The Chamber is a proactive, energetic, visionary organization, dedicated to economic development and prosperity.
Smiths Falls has truly been an international sensation as of late, but this is not uncharted territory for this small and industrious town! In fact, it was in the 1890’s that Smiths Falls would make its first claim to fame with its world renowned turkey fair. During this same time, the Smiths Falls Board of Trade was created and played a key role in fixing up the main market building, and advocating for a civic restroom for women.
In 1929, the Board of Trade became a corporation and was rebranded as the Smiths Falls Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber had 37 individual members at this time. 1939 saw fees reduced from $5 to $3, and memberships began to be held in the name of the business rather than the individual. The first businesses mentioned in the Chamber of Commerce roster were the Royal Bank of Canada, T. Eaton Co, R.A. Beamish Stores, The Record News and A & P.
In the 1950’s, the Chamber would celebrate every summer by stopping the first vehicle with out-of-town license plates. In 1960, police Chief Reg Wride stopped a Pennsylvania car that turned out to be executives from Hershey. The Chamber wined and dined their visitors, informing them of the many benefits of doing business in Smiths Falls, and in 1961 Hershey announced it would open its first Canadian plant in Smiths Falls.
The Chamber is now celebrating 130 years as the Voice of Business in Smiths Falls and continues to take great pride in the role it plays today in remaining a proactive, energetic and visionary organization that helps to advance economic development and prosperity. From masonry and mills, turkey farms and a chocolate factory; the Chamber still plays a vital role in shaping the business community today.