The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce traces its roots back as far as the Scottish Enlightenment and one of its principal founders in 1785 was the poet Robert Burns’ friend and publisher, William Creech.
In 1790 the organisation successfully campaigned for the introduction of date stamping on mail, and it also recommended an audible time signal for the city – the One o’Clock Gun.
The chamber merged with the Edinburgh Business Development (EBD) trust in 1996, and the business development arm has allowed the chamber to help local firms start up and grow.
EBD, which provides training programmes for a range of organisations, has been the chamber’s biggest income generators in recent years and brought in £2.5 million in 2009/10.
But a downturn in the number of contracts is understood to have left EBD facing a loss of nearly £1m in the 2010/11 financial year. As a result, the chamber has had to announce redundancies for 12 of its staff.