The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has been the driving force for building a strong economy and vibrant business community since 1873. Originally founded as The Board of Trade just eight years after the Civil War, the organization would go by six names before settling on the current name in 1965. The mission has always been to create jobs and a better quality of life for area residents.
Some of the Chamber's earliest goals included paving Commerce Street and promoting development of the Alabama River and the railroads. Industrial recruitment has always been at the forefront of the Chamber's work. One of its first major victories came in 1910 when the Chamber convinced the Wright Brothers to locate their first School for Powered Flight on a field that would eventually become home to Maxwell Air Force Base. Since that time, the Chamber has been instrumental in helping land major economic development projects, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing's only North American manufacturing plant, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
Through the years the Montgomery Chamber has not only made its mark in terms of industrial recruitment, it has also sparked economic development in other areas of the community. In 1954 the Chamber formed a convention and visitor division. Today the Montgomery Chamber Convention & Visitor Bureau drives the vibrant $1.3 million-per-day tourism industry. In 1995 the Montgomery Chamber's Small Business Resource Center was born and the Minority Business Development program was launched. These initiatives have been responsible for stimulating economic growth and creating numerous jobs throughout Montgomery and the River Region.
As the Montgomery Chamber has grown and adapted during its more than 140-year history one thing has remained constant: Behind every successful initiative is a partnership - a coalition of business leaders, elected officials, civic leaders, education and industry, sharing a vision of a better community and working through the Chamber to move Montgomery and the River Region forward.