Salem Chamber History

From its early beginnings, the Chamber has worked to serve as the catalyst that creates the best possible environment for business. On July 1, 1894, the Board of Trade of Salem, Ohio published its constitution and bylaws stating its objective was “to collect, preserve and circulate valuable and useful information relating to the businesses of Salem. In 1903, it was reorganized, and the name was then changed to the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The organization operated under that name for 22 years, disbanding in 1925 only to reorganize in 1926 as the Better Business Bureau. Later the name was changed to Salem Business Bureau. In 1948, the name was changed back to the Salem Chamber of Commerce after it became affiliated with the National Chamber of Commerce. One last change was made in 1956 when the organization formally registered with the state of Ohio as a 501© 6 under the title of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

Past volunteer leaders with varied professional backgrounds from the Salem community have helped lead the Chamber in the development of the Salem Industrial Park, the downtown revitalization project, the Salem Jubilee Festival, and the Salem Area Sustainable Comprehensive Plan. Currently, over 350 individuals, businesses and organizations partner with the Chamber to continue development in the community while also promoting goodwill. The Chamber works to promote and advocate for the City of Salem and Salem businesses through the sponsoring of community events such as: Beautification Awards, Christmas Parade, Clean-Up Salem Day, Christmas Light Up Night, Golden Egg Hunt, Quakerfest (a one-day festival held in October), and Small Business Saturday as well as hosting their signature events of the Annual Meeting, Downtown Dining Experience, and Golf Outing. New in 2022, the Chamber Gallery of Art opened to fulfill a niche where local artists can showcase their work through exposure, recognition, and connections to the community.

Along with general benefits to market and advertise their businesses, members of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce are given the opportunity to make connections by sponsoring and participating in these events aimed to bring people into Salem and to encourage utilization of Salem businesses.