In 1882, a group of businessmen gathered to discuss the promotion of business development and the interests of the local business community. What began as the Fort Worth Board of Trade eventually became the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
In the early days, efforts included bringing to town the Texas & Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads. In 1896, the Chamber sponsored the first Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show. Beginning in the 1930s, the Chamber of Commerce worked extensively to develop the aviation and airline industry.
In its 130-year history, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has had a hand in nearly every major business development in the city, attracting packing companies, persuading TCU to relocate here, and organizing trade missions to China and Germany.
Recent chamber initiatives include programs for young professionals and businesswomen, global and regional business pitches, and legislative efforts focusing on critical livability issues such as education, air quality, water sources and transportation.
The Chamber is a 501(c) six membership association with more than 2,000 member businesses throughout North Texas (mostly in Tarrant County) and more than 4,500 individuals who participate in events, committees and/or leadership positions. About 90% are small business owners, and about 30% of these are women.
The Chamber’s core business functions are to recruit and to retain businesses to work with educational institutions to provide a skilled, educated workforce; and to provide resources for its membership of business owners and employees.