History and Milestones
Established in 1973, on the heels of amalgamation of three diverse founding communities in the City of Cambridge - The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce was formed through a merger of two Chambers in Galt and Preston with the Hespeler Merchants' Association.
But long before the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce's formation, industry was shaping the community and its people. The first mills earned Galt, Preston and Hespeler strong reputations for entrepreneurial and industry successes. From the beginnings of the Galt Board of Trade, formed on April 4, 1924, with Companies like Gore Mutual and Babcock and Wilcox, who still remain active Members, until today with world renowned ComDev in the aerospace industry, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada makers of the first Lexus to be built outside of Japan, Cambridge is widely known as diverse and innovative.
Today, Cambridge's business community is vibrant and prosperous, showing signs of continued strong growth and development potential.
At the centre of the city's vital business community is the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Commanding a leadership role, the Chamber brings local businesses together as a single voice, supports quality and excellence, and helps to enhance the city's economic prosperity. Currently the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is over 1880 members, making us the 2nd largest Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade in the Province of Ontario.
A non-partisan organization, funded solely by memberships, the Chamber works hard to address concerns of business, provide access to information resources and represent members at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. We continually develop working relationships with any and all levels of government and politicians. Our strength is in our numbers, our ability to achieve is in our numbers, and the catalyst of our success over the last few years is in the innovativeness and creativity of our Members. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce can’t help but be successful surrounded by prosperity and a vibrant, active business community.
Working hard to bring added value to the membership, community and visitors, we invite you to look at Cambridge, within a days drive of the wealthiest population in the world. Cambridge could easily be called the centre of the business universe, come meet with us and we will show you around the best community to locate your family and your business.
Then & Now
While the history of the Chamber in this community dates back to the formation of the Galt Board of Trade in 1924, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce began operations at the time of amalgamation of the communities of Galt, Hespeler and Preston into the City of Cambridge. On January 1, 1973, the Chambers of Galt and Preston and the Retail Merchants Association of Hespeler merged to form the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Today our membership stands at over 1800 members.
The role of the Chamber has changed over the years, moving from a vehicle of promotion for the city to a highly recognized voice of business dealing with all levels of government, as well as providing a wide variety of tangible member benefits.
The Chamber has always been the major source of tourism promotion and information in the city and in January of 1981 contracted with the City of Cambridge for the operation of Cambridge Tourism. It is the mission of the Chamber to develop tourism initiatives and build partnership that pool ideas and resources to promote Cambridge as a viable travel destination.
On June 16th, 2001 we opened the doors to the new “Gateway” business and visitor information centre on the southwest corner of the 401 and Hespeler Road interchange. This monumental achievement was the catalyst to building our membership, creating new opportunities for business and building the programs and events of our organization.
We offer a broad range of events and programs for our membership and we have been widely recognized as the premier networking organization in the Waterloo Region, and that our approach to programs and events makes us a noticeably different Chamber environment. We have also been the recipient of two (2) Ontario Chamber of Commerce Chair’s Awards, three (3) National and three (3) Provincial marketing Awards in the last seven (7) years.
Our focus is on our MEMBERS, we see them not only as the backbone of our organization, but the direct connection to prosperity, and making Cambridge the best it can be.
The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Strategic Plan outlines the vision, mission and objects of our plan to move the Cambridge Chamber forward from 2011 to 2014. Outline approved by the Board of Directors on this Strategic Plan for our Chamber.