The first minutes that we have for the Chamber are from March 1923. They indicated that at a meeting at the Citizens Telephone office, a motion was made to form an organization to be known as Higginsville Chamber of Commerce. A committee was formed to solicit membership. My Vance, who owned the Arcade Hotel, promised to serve a meal to the first thirty who signed up for membership. In April of the same year, Mr. Vance made more than good on his word and served twenty-seven members a meal at the hotel.
At that meeting, A.H Meinershagen was elected president as well as additional board members. A committee was organized to draft a constitution and by-laws. The group decided to meeting regularly at the hotel. Five committees were formed: Agriculture, Civic, Commercial, Industrial & Transportation.
The Higginsville Chamber of Commerce has proven itself as a viable organization. Imagine…people, even then, were concerned about our community and working hard to improve it!
The present Chamber of Commerce consists of 190 members and 10 Board of Director’s who chair nine committees. These men and women are elected by the membership and do their best to promote the city by the programs and events that are sponsored by the Chamber.
The mission of the Higginsville Chamber of Commerce is to provide strong leadership, promote a favorable community environment thereby enhancing the quality of life.
We achieve our mission through programs and activities in the areas of business development, advocacy, community betterment, leadership development and member services. Our success is rooted in our investor businesses whose commitment to our mission is proven through their annual support and partnership.
Some of the Chamber benefits include:
Business Development: The Higginsville Chamber of Commerce and members of the “4-Plex Unity” (the City of Higginsville, Lafayette County C-1 School District, Higginsville Parks & Recreation) as well as other area agencies and organizations to promote projects that will better the business climate of Higginsville. Our network of business leaders believe in our mission and are able to share idea and create programs that make business stronger. Programs for both large and small businesses, tourism development and downtown development bring improvements to Higginsville.
Advocacy: A strong coalition, the Higginsville Chamber of Commerce serves as a conduit for our members to identify issues that are promoters and detractors of business. Together, our united voice can be heard in local, regional, state and federal government. We are stronger as a group than as individuals.
Community Betterment: A community has to provide the activities and services that make the value of life stronger. Community events and philanthropic programs undertaken by the business community encourage potential relocation to our community and strengthen the experience here for our residents and employees. The Higginsville Chamber recognizes the importance of encouraging our youth to take a vested interested in our community in hopes that they will become a future community partner. The Chamber along with Higginsville Rotary, provide the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. program to 8th grade students at Lafayette County C-1 as well as Immanuel Lutheran School. The program is an interactive classroom seminar that gives students a chance to see into the future and recognize the importance of the personal and academic decisions that they make today will have an impact of their tomorrow. HYDRO (Higginsville Youth Directing Realistic Opportunities) consists of 8th grade to 12 grade students who want to make a difference in our community. Working in unison, the 4-Plex Unity, this “service above self” group provides a voice from our youth as well as youth leadership.
Events: The Higginsville Chamber of Commerce is responsible for many of the community related events in Higginsville. Events include: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun; 4th of July Family Fun & Fireworks Festivities; 4-H, FFA & Farmer Appreciation BBQ; Annual Country Fair; Halloween Spooktacular; Christmas Parade; Breakfast with Santa/Kid’s Shopping Spree; Santa Hut; Holiday Homes Tour and Annual Banquet. We partner with other organizations in promoting additional events.
Leadership Development: The entire community’s success is based in its leadership. Whether through formal means such as elected office, or informal means like servant-leadership in business, education or church, leaders make the difference! The Higginsville Chamber of Commerce is committed to leadership development for our existing business and community leaders, and to cultivating new leaders from among the ranks of our talented residents.
Membership Services: Celebrate the opening, reopening, or expansion of your business with a ribbon cutting or ground breaking through the Chamber of Commerce.
Referral Service: Perhaps the least recognized, yet most profitable, service the Chamber provides your business is our referral service. If someone calls information and asks for an auto parts store (for example) in Higginsville, we refer them only to our investors. We are actually sending customer to your door!
Brochure & Business Card Racks: One of the first stops for newcomers the Higginsville area is the Higginsville Chamber of Commerce. We greet them with relocation packets and other information at their request. Chamber investors are welcome to provide information for inclusion in these relocation packets for a $50.00 investment in the Hello Higginsville program. In addition, we have a brochure and business card rack that is always available for you to leave information for a potential customer in. We’re putting you in the hands of potential customers!
Connections: There are times when you need to bounce an idea or are looking for a connection to business or services that will help you improve your business operations, financial position or strategy. We’re ready to serve as idea partners and matchmakers to help you achieve success faster. No matter the size of your business or organization, networking with others is vital. Your network of contacts may make or break your success. In addition to volunteer and networking opportunities throughout the year, one of the greatest opportunities that come with membership in the Higginsville Chamber of Commerce is active participation in our quarterly meetings/socials. Opportunities to strengthen relationships and hear about pertinent issues to business and community make membership a wise investment.
Telling your story: If you don’t tell your story, no one else will tell it for you. The Higginsville Chamber of Commerce is ready to help you tell your story through our publications, including our Chamber monthly newsletter, weekly Chamber email blasts, and social networking presence. As a Chamber investor, your story becomes our story and we both grow stronger.
Remember…it’s not necessary to be a business to become a member of the Higginsville Chamber of Commerce. We offer our “Friends of the Chamber” or as many people call it: “Associate Member”. This program is offer to individuals or non-profits who want to be a part of our dynamic organization. Check out the investment schedule to join. We’d love having you as a member of our Chamber family!