The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry can trace its roots back to the founding of the Lancaster Board of Trade in 1872. Initially formed to foster commerce by paving and improving roads, the Lancaster Board of Trade had grown within a year to include a hundred of the city’s preeminent businessmen. The board expanded the scope of its business and civic projects to include: improving credit practices, extending streets, supplying water, improving transportation and constructing schools and other public buildings.
In 1910, the Board of Trade merged with the Lancaster Retail Merchants Association to form The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. This newly formed organization soon focused its energy towards the construction of a modern railroad station – ultimately persuading the Pennsylvania Railroad to construct a facility at the north end of the city. Other significant Chamber projects of the period include the conversion of County toll roads, the planning of a city directory and the organization of cooperative merchandising events.
A second merger occurred in 1977 when The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and the Lancaster Area Manufacturers' Association joined forces to become The Lancaster Association of Commerce and Industry. In 1981 the name was changed to The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Chamber offices are presently located in the former Southern Market – a historic market building located in downtown Lancaster. Originally constructed in 1888, this beautifully restored building, with its own unique role in Lancaster's history, also symbolizes the contribution The Chamber has made to the community throughout the years.
Recently, The Chamber played an integral role in earning Lancaster City the All-America City Award in 2001. In 2003 it was recognized as the Nation’s top chamber of commerce by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. Today, The Chamber is considered one of the Commonwealth’s most active and respected business organizations and has earned a reputation for excellence among its peers throughout the nation.
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