History of the chamber
This chamber was founded in February 1888 as the Board of Trade, changing its name to the chamber of commerce in 1912. It was founded to give the business community a voice in the affairs affecting them, much the same reason the chamber exists today. While the Chillicothe Ross Chamber is a member of both the state and national chambers of commerce, it is governed solely by its own board of directors.
“The Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce promotes economic and community development by providing services and addressing issues important to business.” This mission statement was adopted by the board following a retreat in November 2007.
The members are at the top of the chart as the stakeholders. From the members, a Board of Directors is elected. From the board, an Executive Committee is elected consisting of a chair, vice chair, treasurer, immediate past chair and board officers. The Executive Committee is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the board. The president and CEO is hired by the board and is responsible for hiring and managing the staff.
The chamber is incorporated as a 501c6 non-profit organization under federal tax laws. It is not a charitable organization, but a portion of dues investments may be used as a business expense. Members should consult their accountants. The organization is governed by its bylaws.
The chamber is involved in some degree or another with several programs in the community:
- Ross County Safety Council: Through a partnership with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the chamber oversees the operation of the council that now has more than 80 members. Its main focus is to provide safe working environments for Ross County and area employees. The council is governed by its own steering committee.
- Workforce Development: Providing employers with information on programs available to them when hiring workers is one function of this program funded through a contract with the Ross County Department of Job and Family Services. The chamber is one of many partners in the local Workforce Investment Act Board (WIB) which provides services such as training and financial aid. Another popular aspect is the Job Bank online posting service that’s free to area employers.
The chamber office
The chamber’s home at 45 E. Main St. is a one-stop place for members, visitors, tourists and developers. The Ross-Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau shares the reception area and has an office. The CEOs of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio and the Community Improvement Corporation also have spaces in the Welcome Center. In addition, the OSU Small Business Development Center out of Piketon uses our conference room on an as-needed basis to help counsel people looking to start businesses in the area.
More detail about the chamber’s activities and programs can be found on this website. We encourage you to explore it to get a better understanding of what we do. You may always call 740-702-2722 to get more information.