Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of questions that we often hear. Please click on the question for an answer. If your question is not here, please feel free to contact us at 713-785-4922.

What Resources Can I Utilize With My Membership?

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) Counseling
Retired Executives counsel business owners FREE! As a Resource Partner of the Small Business Administration, SCORE can help small businesses obtain the funds they need for a successful future. Whether your business is just starting or has been around for years a Business Plan is an absolute necessity. SCORE is dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed from start to finish. Contact Score 713-773-6565 (Gessner Location)

Texas Association of Business
Do you want to know what's happening in Texas news, business, government, and more? Find out on www.txbiz.org

 

Innovative Surveillance Solutions, LLC
Innovative Surveillance Solutions, Inc. (ISS) is a Texas based firm that specializes in providing local, off-duty peace officers. Founded in 2006 ISS quickly developed into one of the nation's leading providers of off-duty law enforcement officers. ISS has helped secure over $14 billion in assets for our clients across hundreds of locations, and was named by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States in both 2014 and 2015. 

ISS specializes in both permanent and temporary off-duty peace officers, regularly providing coverage for merchants, seasonal events with high traffic, high-risk/high-profile locations, workplace violence threats, terminations, construction, traffic control, and many other security related needs. For more information please visit our website (www.iss-inc.us) or call us at (866) 960-0159.

We understand more than anyone in industry that merchants, retail and small-medium businesses need a trusted advisor to understand how best to use off-duty peace officers. The HWCOC has offered this as part of their membership benefits because ISS is one of the leading  providers of off-duty peace officers.That is why you can call ISS anytime and ask questions because we want you to understand both the process and benefit to you and your company! Call today and learn more about ISS and how it can benefit your business, we are here for you 24 hours a day! 

Incredible Offers from the HWCOC Business Resource Committee

HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (Liz Lara Carreno) - You Built Your Business, We’ll Help You Grow it. Click Here to Learn More

MILE Technologies (Louis Lopez) - Houston West Chamber Members receive the first service call only and first two hours of service HALF OFF the normal business rate! These computer & network services and Microsoft solutions experts come to your office to offer fair and honest computer services! Call 713-783-6453 for more information!

The Price of Business
Be one of the featured businesses interviewed by the Price of Business on 1110 AM KTEK, one of the longest running shows on news talk radio in Houston, Texas. Hosted by award winning broadcast journalist, Kevin Price, this programs brings fresh perspectives to national and business news. To read more, visit www.priceofbusiness.com

Ribbon Cuttings
Start off with a bang! Celebrate a ground breaking, grand opening, or new event!

We'll help tell the public who you are and what you do. Ribbon Cutting events are available for Business Builder, Chairman's Circle, and Platinum Partner Members only. Contact Samaria Chicas at sam@hwcoc.org for details.

Business Credit Card Reviews & Comparisons
Reviews.com offers a comprehensive, time-saving guide completely free to small business owners to help them choose the right business credit card for their organization. To read more and view the guide, please visit www.reviews.com/business-credit-cards/

Business Database
The Houston Public Library and Harris County Library offer the ReferenceUSA business and residential database for local businesses and residents of Houston and Harris County.  You can access this database thru the libraries website with a valid library card number. Information provided includes details on over 35 million US businesses and 262 million US residents.  Records include company name, address, phone, executive contact names, titles and bios, SIC codes, NAICS codes, employee size, # of years in business, annual sales volume, credit ratings, news information, 10-K’s, square footage, location type, and much more.  Users have the ability to create customized lists and download the data for sales leads, marketing intelligence, building a business plan, and more.

Users also have the ability to chart search results and put results on heat maps. This database can be used for free thru the Houston Public and Harris County Libraries websites with a valid library card number. Click Here to Visit the ReferenceUSA database.  

Community Impact
As a Chamber Member, your name will be associated with the growth and development of our area. By participating in a Chamber committee or the West Houston Leadership Institute you can promote the kind of positive change that benefits us all.

Mailing Lists
Send your fellow Chamber Members a flyer or follow up with a phone call. Get the Excel list of all Members for only $99.

Small Business Administration - Houston
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Click Here for More Information


Where Do I Get More Information on Member Resources?

To find out more, visit a Chamber Orientation on the First Wednesday of each month from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at the Chamber Office Building, Suite 890.

How Much is Membership?

Membership Pricing

The Houston West Chamber of Commerce provides a variety of Membership options to fit your business needs and goals!
View the various options below. Ready to sign up? Click here to apply for Membership online!

When Is The Monthly Meeting?

The Houston West Chamber has numerous monthly events.

Orientation

First Wednesday of each month from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Chamber Building, Suite 890. If you are a new or prospective member, this is a great way to start off learning about all of your options within the chamber.

Business Over Breakfast

Third Wednesday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 am at the Westside Cafe, 10350 Richmond Avenue, Suite 150. Please check our calendar  for program information and any updates. This monthly networking event is perfect for both beginner and expert level networkers, as it features an open networking and guided networking segment.

Bagels & Business
Fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 am at PF Chang's Highland Village, 4094 Westheimer Rd. Please check our calendar  for program information and any updates. This morning power networking session offers our uptown and inner loop members an opportunity to make new contacts on a monthly basis.

Luncheons

Luncheons are typically the third Thursday or Friday of each month from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at various locations.  Rub elbows with some of the most influential people in Houston.  Networking is from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm and the program and luncheon lasts until 1:00 pm.  These events vary in size from 80 to 600 people and are great for sponsorships and branding opportunities.

Socials

Socials are typically the third Thursday of a month from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, but are not held every month.  These events allows participants to mingle and network over cocktails and appetizers.  The event sponsor provides the location, food and beverages.  They are invited to do a short presentation and thank those in attendance for joining.  The socials are open to members and non-members alike.  We encourage sponsors to invite clients, friends and family.  If you are interested in sponsoring please contact the office.

Committee Meetings

Ambassadors (By invitation only): Second Tuesday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at varying locations.
Business & Education: First Thursday of each month from 8:00 to 9:30 am at varying locations.
Business Resource: Second Wednesday of each month from 7:30 to 9:00 am at the Chamber Office.
Golf Tournament: Second Wednesday of each month (February - October) from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the Chamber Office.
Governmental Affairs: Last Tuesday of each month from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm at Brookstreet BBQ.
Health & Medical: First Thursday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at varying locations.
West Houston Economic Development Summit: Third Wednesday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at varying locations.
Women Driving Business: Various dates and locations between June and November.
 
Please check our calendar for any updates concerning any of the committee meetings or events.

How Do I Know If This Is The Right Networking Community For Me And My Business?

If you are considering membership, try us out before joining. There are over 50 chambers of commerce in the greater Houston area and each has a different atmosphere. The Houston West Chamber focuses much more on business to business relationships.  You may attend any three events of your choice. After that, we strongly encourage you to make an investment in our community.
 
If you are unsure of which events to attend, here are our recommendations:

  • Orientation: First Wednesday of each month at the Chamber Building

  • Business Over Breakfast: Third Wednesday of each month at the Westside Cafe

  • Bagels & Business: Fourth Tuesday of each month at PF Chang's Highland Village
  • Choose either a committee meeting to try out, a luncheon or a social!

What Area Do You Cover?

Although the Houston West Chamber has set boundaries, many businesses outside of the technical boundaries have chosen to join the organization for our business-to-business relationships.

Boundaries

Serving Houston from Greenway Plaza to Energy Corridor!
Upper Kirby to the East
290 to the North
Bissonett, US-59, Beltway 8 to the South
Barker Cypress to the West

Target Market Area

Membership target area includes: Voss Rd to the East, Park 10 to the West, Clay Rd/290 to the North and Westpark Toll Rd to the South

Member Zip Codes Predominate ZIP codes bolded

(not limited to technical boundary)
77002   77004   77006   77007   77008   77010   77018   77022   77024   77027   77031   77036   77040
77041   77042   77043   77046   77053   77055   77056   77057   77060   77063   77069   77071   77072
77074   77077   77079   77080   77081   77082   77083   77084   77092   77094   77095   77096   77098
77099   77206   77244   77247   77253   77269   77274   77279   77284   77292   77401   77406   77423
77449   77450   77474   77477   77491   77493   77494   77496   77584

How Do I Get Started?

Here are the recommended steps.

Step 1: Click here to join the chamber or you may join at a later date by clicking the "Become a Member" button found on the homepage.

Step 2: Come to Orientation on the first Wednesday of each month from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at the Chamber Office.

Step 3: Plan out a schedule of networking and advertising for the year. 

Step 4: Attend JumpStart Networking 101 to perfect your elevator speech and ensure that you are ready to network like a pro.

Step 5: Choose a committee to get involved with! Click here to view a full listing of descriptions and meeting times.

Step 6: Begin to review event sponsorships.

 

What If I Can't Participate?

Networking is the main key to building your business in any community.  We strongly recommend that you attend at least one event each month to build relationships with other members.  If you are unable to participate or only able to attend one event each month, there are still great Corporate Visibility benefits to being a member.

 

With your membership, you receive an online directory listing on our site. Our members are more likely inclined to use other members to meet their needs. This listing will Increase your visibility, credibility, and boost your business!  By joining the Chamber's online directory, you will be able to increase traffic to your own website and your own business.  

 

You are also able to post articles and press releases to the website.  If you have a special or a change in your business, we recommend posting this to our website.  This is free to members!  Not only will potential customers find your information from web searches, but the articles and press releases also go out to our database each month in the newsletter.

 

The Chamber offers numerous advertising opportunities from blast e-mails to our database to providing event attendees with a promotional item.  Check out our advertising options for more information.

 

Some of our members have found events sponsorships to be an easy way to brand their business even if they cannot participate.  Please contact the office for details on your numerous sponsorship opportunities at 713-785-4922.

How Do I Get The Most Bang For My Buck?

Participate

Building relationships with other members is the main key to your success in building your business.  People give to people! If you are on a committee and attend events, others are able to get to know you as a person.

Refer

The idea is simple:  If you give me business, I will send business your way!  It works every time.

Give

Do you have a product or service that you can donate or showcase to other members at no cost?  One of our most successful members has compensated numerous hours of service to members.  When another business sees the quality and dependability in your company or organization, they are more likely to use and refer you.

Advertise

By sending out blasts and handing out promotional items, you can build brand recognition that will be tied to your name.  Once other members see you as a reliable source and know what you do, they are more than happy to refer you as a preferred vendor.

How Do I Edit My Website Listing?

To Change your organization's website listing, please follow these instructions:

 

Only the Primary Representative of each company has the ability to change the organizational information on the website. If you do not know who your Primary Representative is, please call the chamber at 713-785-4922 and we will gladly assist you.

 
  1. Log-in to the HWCOC website on the top right corner.
  2. Click on "Settings".
  3. Click on "Company" to view drop down menu.
  4. To edit the Chamber's database entry, click "Organization Information". This should only be for major changes in contact information.
  5. To edit what information gets listed in the Directory, click "Website Information". Uncheck the "Use Organization Information" box at the top of that section to enable editing.
  6. Make the necessary changes to the contact information.
  7. Click the "Save Changes" button.

How Do I Add An Article, Job Listing, or Special Offer to the Website?

To add an Article, Job Listing or Special Offer, please follow these instructions:

 

Only the Primary Representative of each company has the capability to add an article, job listing or special offer to the HWCOC website. If you do not know who your Primary Representative is, please call the Chamber at 713-785-4922 and we will gladly assist you.

 
  1. Log in to the HWCOC website on the top right corner.
  2. In the Home tab, click on the content you would like to create (such as "Hot Deals" or "News Releases").
  3. Click on the button below the heading that says "Add".
  4. Complete the form fields as needed.
  5. Enter the dates during which you would like to maintain the content active.
  6. Click the "Submit" button - after a staff member approves your conent, this will show up on the website.

How Do I RSVP For An Event If On-Line Registration Is Closed?

Please contact the office at 713-785-4922 to find out if registration will be available at the event.

NOTE: Registration may be closed due to reaching max number of attendees.

Who Do I Refer Billing Questions To?

Please contact our billing coordinator at billing@hwcoc.org or 713-785-4922.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Minor Events – Cancellation & Refund Request

Full refunds less a 10% processing fee will be issued for registration cancellations made a MINIMUM of 3 business days (during normal business hours) prior to an event, regardless of attendance. After this time, reservations have been guaranteed to the facility/caterer and we will be unable to provide a refund. The refund request must be in writing and sent via fax to (713) 785-4944 or emailed to billing@hwcoc.org.

No refunds will be made over the phone. Refunds will be issued after the conclusion of the respective event.

Minor Events - Inclement Weather

If HWCOC cancels an event due to bad weather conditions, a full refund will be given or fees will be applied towards a rescheduled date.

Minor Events – Event Cancellation

If HWCOC cancels an event due to lack of sales, a full refund will be given.

Major Events – Cancellation & Refund Request

Sponsorships and tickets for any Major/Featured Fundraising Event, as designated by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, are non-refundable and non-transferrable (regardless of attendance). No refunds will be given.  Major/Featured Events include but are not limited to: West Houston Economic Development Summit, Business & Education Partnership Awards, Health & Medical Luncheon, Salute to Veterans Luncheon, Women Driving Business series, Women's Excellence in Business series, and Zest in the West.

Golf Tournament Refund/Cancellation Policy

Golf Tournaments can only be called off by the hosting golf course. In the case of a rainout or cancellation due to inclement weather every attempt will be made to reschedule, with the date to be decided by the hosting golf course. However, if this fails, your registration will be considered a donation to the Houston West Chamber of Commerce.

Membership Dues

Payment of membership dues is due at time of application or at the beginning of your renewal year. Membership dues refund requests will be pro-rated and are handled on a case-by-case basis within 60 days of dues payment. Refund requests should be submitted via one of these methods:

1. E-mail at billing@hwcoc.org
2. Mail to: Houston West Chamber of Commerce, 10370 Richmond Ave, Suite 125, Houston, TX 77042
3. Fax to: 713-785-4944

No refunds will be made over the phone. For companies choosing the monthly credit card payment option, membership will automatically renew at the end of 12 months and monthly billing will continue until the chamber is notified in writing to discontinue via fax at 713-785-4944 or email at billing@hwcoc.org.

How Do I Log-In to the Website?

Login Credentials:

Primary representatives, the contact listed in the membership application, will receive a request to create their individial login credentials for the website to access the Membership Dashboard. If you have not received an email with a link to create your login, contact the Chamber Office at 713-785-4922 or email info@hwcoc.org.

If you are an additional representative for your organization you will need to be added under the member profile by the designated primary representative in order to recieve a link to create your individual login.

How Do I Change my Username and Password?

To Change your Username and Password, Please follow these Instructions:

 

  1. Log in to the HWCOC website.
  2. Click on "Settings".
  3. Under the "Personal" menu heading, click "Username/Password".
  4. Click "Change" next to the item you wish to change.
  5. Enter the new login credentials you wish to use.
  6. Click "Save Changes."

What Method of Payment Do I Use for an Event?

At your request, we are working hard to keep our overhead costs low and staff time productive. Your kind assistance by
registering and paying online for ALL EVENTS helps make this possible. However, for those interested, we are happy to
retain your credit card information on file.

*An additional $5.00 charge will be added for each manual transaction.

Why is my Name Not Listed in the Member Directory?

At the request of our membership, the Houston West Chamber has decided not to list primary contact information for your business in our Membership Directory. We would like to prevent unnecessary sales calls directed to your business, so we have opted to not include personal contact information. However, if you would like to list your name, you have the option of opting to be listed online.

Thank you for your understanding.

What is included in a Business Builder Membership?

The Business Builder Membership provides a Marketing BOOST with:

  • All Basic Membership benefits, plus +
  • Radio Advertising on The Price of Business (Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK)
  • One magnet-back name badge
  • One half-page full color ad on paper calendar
  • One Email blast to HWCOC Database
  • Complimentary Ribbon Cutting, featured in Online and Print Calendar

A $950 value!

If my company is a member, does that mean I am a member, too?

Yes!

When a company becomes a Chamber member, all employees of that company's branch/office that joined are considered Chamber members and have full access to our programs and benefits.

How Can The Chamber Help Me Build My Professional Skills?

The Chamber offers a variety of programs, seminars and workshops to help you develop the skills you need to excel in business. Those offerings range from the West Houston Leadership Institute program to monthly events (Coffee Talk, SEO411 Monthly Class, JumpStart Networking 101) and much more.

How Can I Help Shape and Support the Chamber's Programs?

Committee Participation and Volunteering

The Chamber's event programming is decided and coordinated by our members for our members. Members that volunteer on committees plan, fundraise, and execute monthly and annual events. By providing time, dedication, resources, and ideas committee members ensure that the Chamber can provide quality programming for all member organizations. In addition to giving you the opportunity to give back to the Chamber, committee participation provides a way to build stronger long-term relationships with your fellow members as you work towards a common goal on a monthly basis!

How Do I Join a Committee?

All active Chamber members are invited to participate in committees and we encourage you to visit groups that appeal to you and your business goals. If after visiting the meeting, you would like to become a part of the committee, contact the staff liaison to receive committee criteria for review. Depending on the committee, this can include time committment and fundraising goals.

Once you have reviewed and agreed to the committee criteria, you will be added to the roster for the committee. You must attend at least three consecutive meetings to be considered an active member of the committee.

Click here for a full listing of Chamber committees.

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