Local Business Voice provides the first scholarly and systematic history of the Chambers of Commerce from early historical origins in the eighteenth century up to the present date. Based on new archival information, it provides exhaustive coverage of all UK and Irish chambers, as well asdetailed examination of Chambers in the US, including New York, Charleston, and Boston, and early Chambers in Quebec. The book traces the importance of commercial arbitration, coffee and reading rooms, and information and consultancy services as critical to the Chambers' unique market position. It demonstrates the challenges for the Chambers as independent voluntary bodies in increasing partnerships withgovernments and competition with rival institutions, and also gives critical overview of key lobbies, such as against the Corn Laws, tariff reform and free trade, municipal socialism, and modern regulatory burdens. A definitive account of all local chambers including data appendices and detailed assessment of their significance, the book will be an enduring resource and foundation for research into the Chambers of Commerce's origins, historical development, and modern position.