Business & Professional Associations

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 22,100 business and professional associations in the US provide services to and promote the interests of their members and industries. Business associations include chambers of commerce, real estate boards, and manufacturers’ and trade associations. Professional associations include healthcare professional and bar associations.

Employment Affects Membership

High unemployment often causes association memberships to decline.

Increasing Dependence on Non-Dues Revenue

Uncertainty over dues revenue has led associations to become more reliant on non-dues programs.

Industry size & Structure

A typical business association employs 7-8 workers and generates almost $2 million annually, while a typical professional organization employs 12 workers and generates $3-4 million annually.

    • The business and professional association industry consists of about 22,100 organizations that employ about 198,300 workers and generate about $53 billion annually.
    • Business associations include chambers of commerce, real estate boards, and manufacturers' and trade associations.
    • Professional associations include healthcare professional and bar associations.
    • Most organizations are small and operate out of a single location.
    • The median board size for associations is 15, according to the ASAE.
    • Large associations include the National Association of Realtors, National Association of Manufacturers, American Medical Association, and the National Education Association.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Business & Professional Associations Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 5, 2022 - Business Travel Rebounds
                                  • Business and professional organizations are likely to benefit from a rebound in business travel. Lodging executives cited a long-awaited rebound in business travel that began after Labor Day, helping to boost results in September and October. Business and professional associations may see a rebound in revenue from seminars, conferences, and trade shows. The comeback has shown no signs of slowing as companies seek to reconnect with clients, executives said. “The recovery has been much, much steeper than anybody thought,” Hilton Worldwide Holdings CEO Chris Nassetta said.
                                  • More than 70 business associations voiced opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that was signed into law in in mid-2022. A letter from the associations to federal lawmakers argues that the Act does nothing to address immediate inflation issues even as it increases the burden of the tax code shouldered by America’s small and family-owned businesses. “Our assessment is it’s not going to do anything to stem inflation," said S Corporation Association President Brian Reardon. "The savings are all backloaded. The spending is in the front so if anything, at best, it’s going to be neutral on inflation. Studies by Penn-Wharton [The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business] and the Tax Foundation and CBO [Congressional Budget Office] actually suggest it might increase it a little bit in the short term. It’s not addressing the concern that most of my members have, the primary concern, which is inflation.”
                                  • Many legal experts suggest that a recent Supreme Court ruling which substantially limited the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon emissions from power plants may result in litigation of pending Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule changes that would require public companies to increase their disclosures relating to climate risk. The June 2022 West Virginia v. EPA ruling addressed the proper scope of executive agency rulemaking, so it may impact other regulatory agencies. The SEC's proposed rules would require companies listed on US stock exchanges to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions that they directly and indirectly cause if the emissions are "material" or included in a company-set emissions target.
                                  • Business associations including the US Chamber of Commerce, the Bank Policy Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute have pushed back against the proposal by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make corporations disclose a range of greenhouse gas emission figures. The SEC unveiled in March a proposal that would require public companies to spell out their own direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, known as "Scope 1" and "Scope 2 emissions." The measure would also require that companies disclose emissions generated by suppliers and customers, known as "Scope 3" emissions, if they are material or included in any emissions targets the company has set. The proposed rules "are vast and unprecedented in their scope, complexity, rigidity, and prescriptive particularity," wrote the Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful US trade group.
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