What is a Chamber of Commerce?
The earliest chamber of commerce in the United States came about on April 22, 1912. They named it the US Chamber of Commerce, and it still exists today. Yet it's not the oldest.The first chamber of commerce ever created came about in 1599 in Marseille, France. Its purpose was to gather merchants, industrialists, traders, and craftsmen in order to discuss and tackle community challenges. The chamber of commerce was a place of unity, even among competitors.Their voice soon became a persuasive power amidst public authorities and the community. So much so that more would pop up throughout the centuries, and even throughout the world.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is 116 years old as of April 22, 2018, and it's still serving as a spearhead which focuses on protecting the interests of American businesses.Yet numerous smaller chambers have cropped up throughout the nation as a voice for local area businesses. Their purpose is the same, just on a smaller scale.Local chambers tackle both issues and trends taking place in their community as well as offer resources and services to help local businesses succeed. It isn't just a goodwill effort, but an effective strategy.
Consider these statistics from American Business Magazine:
44% of consumers are more likely to think favorably of businesses who are members of their local chamber
63% of consumers are more likely to buy products or services from businesses who are members of their local chamber
Consumers view chamber of commerce members as trustworthy and are 12% more likely to believe their products or services are better than competitors