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Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and business owners that form groups to promote the interests of businesses in their territory. They are occasionally referred to as a Board of Trade and are made up of local business people who are appointed or elected (by the members) to the board to run the group.
    The Chamber of Commerce is often a charitable group as well; running fund raisers and raising money for the needy in the community.
    The Chamber of Commerce in some areas acts as an arbitration board for settling disputes.
    The Chamber of Commerce will sometimes establish a uniform look for signage and store-front hardware to create a character in the central business district.
    The Chamber of Commerce will often establish hours of operation for it's members.
    The Chamber of Commerce can be a lobby group that lobbies officials for business friendly legislation.
    The Chamber of Commerce often acts as the area statistician for collecting economic data in its territory.
    The Chamber of Commerce is sometimes a publisher that produces a periodical that also acts as an advertising medium for it's members.
Chambers of Commerce trace their roots back to Europe circa 1600.  In some areas they are a small group of businesses and in other areas they are a huge well financed political machine that furthers the interests of it's members.

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