Guide to the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Collection (Unprocessed) – History

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Santa Cruz was a fast growing town when its chamber of commerce was organized in 1889. The chamber dates from the beginning of the Santa Cruz Board of Trade. The board was formed to promote local industry and educate people from other parts of the country on the merits of locating in Santa Cruz. The first elected president was leading citizen Dr. H. H. Clark. The Santa Cruz Board of Trade incorporated in 1900, but it functioned until 1906 as a “paper” organization, with unsalaried staff and without an office. In 1909 the Santa Cruz Board of Trade was renamed the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the group had expanded beyond the attraction of new businesses and the promotion of local products and seasonal tourism to the promotion of community pride, beautification, civic improvement, and year-round tourism. In 1920 the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce was incorporated. The non-profit member organization continues “to promote economic vitality and prosperity in Santa Cruz County,” that ensures “a high quality of life, fairness and efficiency in community decision making, and efficient and sustainable business practices.” Included in this collection are meeting minutes spanning the years 1907 to 1962, membership directories from the 1970s, as well as newspaper clippings and photos from the 1980s, handbooks, reports, plans, budgets, and visitor guides.