Chambers get it. Their business is based on developing local organizations and the economy and they do it very well.
Most of us could benefit from a little local favoritism. (Maybe not everyone, and certainly “local” is in the eyes of the membership. If you are a national association “local” to you is the United States.) Let’s imagine for a moment that you are the Maryland Association of Ice Road Truckers (This is an attempt to fictionalize an association. Apologies if this is a true organization. It’s used for illustrative purposes only.) While you may decide to have your conference in an exotic locale (everyone needs an occasional break from the ice), is it in your best interest to funnel most of your business to other states? If you are a state organization that promotes the rights and interests of ice road truckers in Maryland, does it benefit your members to use a trucking company that does not employ Maryland-based drivers?
I am not so naive to believe that a local solution is always possible, sometimes bids from outside-state companies are more palatable and fitting of your needs (and that of national’s). But if there is an option, shouldn’t you at least audition it? If you champion local people, champion their businesses as well.