British Chambers of Commerce
British Chambers of Comme
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British Chambers of Commerce

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British Chambers of Commerce

British Chambers of Commerce

Economy

Description

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) was founded in 1860 and is the only business group with members of every size, from every sector, in both every region and nation of the UK and in over 70 markets around the world.

Policy and advocacy work

The BCC is the UK's most representative business network, with a network of accredited chambers in every locality in the UK, serving members of every size and sector.

They run the UK's largest, longest-running and most respected survey of business sentiment – the Quarterly Economic Survey – and maintain an active programme of policy research, focus groups and events.  Their unparalleled reach into Britain's business communities makes them the country's go-to business organisation for policymakers, and its most effective lobby group.

Additionally, strong relationships with the UK government enable them to advocate for effective policy solutions to the challenges facing British business.

The BCC's response to Coronavirus

Coronavirus Hub

The BCC Coronavirus Hub is a constantly evolving resource established to provide regularly updated guidance and support for Chambers and member businesses across the UK and around the world.

The Hub provides official guidance from UK government and details of UK government support measures as well as details of upcoming BCC virtual events on important topical issues.

Coronavirus Business Impacts Tracker

The BCC launched its Coronavirus Business Impacts Tracker in March 2020 to monitor the immediate impact of the pandemic on business conditions, and the effectiveness of government action. The Tracker was fundamental to shaping its policy and advocacy work throughout the crisis

This insight, coupled with strong relationships with local and national government, enabled the BCC to work with government to shape key interventions that have protected jobs and maintained cashflow to businesses.

These include securing suspension of business rates and VAT payments, improvements to the coverage and flexibility of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and getting financial support to start-ups and medium-sized firms who were unable to access coronavirus business-interruption loans.

Research

The BCC’s extensive research programme provides the biggest independent analysis of businesses in the country and gives an unparalleled insight into what’s happening in UK business communities and what they need to succeed.

Its flagship Quarterly Economic Survey regularly receives over 7000 responses and is the largest and most representative of its kind in the UK.

Other surveys include the Quarterly International Trade Outlook, the quarterly recruitment outlook, and other more specific research outputs.

Trade facilitation

Chambers of Commerce have supported local businesses with trade documentation, such as certificates of origin and preferential trade documentation, for over 100 years.

The BCC customs brokerage service, ChamberCustoms, is the only customs broker in the UK to offer a ‘one stop shop’ with direct links to all sea, air and road ports and terminals in the UK.

Accreditation

The BCC's system of accreditation is designed to evaluate and improve the performance of accredited Chambers of Commerce.

This system enables those chambers that meet the accreditation requirements to become a member of the BCC Network. A list of accredited Chambers of commerce in the UK can be found here.

Each accredited Chamber is required to display the ‘BCC Accredited’ logo, which provides assurance to businesses that the Chamber has met rigorous and continually updated quality standards.

Media

The BCC Chambers frequently appears in national and local media to represent the views of businesses and make sure their voice is heard.

Annual Conference

The British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference is a yearly event which is regarded as one of the most high-profile non-party political conferences, attended by hundreds of delegates from a range of sectors.

It attracts a large number of senior politicians and business leaders and previous speakers have included the prime minister, the foreign secretary, the chancellor of the exchequer and the leader of the opposition.

Chamber Business Awards

The annual Chamber Business Awards were originally launched in 2004 to recognise and celebrate business excellence through the successes and achievements of its accredited Chambers of Commerce and their members.  Since then, thousands of businesses have entered this high-profile programme.

Director General

Shevaun Haviland was appointed as Director General in May 2021, replacing Dr Adam Marshall, who had been in post from October 2016.  Previous Director Generals include John Longworth and David Frost.

President

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE was elected President of the British Chambers of Commerce in March 2020 to represent the interests of Chamber business communities and trade through a crucial period for the UK.

Chair

Sarah Howard MBE was elected Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce in October 2019.

Global business network

The British Chambers of Commerce Global Business Network is composed of members of British chambers of commerce and business groups located across all continents of the world, and directly linked to chambers of commerce in every region of the UK.

The network acts as an agile and reliable ecosystem for businesses wishing to widen their international horizons. Each chamber has a diverse membership of both services and goods companies, willing to share advice and provide trusted connections.

This means that a company that is a member of any chamber in the BCC network can benefit from international B2B connections, support services and solutions, practical advice about the local business environment and potential market opportunities.

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