Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

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Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Founded October 9, 1904
Type Advocacy group
Focus Non-profit dedicated to meeting the needs of its member companies through advocacy, education and building businesses by making member connections.
Area served
United States United States
Key people
Theresa E. Mintle, President & CEO
Slogan The Voice of Business Since 1904
Website Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Official Website

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization promoting business in the Chicago metropolitan area of the United States. The organization is located in Suite 900 in the Wrigley Building at 410 N. Michigan Avenue on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

The 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.[1]

The Chamber is headed by Theresa E. Mintle, its President and CEO since 2013.


The primary role of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is to make Chicagoland the most business-friendly region in America by enhancing their members’ success through programs in advocacy, member benefits and services, and actionable information.

Serving as “The Voice of Business” since 1904, the Chamber leads public policy and business growth initiatives and creates meaningful events and programs to inform, engage, and connect their members to each other and the community. Visit

Programs: Small Business Chicago Small Business Chicago is made up of small business membership and programs as well as the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Chicagoland Chamber. Small Business Membership and Programs Small Business Chicago offers events and initiatives geared toward helping small businesses develop new skills, keep up with trends, and expand their networks. This includes education and resources, networking opportunities, and business advocacy. Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Chicagoland Chamber The SBDC is a resource for overcoming obstacles to starting and growing a business. Services include: • Business planning • Guidance on access to business financing • Help with market research and marketing plans • Support in developing new markets • Assistance in dealing with local government • Connections to additional resources International Programs The Chamber’s International Programs consist of a variety of workshops, seminars, educational forums and matchmaking meetings with inbound business and trade delegations. Members can also gain access to an extensive global network through the Chamber’s Global Connections Council and strategic partner organizations. This is a platform for organizations and individuals to directly connect with regional and international business and government leaders and collaborate to promote economic development in Chicagoland.

Committees & Forums: The Chamber’s member forums connect members with industry peers and business leaders, help them gain valuable insight, and ensure their voice is heard on important issues facing our region. • Agribusiness Forum • Emerging Leaders Forums • Employment Law Forum • Environment & Sustainability Forum • Events Forum • Global Connections Forum • Events Forum • Global Connections Forum • Life sciences Forum • Logistics & Mobility Forum • Mid-Market Forum • Small & Emerging Business Forum • Technology Forum • Taxation Forum Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN) The CBLN is the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network. The CBLN is designed to meet business needs around disability issues that impact the workforce, supply chain, customers, community, and strategic growth initiatives. 54 million people in the United States have a disability. These individuals, their families and supporters have an annual buying power of over a trillion dollars. Members are able to network with other businesses, access best practices and resources on workforce inclusion and diversity, and gain access to talent.

Public Policy The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce pursues a legislative and public policy agenda in Springfield, Cook County and the City of Chicago in support of the Chicagoland business community. Some of the issues that its agenda includes: • Maintaining a competitive and fair tax climate • Creating an education system that produces a qualified workforce Improving our region's transportation infrastructure • Balancing environmental and economic interests • Promoting economic development in Illinois • Improving the technology and entrepreneurial infrastructure

Chamber History The Chicagoland Chamber was created in 1904 as direct lineal descendent of the Chicago Board of Trade with the purpose of unifying the “Voice of Business.” Its rich history includes: • Playing an instrumental role in the passage of the Federal Reserve Banking Act in 1911 and the creation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1912 • Aiding in the creation of the Chicago Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Chicago Safety Council, the Chicago Better Business Bureau, the Chicago Plan Commission, Chicago Crime Commission and the Advertising Council in 1919 • Convening the internationally famous crime-fighting body called “Secret Six” in the 1920s • Organizing its own Committee on Prevention and Punishment of Crime in the 1930s • Successfully advocating in 1945 the State Slum Clearance and Rehousing Program Act, and passed its own Modernized Building Code. The Chamber and State Street Council also jointly financed many new parking garages and parking lots. • Conducting a successful Chicagoland Fair, Commerce and Industry Exposition in 1957 that was even more successful than the Chicago International Trade Fair. • Successfully conducting the Chicago International Trade Fair of 1959, which brought Her Majesty, Elizabeth, Queen of the British Commonwealth, to Chicago • Playing an instrumental role in the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority in the 1970s • Working with other organizations to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program into the Drug-Free Illinois Workplace Program in 1995 • Establishing the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and advocating for and winning the expansion of O’Hare International Airport in 2000 • Winning four-star accreditation by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2002, the highest rating received up to that time by any chamber in the US • Launching disability works in 2005 • Winning a 5-star designation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2007 • Starting the Chamber’s Small Business Development Center and International Trade Center in 2011 • Creating the Tri State Alliance for Regional Development in 2012 to implement recommendations provided by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

History of Name Change: 1848: Chicago Board of Trade 1861: Mercantile Association 1869: Merchants and Commercial Travelers Association 1897: Chicago Commercial Association (incorporated; not activated) 1904: Chicago Commercial Association (activated) 1905: Chicago Association of Commerce 1947: Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry 1993: Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce


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