Monday, May 14, 2007

Chamber Launches Program to Help Businesses Form Community Involvement Partnerships

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Chamber Launches Program to Help Businesses Form Community Involvement Partnerships
Releases Survey Identifying Business Priorities for Community

Washington, DC—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) launched its Corporate Community Investment program today, a new program dedicated to advancing U.S. corporate community development initiatives. The announcement took place at BCLC’s annual Partnership Conference held at U.S. Chamber headquarters.

“Companies are investing seven billion dollars annually as well as their time and energy in local communities across the U.S.,” said BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan. “This program will provide a national platform for business leaders to share lessons learned and effective practices and work toward common community goals with potential business, government and non-profit partners.”

BCLC’s Corporate Community Investment program will engage companies in activities such as workshops with chambers of commerce around the country and issue a report on U.S. corporate community investment to be released in December 2007.

BCLC recently polled corporate external affairs officers and chamber of commerce executives to identify their priorities and attitudes regarding community investment. Responses showed that the leading ways the business sector invests in the community is through volunteerism (86%), followed by cause-related partnerships (75%), executive participation in community organizations (71%), and cash contributions (65%).

The survey also revealed that the most important issues affecting community development are K-12 education (71%), workforce development (68%), entrepreneurship and business development (48%), and higher education (47%). By far, respondents prefer to pursue community investment initiatives at the grassroots level, with local schools, local charities, and local government agencies cited as partners far more often than national charities or the federal government.

The Business Civic Leadership Center is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is the Chamber’s voice and resource on business’ social and philanthropic interests. The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation, representing 3 million businesses, 3,000 chambers and 200 American Chambers of Commerce internationally.

Editors Note: To receive a summary of these and other findings, please contact Catherine Taylor at

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