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Who We Are

What is the Chamber?

The Lauderdale Chamber/ECD is a non-profit, probusiness organization working together to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in the community. Through the power of its membership, the Chamber serves as a united voice for the business in the community in local, state and national affairs.

The Chamber draws on the ideas, talents, energies, leadership and finances of its members to achieve this united voice. By joining together, the Chambers' membership is able to make a positive impact on the entire community. A Chamber enables members of the business and professional community to accomplish collectively what no one of them could or would do individually. The various councils, coordinating groups and task forces work to bring about reform and improvements in the areas of education, economic development, community improvements, tourism, and areas that affect the quality of life in our community.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Lauderdale Chamber/ECD is to be an effective, credible and vital organization known for it's high ethical behavior and responsive service to its members; to serve as a progressive advocate for businesses, and to promote Lauderdale County's economic and community well being.

The Chamber, to the IRS, is a 501 (c) 6 business association. The Chamber, to you, is first and foremost, a membership organization. Our most significant resources are the time, skills, and financial support of our members. We are defined by people's perceptions of our past accomplishments, our current actions, and our preparation to deal with the future.

Be assured that the Chamber is constantly working to develop and sponsor programs within the community that will enhance life in Lauderdale County and prove beneficial to our business community. We value your opinions and welcome your comments and suggestions at any time. You can contact us by phone, fax or email at the numbers listed below:
Telephone: (731) 635-9541 or 635-8463
Fax: (731) 635-9064
Email: info@lauderdalecountytn.org or stodd@lauderdalecountytn.org

The Chamber IS

  • A voluntary business association.
  • A non-profit private corporation.
  • A coordinated team.
  • Supported by members.
  • The information center of the community.
  • A cooperative effort of all members working for the common benefit of all members and the community.
  • A forum for legislative issues and governmental concerns on a non-partisan basis.
  • A well-planned program to address prioritized needs.
  • A group of concerned citizens working on many projects throughout the community.
  • Opportunities to share, plan, and work with fellow business leaders to make important things happen.
  • Coordinated efforts of members and their investments of time, skills, and money.
  • A referral service for its members that relays information to newcomers and businesses.
  • A Return on Investment.

    The Chamber is NOT
  • A social agency or club.
  • Part of local government.
  • An individual or clique.
  • Any single business or business category working for its own benefit.
  • A political action committee.
  • Unplanned reactions to unexpected situations.
  • Just the Chamber staff and visible office operations.
  • A series of needless meetings.
  • Just the efforts of office staff or the directors.
  • Just Another Donation.

    History of the Chamber of Commerce

    The modern Chamber of Commerce movement traces its origin to Marseilles, France, where an independent voluntary organization was formed in the early seventeenth century to represent the commercial interests of that Mediterranean seaport.

    Nearly a century later, the British formed the second Chamber of Commerce at St. Helier on the Channel Island of Jersey as an independent voluntary business organization representing the interests of that small island town.

    The first American Chamber of Commerce was established in 1770 in New York City. By 1870, chambers were operating in 40 major American cities. In 1986, approximately 5,000 local and state chambers were operating across the United States. It was during the first half of the twentieth century that the United States Chamber of Commerce offices drastically increased in numbers, growing from 100 in 1901 to nearly 3,000 in 1950.

    The US Chamber of Commerce was founded on April 22, 1912, at the suggestion of President William Howard Taft, to develop a strong link between business and government. By 1986, the US Chamber's membership had grown to include more than 2,700 chambers, 54 American chambers abroad, 1,200 trade and professional associations and 180,000 business members.

    For over three centuries, business and professional people have joined together in Chamber of Commerce to shape the future of their communities and the world.

    History of the Lauderdale County Chamber of Commerce

    The local Chamber of Commerce was chartered with the State of Tennessee on October 4, 1961 as the Ripley Chamber of Commerce. The original charter states that the purpose of the chamber was to advance the commercial, industrial, civic, and general interests of the City of Ripley and Lauderdale County, Tennessee. It will engage in those activities which will promote the general welfare of the City of Ripley and the county of Lauderdale.

    The chamber operated for several years as a part-time office with volunteers and a part-time director. As things in the community began to prosper and grow, so did the chamber. On May 9, 1988, the board of directors filed for an amendment with the State of Tennessee to officially change the name of the chamber to the Lauderdale county Chamber of Commerce. Shortly after, a full-time director was hired and things have progressed since then. In May of 2005, the Chamber merged with the Lauderdale County Economic & Community Development Board to form the newly organized Lauderdale Chamber/ECD. This merger was done to help unify Lauderdale County and to help us be successful with our future growth and prosperity. The chamber is active in the community and is constantly striving to provide support to local business and enhance the quality of life for all Lauderdale County citizens. The chamber office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Lauderdale Chamber / Economic & Community Development, 123 S. Jefferson St., Ripley, TN 38063
    731.635.9541 or 8463 (Ph), 731.635.9064 (fax), webmaster@lauderdalecountytn.org
    All rights reserved. No images may be used without permission.