Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions. If the question you have is not answered below contact us or call (610) 376-6766.
Search by departments:
- Chamber Membership
- Professional Development & Training
- Financing, Real Estate & Development
- Events & Signature Programs
What does the Chamber do?
A Chamber of Commerce creates opportunities for professionals and businesses to connect and programs that support individual and business growth. GRCA offers networking, marketing, training, leadership opportunities, peer-to-peer learning and engagement. We champion business interests that bolster the growth of the economy and quality of life in the community.
Is the Chamber a government entity?
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance is a 501(3)c not-for-profit organization.
Can I use the Chamber’s offices to host my own meetings?
Chamber members can reserve board and training rooms at both GRCA locations in downtown Reading and Wyomissing.
Can I post job openings on your website?
GRCA members can post jobs on our site by filling out the form found by logging in to their Member Information Center. For help logging in, please email Melissa Hassler.
I want to host a ribbon cutting or special event. How can the Chamber participate?
GRCA members have access to our Ribbon Cutting Kit, please fill out our request form.
Who do I contact to become a member of the Chamber?
Please be in touch with a Member Services team member: Julie Larison, at email@example.com, or Melissa Hassler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does my business have to be located within Berks County to become a member?
No. GRCA membership is open to businesses with local operations or those that connect to businesses within Berks County or seeking to expand into the region.
Can my employees take advantage of our Chamber membership benefits too?
Yes. Membership benefits extend to all employees of a member company.
How does the Chamber help me improve my overall business operations?
There are a variety of pathways the Chamber provides to improve operations:
- For small business, GRCA offers the Team of Experts program, which provides 30 minutes of free consultation for a variety of operational areas.
- We also offer the Berks Family Business Alliance program that includes exclusive events and peer-to-peer engagement for small, family-owned businesses.
- For mid-to-larger size businesses, we have a finance & real estate team for expansion and investment concerns, as well as opportunities to get involved in advocacy initiatives that may impact business operations.
- Our training department provides two tracks for managers (lead and supervisor), as well as leadership programs to improve operational efficiency and employee retention.
- For workforce issues, we offer a quarterly Roundtable for HR managers to discuss trends, concerns and ways to improve talent attraction and retention.
- Also, as a Chamber member, your company will receive exclusive discounts to programs that can improve your bottom line. From email marketing to healthcare programs, the Chamber strives to include programs that will make a difference to your business.
We don’t do business locally so why should I be a part of the Chamber?
If your business is interested in expanding to the Greater Reading region, or if you are seeking data on the local economy, then joining the Chamber will provide your business with this information, as well as support GRCA’s efforts in growing and supporting the local economy through our economic and community development efforts. Learn more about GRCA’s status as the Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) for Berks County and other key designations.
How much does it cost to join the Chamber?
The cost to join the Chamber starts at $500. We offer five levels of membership up to $5,000. Each level has its own mix of benefits, from marketing opportunities to credits for trainings and peer groups.
How do I update my company listing?
GRCA members can update their company listing by logging in to their Member Information Center. For help logging in, please email Melissa Hassler.
Professional Development & Training
Does the Chamber offer training?
Yes, the Chamber has been delivering best in class professional development programs for over 20 years. Programs are delivered at our training facility, The Center for Business Excellence located at 49 Commerce Drive in Wyomissing. Certificate Programs include Lead Worker, Supervisor, Essentials of Effective Management and Strategies for Highly Effective Presentations and Public Speaking. In addition, the Chamber works with members to design and deliver customized training programs that can be delivered at our training facility, at your location, virtually or in a hybrid format. For more information, please email Mark Dolinski, Vice President of Training and Professional Development.
What advertising opportunities does the Chamber provide?
The Chamber offers multiple advertising channels to our members. From digital media marketing and social media takeovers, chamber members can take advantage of numerous advertising avenues. To learn more about all advertising opportunities, click here.
What does the Chamber do directly to give me visibility in the community?
The Chamber frequently shares member news on our social media channels, in a monthly Member Minute e-newsletter, on our website, and in our quarterly publication, Commerce Quarterly.
What sponsorship opportunities are available?
Sponsorship opportunities in varying price ranges are available for all GRCA events including all four signature events. To learn more about all sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Who do I submit press releases to?
Members may share good news, events, open houses and ribbon cuttings. Any news shared with the Chamber may be shared via social media channels, Member Minute e-newsletters and in its quarterly publications. To submit a press release, click here. In addition to submissions on the website, press releases may also be sent to Leah Fassnacht, Director of Communications & Marketing, GRCA. Submission does not always guarantee publication.
Financing, Real Estate & Development
Does the Chamber offer financing for businesses?
Yes, through Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s affiliate organization, the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), we are able to assist in your financing needs. As the only Certified Economic Development Organization in Berks County, GBDF is able to access funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community Development and other sources to help your business grow and succeed. To learn more, click here.
I am visiting or moving to the area. Where can I find information about housing, utility companies, tourism, upcoming events?
To learn more about living and working in our community, we invite you to Meet Greater Reading – take out neighborhood quiz, hear from others living and working here at meetgreaterreading.org.
Check out our tourism partners at Pennsylvania’s Americana Region to plan your next trip, concert, or tour.
Who can help me with starting up a business?
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance works with numerous partners including but not limited to the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, Kutztown University Small Business Development Center + Latino Business Resource Center, Penn State Berks LaunchBox and more.
Who do I contact about properties that are available?
Please contact Landon Bernheiser, Director of Real Estate & Special Projects at 610.898.7792 or email@example.com. You can also view available Berks County commercial and industrial properties at greaterreadingsites.com.
Events & Signature Programs
What does the Chamber do to help me connect with other business owners?
The Chamber plans and executes over 75 events per year from structured networking events of 20 attendees to 900+ person signature events like The Dinner. Each event is designed specifically to grow your network. Events are hosted at member businesses with invitations sent to all GRCA members (and some events to not-yet members). Typically, events are promoted a few months in advance of the date. You can view all our events and register here.
We also offer specialty tailored programs for family businesses (Berks Family Business Alliance) and women’s advancement (Women2Women). These programmatic events are designed for personal and professional growth, but also offer excellent networking opportunities.
How can I get more involved in the Chamber?
The Chamber offers a multitude of tailored events and programs to meet the specific needs of each of our members. From small business resources and partnerships to women’s advancement, we have something for you and your staff. We know we have a lot to offer so reach out to our Membership Specialist. Melissa Hassler or Membership Director, Julie Larison, and tell them your interests and needs! We’d love to get you on the right path to talk the right person to help you succeed.
Can I post my company event on your events calendar?
The Chamber events calendar is strictly for GRCA events, however there are a few ways you can promote your company’s event to all GRCA members. The Member Minute monthly e-newsletter offers a section to promote your open house, ribbon cutting, or any other event open to the community. Let us know about your event so it can be included in the next Member Minute. If you’d like to reach our audience in a more direct way, you can contact Rachael Romig at 610-898-7775 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about advertising options.
May I attend Chamber events as a non-member?
Yes you can! The Chamber offers a number of events for not-yet members to showcase all we can offer as a Chamber and grow your network. Many of our events offer a member admission price, and not-yet member admission price (member prices are lower as membership dues cover these charges). The programs Women2Women, Berks Family Business Alliance, and GRCA Signature Events offer not-yet member pricing. There are a select number of events that are exclusive to GRCA members including structured networking events and development workshops.
What does the Chamber advocate for?
The Chamber advocates for Pro-business policies that are developed on a two-year (legislative cycle) basis by the members of the Business & Community Advocacy Council (BCAC).
What is the Business & Community Advocacy Council (BCAC)?
The Business & Community Advocacy Council (BCAC) is made up of chamber members, elected officials at the local, state, and federal level and their staff, and like-minded community organizations who meet monthly (every second Friday) to discuss legislative and policy issues that affect the business community. Participation in BCAC is open to GRCA members at the Catalyst level and Advocacy & Community Leadership Series Sponsors.
How can I connect with my elected officials?
GRCA helps connect all members with local, state and federal officials through our Action Center. You can find your elected official through the My Voting tab, news and information about the entire Berks County state and federal delegation and what’s going on in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. through the Government tab. GRCA also publishes our positions on many different issues as they emerge and members can use the custom Calls to Action to amplify that message and make their elected representatives know how legislation, policies and regulations will affect their business.
Can GRCA help me with government agencies?
Yes! If you need help connecting with a government agency or you have questions concerning a permit, policy, regulation or legislation, reach out to Katie Hetherington Cunfer, GRCA’s Director of Government & Community Relations for assistance and guidance.