• WHEN YOU JOIN A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, YOU BECOME PART OF A CREDIBLE ESTABLISHMENT. IT'S A TEAM OF MEMBERS GROWING LOCAL BUSINESS AND PROMOTING THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. WHEN YOU JOIN A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, YOU BECOME PART OF A CREDIBLE ESTABLISHMENT. IT'S A TEAM OF MEMBERS GROWING LOCAL BUSINESS AND PROMOTING THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.

  • What is a Chamber?


     
    The Chamber of Commerce is an interconnected group of businesses and professionals working together to increase local commerce and to serve their communities more effectively than can be done individually. 

    There is a distinct advantage in combining efforts with other like-minded businesses and applying available technology to expand your own business while increasing global awareness of your community. The more your local business community grows, the more potential there is for your own business or service.

    As a business person in today’s economy, it is imperative that you apply all the tools available to you in order to succeed. Many of the tools necessary for expanding your business and reaching potential customers and clients are only available to you through your local Chamber of Commerce. 

    Without the support of the Chamber, and the technology it makes available, it is much more difficult for an independent business to be successful in the turbulent economic seas prevalent today.
    Prospective customers searching for reputable businesses through the internet or by traditional sources normally begin with the local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, in turn, can drive incoming business directly to you as a member.

    Chambers of Commerce are not governmental organizations and receive no direct government funding. Each Chamber is a separate and independent entity and these individual entities are not connected by government or funding.

    The Chamber exists to serve its members. It provides the resources and tools you need to maximize your success. Membership in your Chamber of Commerce can give your business a powerful edge in today's competetive market.

    Remember…“The Chamber of Commerce is the most trusted source for information on local businesses and services.”
  • History of the Chamber of Commerce


     
    Origin of the chamber concept
    The concept of various businesses joining together in a mutual effort to increase commerce has its beginnings in Europe hundreds of years ago. Primarily as a defensive tactic, traders banded together for protection against common enemies and to establish policies to govern trade. This was eventually extended as a means of exerting influence on governments and legislation.

    The first organization of businesses was in Marseilles, France, where the term “chamber of commerce” was first documented. This fledgling group was established by the city council in 1599. The idea caught on and spread to Germany and eventually throughout Europe.

    The concept comes to America
    The modern Chamber of Commerce is more of an American development. The New York State Chamber is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in America, formed in 1768 and chartered by King George III in 1770. That makes it older than the Declaration of Independence; chambers of commerce are not a new development.

    Local chambers
    The first local chamber was founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1773. This was followed by one in New Haven, Connecticut and then another in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1800. The trend rapidly spread across the country. By 1870 there were forty local chambers of commerce in the United States. Today there are over 5,000 chambers of commerce.

    The purpose of the Chamber of Commerce has evolved from simply the protection and promotion of commerce to many of the things presented on this website. The primary function of protecting commerce remains the same, but it is interesting to follow the changes and adaptations of chamber functions through the years as chambers have adjusted to the changing needs of society. Today the role of a chamber of commerce has expanded to address socioeconomic concerns and social needs, going far beyond its original intent several centuries ago.
    National chamber
    President William Howard Taft sent a letter to Congress in 1911 addressing the need for a “central organization “in order to “keep purely American interests in a closer touch with different phases of commercial affairs.” A few months later in 1912 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was born.

    Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims a direct membership of 300,000 businesses and 3 million entities in state and local chambers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not the same as local and state chambers, which focus on local and state issues. The U.S. Chamber is concerned with national issues and dealings with the federal government.

    International chamber
    The chamber concept functions on a global scale as well. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the largest business organization in the world. Founded in 1919, it now has hundreds of thousands of companies under its umbrella in over 130 countries. With headquarters in Paris, it keeps organizations like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in touch with international business issues.

    The primary purpose of the ICC is to promote trade and investment,and to encourage open markets for goods and services and the free flow of capital.

    Chambers require free enterprise and private initiative
    America as a nation stands for freedom and the chamber concept can only be found where private initiative and free enterprise exist. The Chamber of Commerce serves a function internationally, nationally and locally, with a proven record of success for the benefit of business and commerce on both the large and small scale.Your chamber Historically and to this day the Chamber of Commerce remains the most trusted source of information on local businesses and services and the most dependable ally in commerce. There is not a better partner for success than your local Chamber of Commerce.