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Chamber History

Founded in 1916, Continuous service since 1944

The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce is the county's premier business resource, championing economic prosperity, tourism development, and legislative advocacy.

The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, in continuous service since 1944, actually dates its origins to 1916 when it was called the Seashore Association Chamber of Commerce, a group formed by the resort towns of Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Cape May and the Wildwoods to promote tourism along the Jersey Cape. After the outbreak of World War I, the chamber was inactive for a short time. It regrouped and remained active through the late 1920s to around 1931 when the full effects of the stock market crash of 1929 were evident in the county and the chamber again fell into decline.

In 1944, Daniel Dawson of Cape May Court House and William C. Hunt of Wildwood gathered business, civic and political leaders together to reform and reactivate the organization. On January 28, 1954, the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in the State of New Jersey.

In 1968, the Chamber opened a seasonal information center on the Garden State Parkway near the Ocean View/Sea Isle City exit at Mile 18. This location has since become a year-round visitor’s center daily, year round after a unique public-private partnership was forged with the New Jersey Division of Tourism in the mid-1980’s.
After out-growing several temporary offices, the Chamber moved into its current location at the intersection of Garden State Parkway Exit 11 and Crest Haven Road in June 1973. This location doubles not only as the Chamber Executive Offices but more importantly, as the official Welcome Center for Cape May County assisting thousands of visitors throughout the year.

Today, the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce represents some 800 members with a 36-member Board of Directors. A full time staff implements member and visitor services, manages special events, and works on specific issues along with volunteers serving on various committees.

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