A partnership has been struck between the Carbon Chamber and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The merger was approved on Monday by the Carbon County Chamber and Economic Development Corp.

Carbon Chamber Executive Director Dawn Ferrante said she believes the move will result in "a really great partnership."

"The agreement is to allow people to join, and also renew, at the Carbon County rate, and in exchange for that, we are paying for staff support services to the Lehigh Valley for our operations," Ferrante said. "So, from a business perspective, it was a smart thing for us to do."

Ferrante added "nothing is going to change from a structural standpoint."

"We are stronger than ever," she said. "We are only strengthening what we've done."

Marlyn Kissner, executive vice president, GLVCC, said the partnership will support the economic vitality of the Carbon County community; will provide greater reach and strength for both organizations; and will provide Carbon and Lehigh Valley communities with greater opportunities and benefits.

Kissner said the partnership is a result of the collaborative efforts among both chambers supporting one another's organizations over the past year by hosting joint networking events and working closely on business initiatives. The natural progression was to form a partnership that would benefit members across the board, from marketing opportunities to government affairs, she said.

Of the merger, Kissner said "this is a great opportunity to learn from each other and do business with one other."

"Geographically, we've always considered Carbon County part of the Greater Lehigh Valley," Kissner said. "We are very excited to come together to support and strengthen the businesses in the county."

With over 20 partners, and nearly 6,000 members, the GLVCC is widely recognized for its commitment to regionalization, its progressive philosophy of establishing partnerships with other like-minded organizations, and its ability to continually provide members with relevant tools necessary for them to compete and succeed in this ever-evolving economy.

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

The partnership is effective Aug. 1.