Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day
is observed on the third Wednesday of October every year. The aim is to spread awareness about local businesses and convey our gratitude to our local chambers of commerce for supporting the growth of entrepreneurs and local businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was established in 1912, following the proposal made by President William Howard Taft and his secretary of commerce and labor, Charles Nagel, to Congress. Taft believed that there needed to be a representative group of professionals that could speak with authority to the government on behalf of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
HISTORY OF SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DAY
The idea of joining several businesses together in a shared initiative to boost commerce started in Europe many years ago. Traders would band together and establish trade policies that would protect them against the foreign bourgeoisie. The term ‘chamber of commerce’ was first recorded in 1599 in Marseilles, France, when various businesses came together to form an organization. This idea was adopted by Germany and eventually spread throughout Europe.
In America, the oldest Chamber of Commerce is the New York State Chamber. The Chamber was established in 1768 and chartered by King George III in 1770, predating even the Declaration of Independence.
In 1773, the first local chamber was established in Charleston, South Carolina. This structure was then adopted by several other states and, soon, there were local chambers all across the country.
Upon the written request of President William Howard Taft, the National Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1912. The Chamber of Commerce concept also functions as an international body called the International Chamber of Commerce (I.C.C.). Established in 1919, the I.C.C. is the largest business organization in the world, with thousands of companies from more than 130 countries under it. The I.C.C. has its headquarters in Paris and supports overseas international trade, open markets, and free flow of capital.
While there were 40 local chambers of commerce in the United States by 1870, today, that number has surpassed 5,000 — each of them working toward promoting and supporting local business initiatives and addressing the needs of the changing market.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DAY TIMELINE
1599 - The Term 'Chamber of Commerce' is Coined
The term is first documented in Marseilles, France, as the first organization of businesses is formed.
1768 - The First Chamber is Established in America
The New York State Chamber, a precursor of the modern-day chambers of commerce, is formed, preceding America's Independence.
1773 - The First Local Chamber
The first local chamber is instituted in Charleston, South Carolina, to help grassroots businesses grow.
1912 - U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Founded
On April 22, 1912, four months after President Taft's message to Congress, a group of delegates coming together, creates a body with a unified business interest that becomes the U.S. National Chamber of Commerce.
1919 - The International Chamber of Commerce is Established
With its headquarters in Paris, the I.C.C. is the largest business organization in the world, with thousands of companies from over 130 countries under it.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DAY FAQS
What does the local chamber of commerce do?
They advocate for the support of local entrepreneurs. Representatives try to influence policies that would create a conducive business environment for their members.
What do you need to do to join your local chamber of commerce?
You can contact your local chamber of commerce online for information on how to register. The application procedures may vary.
How do chambers of commerce make money?
Chambers of commerce organizations are not primarily profit-driven. Their goal is to represent the interest and advocate the progress of local entrepreneurs.
HOW TO OBSERVE SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DAY