John Kelly, Marketing & Membership Director, Cape May County Chamber of Commerce
Throw out the standard definition of a chamber of commerce when referring to the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce. Because it employs a holistic approach to support the health and wealth of business, the people and the environment.
The Chamber’s philosophy is that a healthy economy begins with the health of its people and is involved with the Cape Regional Wellness Alliance as a way to address healthy living issues that could reduce healthcare costs and increase overall workplace productivity.
A prime example of the Chamber’s holistic approach is its’ recent involvement in an initiative called the Healthy Communities Project which looks at reducing adverse childhood experiences, or (ACEs) for short. The Chamber understands that today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce.
These are the type of issues that are in line with its “big picture” perspective, the Cape May County Chamber realizes how such things are connected and how they influence business.
The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce takes pride in being a unique business resource. Their mission is to be the advocate for the business community through the strength of legislative engagement, member services and education programs. They look at the tourism industry as the foundation of the economy and are fully involved in Cape May County’s $6.6 billion tourism economy.
The Cape May County Chamber looks at all of the components that go into the tourism industry including, workforce development, infrastructure, environmental protection and initiatives like protecting the wetlands, opposing offshore oil drilling, as well as advocating for programs like the J1 visa international exchange student worker program.
The Chamber stays informed and involved with issues that affect business. For instance, the Chamber is working to influence and mitigate the critical cuts in school funding that could adversely affect the quality of education in Cape May County. Another issue that the Chamber involves itself is the prospect of Offshore Oil Drilling & Seismic Testing. Realizing how dangerous these practices can potentially be, the Chamber became a founding member of BAPAC, Businesses Alliance for the Protection of the Atlantic Coast, an east coast group of businesses, and organizations united to oppose the federal government’s plan for offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Chamber’s holistic approach to building strong business has been shaped and formed over time. The roots of the Chamber reach back over 100 years ago to 1916 when it was originally known as The Seashore Association Chamber of Commerce, initially formed by a group of business people from the Cape May County barrier islands. The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce that we know today was officially chartered on January 28,1954.
For more information, or to be part of the important work of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce please visit www.capemaycountychamber.com