We Are a 5 Star Chamber!

We Are 5 Star! ​On February 23rd, 2010, the Melbourne Regional Chamber was originally accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a 5 Star Chamber, heralding it as in the Top 1% of all Chambers of Commerce nationwide.  The Melbourne Regional Chamber was re-accredited at the 5 Star Chamber level on March 10th, 2015.
​The United States Chamber of Commerce provides four levels of accreditation. Chambers that pass the accreditation process review, re-completed every five years, are accredited at one of the following levels:
  • Accredited (lowest)
  • 3 Star Chamber
  • 4 Star Chamber
  • 5 Star Chamber (most prestigious)
97.17% of all Chambers in the United States are not accredited at all. This does not diminish their value to their members or geographical business community, It simply means that a third party has not reviewed their Chamber operations to determine if they are operating at the highest level of professionalism, following all state and federal laws, and have adopted best practices in the industry. 

How to Be a 5 Star Accredited Chamber:

A 5 Star Chamber is a Chamber with A++ grades across the board. ​To become a 5 Star Chamber, the US Chamber of Commerce accreditation process reviews a Chamber's operation in the following eight areas for proficiency and adherence to industry best practices (in many cases, 5 Star Chambers are CREATING BEST PRACTICES):
  1. Governance (Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Mission, Organizational Charts, Board Meeting Minutes, functional Board processes & policies, Chamber Committee descriptions, Staff job descriptions)
  2. Finance (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) followed, produces Financial Statements, approves & follows Annual Budget, has & adheres to Financial Policies, maintains Insurance, Annual Audit conducted, meets IRS filing requirements, withholds & reports Employee Taxes)
  3. Human Resources and Staff (distinct roles & Job Descriptions for all Staff, Personnel Policies, have & follow Employee Handbook, conduct Employee Orientation / On-boarding program, Employee Performance Reviews)
  4. Government Affairs (has & updates Annual Legislative Agenda, maintains or affiliates with a Political Action Committee (PAC), communicates & has solid relations with elected officials at various levels of government, Grassroots Network)
  5. Program Development (maintains a Strategic Plan, understands issues related to segments of Membership, has contingency plans for impending factors that may affect Chamber)
  6. Technology (functioning Telephones & Computers & Mailing Systems, updates & secures Computers, Backs-up Data regularly, implements & maintains Technology Plan, Data Protection & Privacy Policies, has & updates Website, owns Domain Names, has & updates Membership Database)
  7. Communications (maintains & uses Marketing Plan with clear annual goals, uses diverse forms of media to promote Chamber & its Events, writes & distributes Press Releases, communicates with Members via Mass Email)
  8. Facilities (projects appropriate Business Image, adequate Safety Procedures, Annual Safety Professional Inspections, meets OSHA, maintains Office Equipment, has Crisis Plan in place, trains & educates Staff on Crisis Plan)
​Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the only program of its kind that defines excellence in Chamber planning and recognizes Chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities. 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.

Current Statistics on Accredited U.S. Chambers:

​Of the 7,022 Chambers in the United States, 206 of these are accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at some level (as of November 2016).  Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a prestigious honor that distinguishes the high quality, expertise, and strong leadership displayed by accredited state and local Chambers of Commerce.
 
The U.S. Chamber’s Accreditation process certifies four levels of Accreditation (from lowest to most prestigious):
Accredited, 3 Star Chamber, 4 Star Chamber, and 5 Star Chamber.
5 Star Chambers
(accredited at the most prestigious level)
represent the Top 1.49%
of ALL Chambers nationwide!
  • ​18 Chambers in the U.S. are “Accredited” or higher (Chambers Accredited or higher represent the top 2.93% of all Chambers)
  • 22 Chambers in the U.S. are “3 Star Chamber” or higher (3 Star Chambers or higher represent the top 2.67% of all Chambers)
  • 61 Chambers in the U.S. are “4 Star Chamber” or higher (4 Star Chambers or higher represent the top 2.36% of all Chambers)
  • 105 Chambers in the U.S. are “5 Star Chamber” (5 Star Chambers represent the top 1.49% of all Chambers)
​​​​Accredited Chambers (at all levels) represent the Top 2.93% of U.S. Chambers