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Dues, dinners, political stand all part of decision
A small business owner looking for a professional organization to join can be overwhelmed by the choice, because they come in all shapes and sizes and with as many political views as there are associations.
"These associations exist to create business opportunities for each other through networking," said Sam Reprogel, assistant district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Baltimore office.
So it's important to figure out if the opportunities a particular group creates are the right ones for the right price. "Be pragmatic," Reprogel said.
Key factors, observers say, are things like does the organization offer regular outlets for meeting business people who can help the firm, is the group politically active, and is the dues structure in line with the benefits?
One of the biggest -- and among the oldest -- organizations collecting dues from small businesses is the National Federation of Independent …