In the United States, Chambers of Commerce are older than the Declaration of Independence. The New York State Chamber, the first in America, was organized in 1768 and five years later the first local Chamber was formed in Charleston, South Carolina. Today there are more than 4,000 Chambers of Commerce in the United States, all working to provide vital information, services and programming to business and civic organizations in their communities.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce was established on November 17th, 1908 as, “The Steubenville Business Men’s Association.” At its first meeting, the mission statement created by those in attendance read, “This association is organized to promote, foster, protect and advance the commercial, mercantile, manufacturing and civic interests of Steubenville.”
There were a little over 100 members listed on the original roster. Today, The Chamber has close to 500 members made up of all sizes and types of businesses, non-profits and civic organizations as well as educational institutions, churches and individuals. And while its name, programs and services have changed over the past 107 years, the goals remain very similar to those laid out in 1908.
The mission of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is to provide resources to maximize business performance through advocacy, education and networking.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is organized to achieve these objectives by:
- Creating a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of business people and a concern for their problems
- Educating the business community and representing them on city, county, state, and national legislative and political affairs;
- Preventing or addressing controversies which are detrimental to expansion and growth of business and the community if they arise;
- Promoting economic programs designed to strengthen and expand the income potential of all business within the trade area;
- Promoting programs of a civic, social, and cultural nature, which are designed to increase the functional and aesthetic values of the area; and discovering and correcting abuses which prevent the promotion of business expansion and community growth.