The Chamber of Commerce Idea
Most Chamber roots are in the 'town booster' type organization, meaning that the Chamber wanted to support its own community while competing with neighboring communities for trade, tourism, and economic development.
Over time, the Chamber’s concentration expanded to socioeconomic concerns, understanding that the health and vitality of the business sector is affected by the health and vitality of the community as a whole. It has been generally accepted that the role of the modern Chamber is two-fold: to support and promote currently established business as well as strive to attract and expand the current economic base (a shared effort with the City’s Economic Development department), and to support efforts to continuously improve our community through all avenues available.
Today’s Chamber can no longer ask its members, 'What do you need from your Chamber?' Instead, it is asking, 'What kind of a community do we want ours to be?' One goal of the Union Chamber of Commerce is to be proactive on issues, not reactive. We want to be known as a leadership organization.
Cities and towns are what their citizens make them. The Chamber of Commerce is an important vehicle through which the community's needs are met.
What Exactly is the Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce is a federation of business,
industrial and professional firms and interested individuals working together
to enhance the economic and socioeconomic health of their community. They have joined together because they know they stand a better chance of getting things done when they speak as one voice.
It is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation that brings together forces, both public and private, to carry forward programs relevant to members' needs and works effectively to make the community a better place to live and work.
The essential ingredients for an effective Chamber of Commerce are:
- a sound organizational structure
- a meaningful program
- responsible leadership
- a sound financial basis
The Chamber is not a social club, a charity or a division of city government. Although it is not-for-profit, the IRS code for mutual benefit organizations is 501(c)6 not (c)3 as a church or foundation would be.
As it works to improve our community's economy and quality of life, the Chamber keeps these broad objectives in mind:
- to help business prosper and grow
- to increase job opportunities
- to encourage an orderly expansion and development of all segments of the community
- to contribute to the overall economic stability of the community
- to provide the means through which businesses and individuals work together to benefit the community as a whole.
The Union Chamber of Commerce
The Union Chamber of Commerce began in 1909 as the Union Commercial Club. It was formed primarily for the purpose of unifying the Union business community and encouraging residents of Union to do their shopping locally. The Chamber was formally incorporated on April 19, 1979. Many early promotions were in cooperation with the Union Merchants’ Association, which has since dissolved.
In recent years, the Chamber has also fulfilled the need for a local, viable organization to contact for information regarding the Union community. The Union Chamber of Commerce serves as a visitor & relocation bureau and “answer center” when patrons are not sure where else to turn.
The Chamber takes pride in its rapidly growing list of members drawn from local retail, commercial and industrial businesses, as well as professionals and other citizens in Union and surrounding areas interested in the concepts of business development, community improvement, and cultural and environmental enhancement. The Union Chamber currently serves over 300 members!
Chamber Affiliations and Designations
The Union Chamber of Commerce is a member of both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, having joined both organizations in June 1962. The Union Chamber of Commerce also belongs to the Missouri Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. These groups provide professional networking and education opportunities for Chamber professional staff.
Helping our Missouri community grow since 1979
103 South Oak Street
Union, MO 63084