A Long and Important History!
The very first Chamber was founded in Marseille France in 1599 and operated there for 65 years before it started to reach new places. The next expansion came in 1664 in the Spanish Netherlands and then continued to spread around the world with the world’s oldest English speaking Chamber launched in Halifax Canada 1750. It finally reached the Island with the founding in 1863 of the Greater Victoria Chamber followed by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber in 1912. Interestingly both chambers were launched prior to the BC and Canadian chambers which were launched in 1929.
There are currently around 13,000 chambers worldwide and is the largest business advocay network globally.
All chambers were born out of the need for the development and protection of business rights. Their key purpose was lobbying all levels of Government to create laws and bylaws that supported and were favourable for businesses, employees, and communities .
One of the key historic roles of chambers has been to collect local business and employee statistics to help governing bodies make accurate and fair decisions. The chambers were the main source of private-sector information mostly done through up to date chamber member surveys.
Chambers quickly became the bridge between Businesses, government departments, community organizations, residents, and even schools and universities.
Local Advocacy is Critical.
Founded in 1912 the Saanich Peninsula Chamber has bee actively supporting businesses of all sizes and industries to ensure a stable loves environment to do business within. The chamber is funded purely by member businesses that understand the need to ensure local governments don’t institute unsafe and inequitable bylaws and practices.
Our Chamber advocates for businesses in three distinct municipalities on the Saanich Peninsula. Together they represent over 2,300 businesses providing over 15,000 jobs. We work with our members to identify the key challenges in each municipality that need to be addressed and work with each municipality to create solutions that work for everyone.
Advocacy can be a long process but is a long term key to ensuring a healthy place for businesses to grow. Give that most decisions are made at the municipal level by residents voted into office businesses are under represented in our local political arena.