What is a Chamber of Commerce Anyway?
Most communities in Canada have a Chamber of Commerce, and those who belong take great pride in their membership. They put stickers on their cars, certificates on their walls, and pins on their lapels. They advertise their involvement for all to see. But those who do not belong often ask why. The answer is because they are proud of being part of an organization that plays such a key role in the community.
That begs the question – what is that role? The official description is:
A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization established to promote civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural progress of the community and district which it serves and to work for sound legislation and efficient administration at the community and all levels of government.”anonymous
The simple version says so much more. The Chamber exists to make any community a better place to live. Period. A Chamber of Commerce provides an avenue for the business people in a community to create a positive business environment. It also provides the local business community with a vehicle to promote their region to the outside world – either for tourism or business investment. It then serves to help people find their way when they arrive.
The Chamber provides an opportunity for those who create local jobs and drive the local economy to work with government and the public to build a better community. The community Chamber works closely with the municipal and regional governments. The provincial government on issues of mutual concern to all chambers, and the Canadian chamber serves a similar role at a national level. The chamber speaks for the business community at public hearings, to the media, and behind closed doors.
When a business joins the Chamber they can learn about rising government issues that affect business, and add their voice to the chambers’ efforts to address them. Equally important is that the Chamber can then support them on the issues that concern their business. When a business joins the Chamber, they help make their community – and their business – healthy and prosperous.