Frequently Asked Questions

Chambers of Commerce 101

What is a chamber of commerce?

A chamber of commerce is an organization of business and professional people whose goals are to promote their commercial interests, build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in their community, region, province/territory or country.


In Canada, chambers of commerce have existed for over two centuries. In fact, with roots dating to 1750, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the first chamber of commerce established in North America. Shortly after the turn of the 19th century, boards of trade were formed in the cities of Saint John, Quebec and Montreal. From these beginnings, the movement grew and now represents more than 500 active chambers of commerce and boards of trade in communities across the country.

In Canada, the terms “chamber of commerce” and “board of trade” are interchangeable and synonymous. There is a general trend towards the use of “chamber of commerce” as this term is the only one used in most other countries.

What do chambers of commerce do?

Chambers of commerce bring businesses together to lead and build vibrant, sustainable communities. While the missions of individual chambers of commerce vary, they all tend to focus to some degree on fostering trade and industry, stimulating civic development and promoting, generally, the welfare of the community and its surrounding areas.

Some of the products and services that chambers of commerce offer include networking opportunities, advocacy, business advice, benefit programs and professional development.

Why are chambers of commerce important?

Chambers of commerce are vital to the economic viability of the communities they serve. They advocate for public policies that will foster a strong, competitive economic environment—one that benefits the businesses and families in their towns and across Canada. Chambers of commerce rally support for initiatives that will create jobs, provide tax relief for individuals and businesses, and improve the quality of life in their communities.

Chambers of commerce also play a key role in the development of local businesses. Through the benefit programs, networking opportunities, professional development and business resources offered, chambers of commerce are important vehicles for business people to grow and promote their business.

In Canada, chambers of commerce that belong to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce form a powerful network that represents the views of 192,000 businesses at the municipal, provincial/territorial and national levels of government. Together, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network is the voice of Canadian business—a voice that is sought by government, opinion leaders and the media.

Why should I belong?

Membership in your local chamber of commerce is a wise investment because it helps you protect and promote the best interests of your business. By becoming a member of your local chamber of commerce, you join a national network of more than 420 chambers of commerce, connecting 192,000 businesses of all sizes, in all sectors of the economy and in all regions of the country.

Membership in the chamber network empowers you to shape public policies that will ensure your business’s prosperity.

Membership also allows you to grow your business by opening doors to new opportunities with other business owners, by providing you with benefit programs that can improve your business’s bottom line and by offering you professional development activities.

Membership in your local chamber of commerce also gives your business credibility. Research has also shown that being active in your local chamber of commerce is an effective strategy for businesses to use in communicating that they use good business practices, are active in the community, care about customers and are reputable.

 

What is the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network?

Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and their members form the Canadian Chamber network. The chamber network brings businesses together to lead and build vibrant, sustainable communities from coast to coast to coast. Through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the chamber network connects individual businesses to the federal government, empowering them to influence policy and decision-making to the benefit of all businesses, communities and families across Canada.

While the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is a primary and vital connection between business and the federal government, its chamber of commerce and board of trade members enable businesses to shape public policies at the municipal, regional, and provincial/territorial levels of government. The ability to connect 192,000 businesses of all sizes, in all sectors of the economy
and in all regions of the country, and to communicate to all levels of government on business issues with the voice of business is what gives the Canadian Chamber network its power.

Why should my local Chamber join the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network?

Becoming a member in your local chamber of commerce as local business owner means membership in the Canadian Chamber network and that’s a wise investment because it helps you protect and promote the best interests of business in your immediate area.

Chambers of commerce and boards of trade

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce network of more than 420 chambers of commerce and boards of trade represents your members’ business interests and allows your members to shape public policies at all levels of government.

 

Business owners

By becoming a member of your local chamber of commerce, you join a national network of more than 420 chambers of commerce, connecting 192,000 businesses of all sizes, in all sectors of the economy and in all regions of the country. Membership in the chamber network empowers you to shape public policies that will ensure your business’s prosperity.

Membership also allows you to grow your business by opening doors to new opportunities with other business owners, by providing you with benefit programs that can improve your business’s bottom line and by offering you professional development activities.

Business owners in the Creston Valley who would like to join our local chamber can contact the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce for more information.