What is a “Chamber of Commerce”?

What is a “Chamber of Commerce”?  

Ask “Wikipedia” and this is what you will learn…

“A chamber of commerce (or board of trade) is a form of business network, for example, a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community.  Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO or Executive Director, plus staffing appropriate to size, to run the organization.

The first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France.   Another official chamber of commerce would follow 65 years later, probably in Bruges, then part of the Spanish Netherlands.

The world’s oldest English-speaking chamber of commerce is the Jersey Chamber founded in February 1768, the same year the New York City Chamber was founded.

Chambers of commerce have a long and rich history of supporting the business community.  The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce has been doing so for more than a century.  

In our archives, we have newspaper clippings, black and white photos and minutes from Board meetings that date back many decades.  Some things have changed a lot over the years.  Take for example, the photo of a Board of Directors meeting from the 1950’s when the Board members were all men and smoking was an accepted practice as evidenced by the ashtrays on the table or the financial documents that were all hand written on ledger paper.  

A lot has changed over the years, yet so much has stayed the same.    We continue to focus our efforts on serving the business community and to help our region prosper.  We are led by a committed and talented Board of Directors, volunteer committees and staff who work tirelessly to serve our more than 800 members in 21 communities by…

  • Providing networking opportunities through events such as our “Business After Hours”
  • Providing learning opportunities through our “Early Bird Breakfasts” and “Success Seminars”
  • Providing marketing opportunities through a variety of events, publications and media
  • Advocating on behalf of our members on issues that impact them and our region
  • Offering opportunities to engage with our political leaders through our “Hot Stove” events
  • Celebrating the successes of our members and our region at our Annual Awards dinner
  • Fostering and developing leaders through our “Bangor Region Leadership Institute” program
  • Working to attract and retain young professionals through our “Fusion” program
  • Connecting business with education through our “Building Bridges” program

Providing one-on-one advice, support, assistance and referrals to help our members achieve success!

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce is committed to our members and to doing whatever we can to insure there are opportunities in our region for our businesses, residents, students and visitors to achieve their goals.

This has been true in the past for the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.  It holds true in the present and will continue to move us into the future.   Thank you for being a part of this long standing organization!


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