The Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, established in December 1808, is over 200 years old and may fairly be considered as one of the oldest Chambers in existence in the world. At the time of the Napoleonic war the British Government was anxious to have its economy in the best possible order. With smuggling and other "illicit trade" robbing the British exchequer of revenue it strove to suppress such activities. British laws in 1805 and 1807 threatened to interfere with the ancient privileges and freedoms of Guernsey. As a result the Guernsey Merchants and the States decided to administer self policing rather than submit to the interference of the external British power. Accordingly on 16th December 1808 in the Market Place, with Deputy Daniel Delisle Brock as chairman, it was resolved to found a Chamber of Commerce with a committee appointed to frame the rules.
Initially the objectives were to watch over and preserve the commercial advantages and privileges enjoyed by the Island; collect all laws and orders in council that affect trade and procure information useful to merchants; to submit regulations and ordnances to the Royal Court for matters concerning the harbour, roads and pilotage and to give aid and protection to traders and inhabitants; to prevent abuse from strangers who came here with stolen goods or to defraud their creditors which not only injure the regular trader but give an undeservedly bad name to the Island.
By striving to adhere to Chamber of Commerce principles attempts to revive illegal trade would be prevented. New channels of fair commerce would be opened to the industry and enterprise of the Island's inhabitants. Representations by united respectable merchants and traders for fair and honourable purposes would be attended to and granted as extensions of trade without injury to the interests of the Mother Country.
The Guernsey Chamber of Commerce is now a company limited by guarantee and serves to meet the needs of present-day Island businesses. His Excellency the Lieutenant - Governor is our Patron. With over 600 active members we represent a sizeable portion of the Island's business community. Chamber's structure is based on an elected council made up of several committees whose area and level of activity determines their role within the council. Council members receive no remuneration and act on a purely voluntary basis. Day to day control of Chamber is supervised by the Executive Management committee consisting of the President and Chamber officers reporting to Council. The Secretariat consists of a Director and Secretaries who enact the requirements of the Executive and above all serve you, the membership. Chamber aims to be constructive in its approach to developing business in the Bailiwick. Although reactionary to specific issues as they arise, it aims to be proactive in looking for business opportunities and assisting members in areas that affect their business.
Services to Members
The office provides a diverse range of services and information for our members. For more information on any of these services please contact the Chamber Office on 727483.
The Chamber lunches are held on the third Monday of each month at The OGH Hotel at 12.15pm for 12.30pm. We have some excellent speakers talking on a range of topical subjects and it is an ideal opportunity to network with friends and business contacts. You will also find these lunches an effective way of corporate entertaining offering exceptional value for money. Details of the guest speaker are emailed to our members a couple of weeks before the event with a booking form and published in the Guernsey Press. Non members are also very welcome.
We hold regular early morning seminars and also facilitate these seminars on behalf of States Departments and private companies. If you have a message that would like to get out to the wider membership that would be of benefit to the business community this is an effective forum.
We have a meeting room that can accommodate up to ten people which can be hired by the day or by the hour. It is ideal for private meetings or interviews away from the office, and as it is equipped with a flip chart, large screen projector, computer and internet access it may also be used for small training courses.
Contact is the official magazine of the Chamber of Commerce and is aimed at business people throughout the Island. There are 6 publications a year and copies are sent out to over 1200 businesses with a readership of 4,000. The magazine will be read by managing directors and senior executives of both large and small companies, politicians, civil servants, advocates and traders. The magazine keeps members informed of Chamber business and views, as well as dealing with issues which are relevant to their work present and future.
This is an ideal window in which you can promote your services and if you would like to advertise or to have some editorial included please contact the Chamber office on 727483.
Guernsey Business Directory
This is included in every copy of our Contact magazine, keeping listings of all the Chamber members up to date.
Business Trends Survey
A survey is carried out annually by Chamber's Young Business Group. Results are published in our Contact magazine and indicate the Island's business performance with levels of business confidence for the future.
Monthly Chamber Events
The Council of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce meets on the third Monday of each month to scrutinise legislation proposed in the State's Billet D'Etat. They also debate major issues and subjects raised by members. The Executive Management Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month. Sub-Committees responsible for specific areas of activity within Chamber meet on a regular and ad hoc basis depending on the current issues requiring Chamber's attention. These cover Transport; Waste & Energy; Hospitality & Tourism; Retail; Legal, Tax & Finance; Population; Communications; Planning; and the Small Business Group.
Most importantly Chamber is the property of its members. The President calls upon all members to challenge Chamber to remain a true voice of its members and the business community of the Island.