Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization promoting
business in the Chicagoland region of
The Chamber is a voice at local, state and
national levels for approximately 2,600 member companies and their
1.3 million employees. The organization is located in Suite 2200 in
Center in the Chicago Loop area of Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Association of Commerce and Industry, as it was originally known,
formed in 1904. In 1992, the organization took on the name
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber is headed by Jerry Roper
its President and CEO, who is a national figure in the United
States business community. Since 1993, he has been an outspoken
advocate for business growth, job creation, entrepreneurship, and
civic activity in Chicago and throughout the country.
Some issues the Chamber regularly advocates on behalf of
- A tax and regulatory climate that promotes and encourages
private sector expansion
and a competitive tax climate, and general structural reform of the
tax system to reduce the reliance on property taxes to fund
education and governmental entities.
- A Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights at all levels of government to give
all taxpayers fairness
- and equity when dealing with
government on a contestable notice.
- Coordinated efforts among the business community, local
governments and our
Congressional delegation to maximize federal funding for the
- Wage levels set by market forces and a reasonable minimum wage
set by the federal
government, keeping our region on par with competing states.
- Efforts to promote entrepreneurship and small and emerging
businesses through the
Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
- Promotion of international business investment and relocation
on behalf of the region.
- Strengthening energy infrastructure, reliability and
affordability by supporting continued investment in generation,
transmission and distribution systems, and promoting renewable
energy resources and energy efficiency in order to create job
opportunities, advance the competitive potential of Illinois, and
enhance reliability and economic performance.
- TECHNOLOGY & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Investment to ensure all people have access to the resources of
the Information Age
so that companies in all industries and business sectors can have
access to a skilledinformation technology labor force.
- EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
- Adequately funding elementary and secondary schools and
diminishing the over-reliance on local property taxes.
- Expanding the number of schools organized and operated to
achieve high performance outcomes for students.
History of the Chamber
The Chamber is a direct lineal descendent
of the Chicago Board of Trade which was founded in 1848. 1904 is
the official founding date, for at this time, numerous groups were
amalgamated to form the present Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber
has played, and continues to play, a major role in the development
of the business and civic life of the community. Its record of
accomplishments is notable, reflecting with credit the efforts over
many years of a continuous succession of articulate business and
civic leaders, united by the common goal to make Chicago a better
community in which to live, work, and engage in business:
List of major achievements.
- 1912 - the Chamber contributes to the creation and organization
of the United States
Chamber of Commerce.
- 1920’s - the Chamber organizes the "Secret Six."
- This group became an internationally famous crime fighting
body, and was headed by Chamber President Colonel Robert Isham
- 1940's - the Chamber conducts a series of surveys resulting in
the ordinance that took the public schools out of politics and
created the position of General Superintendent of Schools.
- 1950: The Chamber conducted a successful Chicagoland Fair,
Commerce and Industry Exposition in 1957, and an even more
successful Chicago International Trade Fair of 1959 followed
- The latter brought Her Majesty, Elizabeth, Queen of the British
Commonwealth, to Chicago as well as a giant U.S.
- Naval Flotilla.
- The trade fair added millions of dollars to 1959 Chicago
- 1965: Mayor Richard J.
- Daley presented the Chamber with a 1965 Human Relations
Commission Award for, "initiating and successfully carrying out
unique programs with the business community to open up more and
better job opportunities for minority group people."
- 1975: The Chamber organized a citizen's sponsoring committee,
which raised $450,000 to educate the public about the essential
need for the Regional Transportation Authority in 1974.
- The Chamber was also an active member in the successful passage
of the six-county referendum that created the Regional
- 1987 - the Chamber participates in the broad-based school
reform coalition that led to the landmark School Reform Act of
- 2001 –
Chamber is vocal advocate for expansion of O'Hare
International Airport to support the region’s business needs.
- 2002 - the Chamber is awarded four-star accreditation by the
- Chamber of Commerce for its outstanding contribution to
positive change in the community.
- The Chamber has earned the highest rating to date for any
Chamber in the United States.
- 2006 - partnership established with Scholarship of
- 2008 – the Chamber’s Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Center
launches the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund.
- Awarded top honors by the U.S.
- Chamber of Commerce with five-star accreditation.
Programs and Alliances
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has several affiliate entities,
which it works closely with to support businesses in the region.
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation:
community needs the support and encouragement of individuals and
organizations to enhance the welfare of society, the quality of
life of its citizens and the success of its businesses.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation is an active
participant in this process by funding, developing and
administering a variety of programs aimed at both assisting the
development of and encouraging excellence within the Chicago
region's businesses and communities.
One of the programs that the Foundation has assisted in funding is
the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (the CEC), often referred to
as "the beacon for small and emerging businesses." The CEC is the
only entity in the Chicago region dedicated to serving the more
than 350,000 small and mid-sized businesses throughout the
The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC):
CEC is a nonprofit affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
that helps entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses build viable,
sustainable, and profitable enterprises. The CEC is the place that
unites minds with knowledge, ideas with reality, money with action.
The CEC serves as a strategic partner to its clients, offering
high-value advisory services to entrepreneurs that help them
negotiate crucial early-business decisions. It connects
entrepreneurs with the resources and advice they need to grow at
different stages of their businesses, and helps them form strategic
alliances that can become the backbone of their success.
is and initiative of the Chamber designed to increase employment
opportunities for people with disabilities throughout Illinois by
bringing together employers, people with disabilities, and
disability/ employment service providers. In 2007 the program
expanded to become a state wide initiative.
Innovate Now! is bringing together
businesses, schools and local and statewide governments to create
new strategies for business success in Chicagoland and throughout
Illinois. Its goal is simple, but ambitious: it aims to enable and
promote the knowledge and relationships that will form the
foundation for ongoing business innovation and regional economic
Scholarship Chicago is an
organization that provides college scholarships and preparatory
programs for students in the area. The goal of this organization is
to provide for a better economic situation by assisting graduating
students with the transition into the workplace.
- " Contact Us." Chicagoland Chamber of
Commerce. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago
- Scholarship Chicago