Local associations of business people, either operating their own companies or employed in organizations, who have organized to promote the welfare of their community (city, county, town, township or other locale), especially its commercial interests. Chambers of commerce direct their efforts to promoting the common economic interests of all the commercial enterprises within a locality rather than focusing on a particular industry, usually have an elected board of directors, and do their work through committees. They encourage the growth of new businesses, provide assistance to new firms seeking to locate in the community, advocate for actions that promote tourism and benefit the regional economy and serve as a voice for the business community at local and provincial levels. Member benefits may include publicity and advertising opportunities in vehicles such as member directories, visitor's guides and a community calendar; ribbon cutting ceremonies and grand openings for new establishments; business expos; job fairs; small business counselling; business seminars; member referrals; member-to-member discounts; health and other insurance; and a variety of social activities.
Organizations whose members are individuals and companies in the same trade or industry who have affiliated for the purpose of advancing common interests, taking united action on common problems, exchanging ideas and ensuring that the industry grows and prospers. Trade associations lobby for legislation that advances industry interests; establish standards and guidelines that strengthen the field; provide information about issues which affect the industry and a forum for discussion and action where necessary; research and disseminate industry statistics; provide websites, directories, newsletters or other vehicles where members can advertise their products and services; and/or host national or international trade exhibitions, showcases and product presentations, trade missions and other promotional activities. Some trade associations have buying consortiums; negotiate discounts on related services; and offer liability, health, disability, business and other insurance to members.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.