Find chamber of commerce, and local city business chambers. Chambers of commerce provide information on local business listings and directories, business practices, networking meetings, events, and marketing.
A Chamber of Commerce is an organization of member businesses that promotes economic development and business activity. Chambers of Commerce work to attract investment, visitors, and residents to the communities and regions in which they are located. Chambers of Commerce encourage the creation of an environment where businesses can flourish.
Chambers of Commerce are voluntary, fee-based organizations, and they are usually established as non-profit corporations. While most members tend to be businesses, it is not uncommon for non-profit organizations and government agencies to also join a Chamber of Commerce. Policy is usually guided by a board of directors, which is selected by the full membership. Many Chambers of Commerce hire a paid Executive Director and additional staff. However, other Chambers of Commerce, typically for smaller locations, have no paid staff and rely entirely on the volunteer efforts of members. In addition to membership fees, most Chambers of Commerce generate additional revenue from other sources, primarily special events.
Networking is an important feature of Chamber activities, with the goal of fostering valuable relationships between members. Many Chambers of Commerce assist members in marketing efforts, including providing special offers to other members. As advocates of the overall business and employer community, Chambers of Commerce can also significantly influence public policy.
Chambers of Commerce can be organized at the local, regional, or state level. A Chamber of Commerce has been established for nearly every state, and there are thousands of local and regional Chambers of Commerce. At the national level, there is also a U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Although they share the same name, these Chambers of Commerce operate independently. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not a parent organization of the local, regional, and state Chambers of Commerce, but many local, regional, and state Chambers of Commerce are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Many Chambers of Commerce have similar interests and will collaborate on shared issues. When Chambers of Commerce cooperate and interact with each other, these relationships are informal and fluid.