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Chamber Movement

Thriving businesses, a strong economy, and a better life for all …

The first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France, as the Chambre de Commerce.

The world's oldest English-speaking chamber of commerce and oldest chamber of commerce in North America is the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1750. That alliance of Nova Scotia businesspeople was created because they knew the best way forward was together, united as business leaders around shared goals of prosperity, progress and social benefit.

They knew business had a key role to play in building strong communities and addressing social challenges.

Chambers of commerce exist all over the world. While they do not have a direct role in creating laws or regulations, they are effective in influencing regulators and legislators with their organized lobbying efforts.

In 1925, a group of business leaders gathered in Winnipeg to form the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, known then as the Canadian Board of Trade.

A Chamber’s mission is creating an environment in which businesses can prosper.

Many Chambers of commerce rely on membership dues as their primary source of revenue.

Among the benefits Chamber members receive are deals and discounts from other chamber members, listing in a member directory, and a variety of other programs and services designed to promote business activity in a region.

Some Chambers are partially funded by local government, others are non-profit and completely independent, and some are a combination of the two. Chambers of Commerce also can include economic development corporations or groups, as well as tourism and visitor bureaus.

Currently, there are about 13,000 chambers registered in the official Worldchambers Network registry.

Chambers of Commerce are responsible for improving the local business environment and strengthening communities through advocacy, networking, and campaigning. The chamber's fundamental mission is to generate more business activity for the community.

Standing alone as a small business can be daunting and disempowering. Uniting with other businesses through a Chamber of Commerce can give your small business big backing.

The first chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Étienne Clémentel

Étienne Clémentel
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