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Encyclopedia > Chamber of commerce

A chamber of commerce (also referred to in some circles as a board of trade, though this phrase is not commonly used in the United States) is a form of business network. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to protect their own interests. Local businessmen are members, and they elect an executive council to run the chamber.

Chambers of commerce serve the following purposes:

  • Promotion of trade in their own towns or cities.
  • Obtaining and supporting municipal regulations in interest of business in their regions.
  • Settlement of disputes between members by means of arbitration.
  • Collection of information and statistics which may be of use to their members.
  • Recording of a blacklist for members' reference.
  • Prevention of unnecessary competition by establishing uniform hours, wages and prices.
  • Advocating for business friendly policies at the state, local, federal, and international levels.

The first chambers of commerce were founded in 1599 in continental Europe (Marseille, France and Brugge, Belgium). The world's oldest English-speaking chamber of commerce is that of Glasgow, Scotland, that was established in 1783. Blacklisted redirects here. ... Year 1599 was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Marseilles redirects here. ... This article is about the city in Belgium. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...



Membership in an individual chamber in an area can range from a few dozen to well over 300,000 (as is the case with the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry). Some chamber organizations in China report even larger membership numbers. Chambers of commerce can range in size from a single city or town chamber, to a county chamber, to a regional chamber, up to an international chamber of commerce. Logo of the CCIP The Paris Chamber of Commerce (Chamber de Commerce et dIndustrie de Paris or CCIP) is a Chamber of Commerce of the Paris region. ...

The chambers do not operate in the same manner as the Better Business Bureau in that, while the BBB has the authority to bind its members under a formal operations doctrine (and, thus, can remove them if complaints arise regarding their services), the local chamber membership is strictly voluntary. The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is an organization based in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. ...

Chambers of commerce also can include economic development corporations or groups (though the latter often is a formal branch of a local government, the groups work together and may in some cases share office facilities) as well as tourism and visitors bureaus. Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. ...

Some chambers have joined state, national, and even international bodies (such as EUROCHAMBRES, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Worldchambers). In the majority of countries, the use of the term "chamber of commerce" is regulated by federal law. Currently, there are about 13,000 chambers registered in the official Worldchambers Network registry, and the chamber of commerce network is the largest business network globally. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is an international organization that works to promote and support global trade and globalization. ...

Chamber models

There are basically two chamber business membership models worldwide, 'compulsory / public law' or 'continental / private law'.

Compulsory/Public law chambers

Under the compulsory or public law model, companies of a certain area are obliged to become members of the chamber. This model is common in European Union countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain). The main tasks of the chamber are foreign trade promotion, training, and general services to companies. The chambers also have a consultive function; this means the chambers must be consulted whenever a new law related to industry or commerce is proposed.

Continental/Private law chambers

Under the private model, which exists in English-speaking countries like USA, Canada or the UK, companies are not obligated to become chamber members. However, companies often become members to develop their business contacts and, regarding the local chambers (the most common level of organization), to demonstrate a commitment to the local economy. Though governments are not required to consult chambers on proposed laws, the chambers are often contacted given their local influence and membership numbers.


Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

External links

  • Chamber Search
  • World Wide Chamber Guide

  Results from FactBites:
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (190 words)
Combine that with the fact that Atlanta is ranked by national magazines as the best place to live, work and play, and the benefits of living and doing business in metro Atlanta - the business capital of the Southeast - are clear.
At the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, we focus on
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce • 235 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW • Atlanta, Georgia 30303 • (404) 880-9000
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (1904 words)
Commerce will especially feel the effects as the route is an integral artery to move people and products around and through the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Chamber and the business community are at the forefront of discussions with public officials to find ways to ease congestion during these many months.
The Minnesota Chamber thanks businesses for their generous contributions in the aftermath of this event and appreciates the efforts of all responders to this disaster.
  More results at FactBites »



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