Chapter

Historical Overview

Robert J. Bennett

in Local Business Voice

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584734
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731105 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584734.003.0002
Historical Overview

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Because the book is mainly thematic, this chapter gives a historical overview to put the themes into a context. It traces the earliest chambers of commerce, from 1767, and ‘delegate’ bodies that participated in the General Chamber of Manufacturers 1785-7, and the Union of chambers 1793-1805. It demonstrates how the chambers of commerce developed in every major city, and were copied in smaller towns by chambers of trade. It describes how early societies for credit and debt collection worked with the chambers, and how chambers of agriculture competed. For the twentieth century the chapter traces competition from sector-based trade associations and national bodies such as CBI. It demonstrates the peripheralization of local voice up to the 1980s, but a revival as up to the present as providers of business services and partners with government in economic development and workforce training.

Keywords: Chambers of commerce; chambers of trade; trade protection societies; chambers of agriculture; trade associations; employer associations; credit referencing; peak associations; corporatism; CBI; FSB; small firms

Chapter.  14799 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business History

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