Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not answered below, please email it to Jenna@InNewBraunfels.com and we’ll add it to this list.
What is the Chamber of Commerce?
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded locally in 1919 as the Merchants Association of New Braunfels. Today the organization works to strengthen the local economy, advocate for its members and the community, advance community excellence, and deliver value to its members.
Where is the Chamber of Commerce located?
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce is conveniently located in downtown New Braunfels right next door to the New Braunfels Civic Convention Center. The address is 390 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130.
What geographic area does the Chamber represent?
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce has a large geographic area. The Chamber represents Comal and Guadalupe counties which includes New Braunfels, Canyon Lake, Seguin, Spring Branch, Bulverde, and McQueeney. The Chamber also represents surrounding communities such as San Marcos, Schertz and San Antonio.
What is the relationship of the Chamber to city government?
The Chamber of Commerce provides professional services via contract to the City of New Braunfels for tourism marketing as well as for the recruitment of new jobs and wealth in New Braunfels. The Chamber is an independent 501(c)(6) not for profit organization and is not a department of city or state government.
How is the Chamber funded?
The Chamber of Commerce funds their operations via multiple sources, including dues from members, professional services contracts with multiple entities, special events, sponsorships, services and more.
How does the Chamber support tourism marketing?
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. since 1971 has had professional services agreements with the City of New Braunfels for tourism marketing and administration. That was the year room taxes were first authorized by the state legislature. The previous 50 years, the Chamber had provided these services from the Chamber budget and via private donations.
Why does the Chamber do this? The purpose of the Chamber of Commerce per the by-laws is to promote progress. One of the ways that is done is via destination marketing. The local hospitality industry is a major industry in New Braunfels and a major employer.
These funds are used only for state statue-limited expenditures and further limited by the annual approved budget from city council on these marketing dollars. There are budget line items and a maximum we can expend. Quarterly reports are required that include financials as well as an annual audit. The Chamber cannot expend these funds on anything else. In 2018, approximately 50% of the total room occupancy taxes collected from visitors locally were administered by the Chamber.
Staff costs are limited to a percentage of that staffers time spent on tourism activities. There are 6 full time equivalent personnel for these activities that the Chamber is reimbursed for out of the 18 employees at the organization. Sixteen years ago 8 FTE’s received room tax monies and the Chamber administered over 74% of room tax funds locally.
Besides reimbursing the Chamber for personnel and operations costs associated in tourism promotional activities, visitor paid tax revenues administered by the Chamber go toward convention services, brochures and creative costs, telephone and postage costs, advertising, travel trade, market research, direct mail, public relations, convention incentives and technology/emerging opportunities. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau division is award-winning and well thought of locally by the hospitality industry and around the state by their peers.
These funds are maintained in a separate account as per state law. We are contractually obligated to make available all expenditures upon request by city council or any other person.
Other uses of room occupancy tax funds locally (not administered by us) are to the civic convention center debt and M&O, multiple arts and historic non-profits in the community and for special city projects such as Wassailfest.
The CVB changed to the city fiscal year (from calendar year) for reporting purposes eight years ago at the city staff’s request.
What is the Chamber's role in economic development?
In 1995, New Braunfels voters authorized an additional half-cent to the local sales tax rate. One eighth cent is dedicated to property tax reduction and the other three-eighths cent is dedicated to what is known as the 4B board or technically the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation.
This three-eighths cent raised approximately $6 million in the 2018 city fiscal year. The Chamber of Commerce has a professional services agreement with the 4B board for recruiting and marketing services. In the current fiscal year that equals approximately $400,000 or 6.6% of 4B annual revenues.
Like hotel occupancy taxes, economic development sales tax revenues are controlled by state statue on what monies can be expended on. The Chamber has a contract with the 4B board that spells out in great detail what those expenditures can be for. City Council approves the agreement also. All 4B board members voluntarily are trained by state-approved courses and the Chamber President and the City Attorney are designated as the two individuals that have mandatory training every two years on proper uses of the funds.
In FY 2018-19, expenditures the Chamber are responsible for are in the areas of missions and local tours, tradeshows, marketing, strategic plan initiatives and personnel. The Chamber is reimbursed for 1.6 FTE’s for these services.
The Chamber by contract delivers monthly invoices to the city for reimbursement and also makes quarterly reports to the 4B board and semi-annual reports to the City Council. Monthly briefings are held via what is known as the Advisory Team (Mayor, City Manager, NBU CEO, County Judge, EDF Chairman and 4B President briefed by the Chamber President on activities the last 30 days in economic development).
The Chamber of Commerce contributes capital hardware-software and operations to the local effort for recruiting jobs and investment. The purpose of the Chamber is to promote progress and one key way to do this is via economic development.
The Chamber also has a professional services agreement with the Greater New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation, a local 501c3 not for profit organized approximately 14 years ago. This agreement is for approximately $200,000 and monies are expended for personnel costs of the local economic development effort (1.6 FTE’s) and marketing costs determined by the EDF board.
Comal County and the Chamber also have a professional services agreement for economic development services. This amounts to $12,000. Our duties are to represent the county as the initial point of contact for companies inquiring about locating an operation here and to submit required state reports annually on the Texas Enterprise Zone program. We brief Commissioners and the County Judge in closed session regarding major job-producing projects seeking assistance.
Why is the Chamber involved in so many issues?
One of the four major goals of the Chamber of Commerce is to be the voice of business. Advocating for our members has proven critical to not only our members, but to the overall health of the community over the years. There are many examples of how the Chamber’s involvement facilitated progress in the community, including road projects, new attractions, job creation, school and city bond issues, and quality of life amenities we enjoy today.
What is the federal tax status of the New Braunfels Chamber?
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code. IRC Section 501(c)(6) is reserved for business leagues, Chambers of commerce, boards of trade, or other similar organizations.
Additional resources from the IRS:
How many members does the Chamber have?
There are 2,500+ dues paying members of the Chamber of Commerce, making it one of the largest, not only in the region, but in Texas. In the San Antonio to Austin region there are approximately 60 Chambers of Commerce and the New Braunfels Chamber ranks as the third largest in membership and budget, topped only by the Austin Chamber and the San Antonio Chamber.
What kinds of organizations join the New Braunfels Chamber?
All kinds. Businesses of every size and industry are members of the New Braunfels Chamber.
Who can be a member of the Chamber?
Anyone can be a member of the Chamber of Commerce. There are multiple categories of membership including those in business, education, government or retired. The mission of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community. Those citizens believing in that mission are welcome to join the Chamber of Commerce.
How do I become a member of the Chamber?
What are the benefits of joining the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber membership opens the doors to endless advertising and sponsorship opportunities that will make your business more visible and successful. The Chamber also provides many networking opportunities, business referrals, connections, leadership development opportunities and much more. Click here for a complete list of membership benefits.
Is [COMPANY NAME] a member of the New Braunfels Chamber?
To find out if a specific company is a member of the Chamber, please visit the Business Directory. Once there you can search for the company by name.
Can you provide me with a list of companies who...?
To find a list of companies who are in a specific industry or who provide a certain service, please visit our Business Directory. Once there you can search by category.
Can I get a list of New Braunfels Chamber members and their contact information?
To find a specific company, you can search by name or industry category in our online Business Directory. This listing will provide the company name, physical address, phone number, fax number, representative’s name, website and the option to send an email directly to that business through the website. The Chamber does not give out the email addresses of our members.
A full list of Chamber membership is available to Chamber members by contacting our offices. You may receive the file as a list, in an excel format or as mailing labels. For more information please email Merry@InNewBraunfels.com.
How can I promote my business/product/service to Chamber members?
Just by being a Chamber member you are already promoting your business to the community and other Chamber members by being included in our online Business Directory and the Official Guide to New Braunfels. To enhance your online presence, advertising space is available on many different webpages including pages targeting tourists, Chamber members and potential members, and the business community. Contact Jenna@InNewBraunfels.com for more information on advertising on the Chamber’s website.
There are also several opportunities to sponsor events, such as the annual Business Trade Show, the annual Texas Legislative Conference, the annual Membership Banquet & Awards Ceremony, New Member Receptions and Orientations, NB Business University Seminars, and Board of Directors Luncheons. For more information on sponsoring one of these events, please email Info@InNewBraunfels.com and specify which event you are interested in.
The annual Business Trade Show, held each September, is a great way to market your business directly to local residents, including other Chamber members. Your business would set up a booth and display your products and services to potential clients during this two-day event which sees an attendance of nearly 2,000. For more information on the Business Trade Show, email Stephen@InNewBraunfels.com.
To advertise your business you may consider placing an ad in the Official Guide to New Braunfels which serves as a business, relocation and visitors guide. 15,000 copies of the Guide are published to provide vital resources to visitors and locals alike. Click here for more information on advertising in the Guide.
Ads may also be placed in the Chamber’s weekly e-newsletter, Serving You. The newsletter is distributed to more than 3,000 email addresses each week. Ads rotate in the newsletter every five weeks, meaning your ad would be included in at least nine issues. Contact Phyllis@InNewBraunfels.com for more information on advertising in Serving You.
Are membership dues and other investments in the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce tax deductible?
Contributions to the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce are not tax deductible as a charitable contribution. Dues may be deducted as a business expense.
How can I file a complaint about a business or company?
The New Braunfels Chamber is not a government agency, and therefore has no authority to investigate how companies conduct business nor are we able to accept complaints. You can file a complaint against a business with the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau.
Can you give me information about starting a business?
The Chamber provides resources for small businesses through its partnerships with the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation and the City of New Braunfels. For information about starting or expanding your business in New Braunfels, please visit www.BusinessInNewBraunfels.com.
Will you send me information on visiting or living in New Braunfels?
You can find a lot of information on visiting New Braunfels at the website www.PlayInNewBraunfels.com and information on business in New Braunfels on the website www.BusinessInNewBraunfels.com. You can also view the Official Guide to New Braunfels for just about everything you’d like to know about our community. If you have a specific question or would like information sent to you via postal mail, you may call the Chamber offices at (830) 625-2385.
Who do I contact for photos of the New Braunfels area?
For media inquiries, please email Judy@InNewBraunfels.com.