It's the biggest business networking organization in the Lehigh Valley and on every Main Street.

Exactly what types of benefits a membership to the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce entails was shared with members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

In July, the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp merged with the GLVCC to form a partnership that would benefit members across the board, from marketing opportunities to government affairs.

The partnership went into effect Aug. 1, and brings the membership of the GLVCC to more than 6,000 businesses that employ more than 200,000 people in the area.

In addition, its network of 20 area organizations strengthens the status of the GLVCC as one of the nine largest chambers in the country.

Each chamber operates independently, and members of both organizations will have access to networking events, member benefits and marketing opportunities.

Gina Martens, Vice President, Member Relations for the GLVCC, noted that members who are current in their payment of their annual dues to the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce are automatically eligible for the benefits associated with the GLVCC.

Martens said the mission of the GLVCC is to "improve the economy and quality of life in the Lehigh Valley."

She said the organization can accomplish its goal through a variety of staff and volunteer driven deliverables.

Among those include Business-to-Business Networking and Marketing, which brings the GLVCC's members together to help them recognize, create, and act on business opportunities.

Another way is through the use of Affinity Programs - Exclusive, Money Saving Member Benefits, whereby an extensive portfolio of valuable benefit options and services to save members money.

Government Affairs, or the process of advocating pro-business public and government policy at the federal, state, and local levels, is yet another example.

Additionally, Training and Programs are resources designed to help make members' jobs more effective, profitable, rewarding, and efficient.

Last, but not least, is Community Development through the Main Street Lehigh Valley (The Chamber Foundation) and the Borough Business Revitalization Program (BBRP).

Martens said the GLVCC's mission is for a unified Lehigh Valley business community, working together to improve our economy and quality of life in every community and On Every Main Street.

"We firmly believe in regionalization," Martens said. "The chamber is going to provide you with an opportunity to network and market yourself."

Peter Kern, president of the Palmerton Chamber, noted "the key is that it's important that members of the Carbon County Chamber keep their membership current."

"Resources are available to us through the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce," Kern said. "As long as you keep your dues current, you are eligible for all of the benefits of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce."

For more information on the GLVCC, visit www.LehighValleyChamber.org.