The Chamber actively promotes area member businesses, works on community and regional issues, and advocates for business on governmental and legislative issues.
The Chamber is increasingly involved in non-commercial areas such as education, human resources, environmental, cultural and governmental concerns. To meet these challenges, the Chamber has become a viable force in seeking solutions to today's problems. As the voice of business in Cabell and Wayne counties, the Chamber influences federal, state and local legislation affecting business.
The Chamber provides a wide range of services and benefits to its members including business referrals, business education workshops and seminars, exclusive promotional opportunities and events that encourage members to do business with members.
It is the mission of the Chamber to promote the development of a vibrant and prosperous business environment, enabling its members to do together what they might not be able to do individually- working for the best interests of our region.
A Message from the President
Huntington Chamber celebrates 120 years of service to the business community
One hundred and twenty years ago, business and civic leaders came together and formed the Huntington Board of Trade to support area businesses and work to create a positive business climate in the region, later incorporated as the Huntington Chamber of Commerce. The local Chamber predates the state, and even U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and has been providing community leadership now for well over a century.
The Chamber has a long history of civic involvement that dates back to the late 19th century. The Chamber partnered with the Cabell County School Board at the beginning of the 20th century to build the Carnegie Public Library. The Chamber’s archives contain hand written correspondence from Mr. Carnegie’s secretary, as will as a signed letter from Alexander Graham Bell indicating that he unfortunately could not attend the grand opening of the library!
The Chamber also led the effort to build the floodwall after the devastating floods in the 1930s, and donated the land on which the Mildred Bateman Hospital was built. The funding for the original construction of Tri-State Airport was led by the Chamber, as well as the bond campaign to raise additional money for airport improvements in the 1950s.
A lot has changed, both in the community and at the Chamber since the first half of the 20th century, but the Chamber’s commitment to the community has not. In more recent times, the Chamber has continued to focus its efforts on improving the region, and creating a more favorable business climate. In the fall of 2001, the Chamber formed the “Huntington Forward” committee that reviewed city pensions and group insurance. The report and recommendations made by that group are the foundation of legislative changes, and brought to light issues surrounding municipal benefits that are still being discussed today.
The Chamber led the effort to raise $90,000 that helped fund a new consultant for Tri-State Airport, which resulted in the recruitment of Allegiant Air to the region, a development that has taken Tri-State from an “on life support” status to being one of the fourth fastest growing airports in the eastern U.S. The Chamber also raised $30,000 to fund a study by Marshall University to benchmark City of Huntington operations. Much of the discussion that now occurs about municipal issues was brought out by that study, and many fundamental changes in how the city operates financially were founded in the results of that study.
The Chamber has partnered with Mountwest Community and Technical College to form the Workforce Development Institute, to further the education of the area workforce. Other partnerships have been formed with the Lawrence County (Ohio) Chamber, and the Ashland (Ky.) Alliance, as well as the Charleston Area Alliance in an effort to support regional commerce.
Chamber groups such as the Young Professionals Committee and Women 2 Women are helping identify and train community leaders, and our Downtown Live Committee brings thousands of people downtown to signature events such as the Children’s Art Festival Extravaganza and the Huntington Christmas Parade. Other Chamber member benefits include the Chamber Advantage program that offers business discounts to members, and the Chamber Rewards program that provides free advertising and advertising discounts in The Herald-Dispatch.
And lastly, the Chamber continues to be the advocate for local business, lobbying for an improved business tax system, legal reform, fighting business mandates, and supporting pro-business candidates. All of these efforts are crucial to our community’s economic success. The Chamber is alive and well, and growing. Representing over 2,000 businessmen and women working at over 525 companies that employ 30,000 workers, the Chamber is THE business connection.