History "Serving business since 1850"
Celebrating 163 Years Of Serving The Business Community
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, is the second oldest Chamber west of the Rockies and is one of the oldest business organizations in Hawaii.
WHEN the California Gold Rush of 1848 created an overwhelming demand for food and supplies from Honolulu, Hawaii’s business boom began. People and goods quickly began to flow back and forth between the ports of Honolulu and San Francisco. It was at this time that a small group of merchants, who realized that to secure the advantages the Islands had to offer for commerce, decided they would need to join together and establish common goals and policies for trade and commerce, along with addressing the concerns of the island community.
In 1850, ten of the city’s leading businessmen signed the constitution of a chamber of commerce. As it evolved, this organization came to play a major role in building Honolulu from a collection of mud streets and thatched houses to the bustling, cosmopolitan center it is today. Over the past 162 years with the support of the business community, The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii helped build Hawaii into a thriving and prosperous state, by serving the community and a changing society.
Some of the Chamber’s earliest acts were:
TODAY, The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii is an organization representing the interest of all Hawaii’s business community. The Chamber works on behalf of its members and the entire business community to improve the State’s economic climate and help businesses thrive. With approximately 1,000 member companies representing over 200,000 employees, the Chamber is the largest organization and strongest voice to serve as “The Voice of Business” in Hawaii.
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii has established some of the most respected community organizations in Hawaii:
(1903) Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
(1919) Aloha United Way
(1937) Mental Health Association
(1941) Blood Bank of Hawaii
(1945) Tax Foundation of Hawaii
(1945) Better Business Bureau
(1981) Crime Stoppers of Hawaii
(1994) Haku Alliance Association—Workers’ Compensation Coalition
(2001) “Buy Hawaii” Program
(2009) “Senior Projects” Mentoring Program
(2010) “Stay Active on Furlough Fridays” Program