About the Chamber
The Chamber of Commerce of Huntington County has over 350 members and continues to grow. It represents the area’s workforce and residents and provides its members valuable business resources and a sizable return on investment. The Chamber is responsible for smaller economic development, business retention, community and legislative forums, continuing education through Life Long Learning, educational seminars for business leaders/staff, and continually working to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Huntington County. It offers events and programs each year to “grow” a successful business and enrich a community.
Then and Now
Evolving from the Board of Trade, created in 1902 to promote business in Huntington, the Huntington Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1924. It received its 501c (6) status in October of 1951 from the Internal Revenue Service.
During the 1950s, the Chamber emphasized cooperation between business and education. It also worked to advance the general welfare and prosperity of the Huntington area so that its citizens and all areas of its business community would have ample opportunity to prosper.
In response to the need for industrial development in the early 1960s, the Chamber led the efforts to rezone the eastside Huntington Industrial Park for heavy industry. It was also involved in the effort to secure funds for improvements to the Huntington Municipal Airport.
In 1965 construction on two major projects began: the Huntington dam and reservoir and the four-lane U.S. 24 bypass. The direction of development in the city of Huntington would change forever.
The Riverfork Development Co., Inc. was created in 1968 to purchase approximately 250 acres at the intersection of Old Andrews Road and Indiana 9 and 37. This land was acquired for the development of Riverfork Industrial Park.
The Chamber sponsored the dedication of the Huntington Lake and Dam in 1971 and Hunckler Products announced plans to be the first resident in the Riverfork Industrial Park. The annual Heritage Days celebration became a Chamber project at the disbanding of the Huntington County Heritage Days Association also in 1971. Heritage Days continues today under the direction of the Chamber.
Riverfork Development Co. dissolved in 1979 and the Chamber formed Lime City Economic Development Corporation. The cooperative effort between public and private sectors worked and by 1984, the infrastructure in Riverfork Industrial Park was completed.
With the development of Frontage Road in the 1980s, the U.S. 24 bypass ceased to form the borders for development on the city’s north side. Tax Increment Financing Districts were formed to enhance both commercial and industrial development.
The 1990s began with a growing economy, creating new jobs, housing, and commercial development. The quest for well trained employees became a priority. The Chamber’s Business/Education Collaborative realized that providing new training opportunities for the workforce was essential. This has led to an association between the Chamber and Life Long Learning and WorkOne which continues to grow today. It is essential to the future growth of Huntington County to have well educated and trained workers. The Chamber strives with these organizations to create these opportunities which in turn bring businesses to Huntington looking for skilled labor.
The Chamber of Commerce of Huntington County currently and through the years supports and promotes a community atmosphere in which business prospers and the quality of life continually improves. It is the voice for progress and improvements, bringing together businesses and individuals for a thriving community.