The Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization composed of local citizens and business professionals that exists to support and promote our greater community. We bring people and organizations together, promote education, nurture networking and act as a resource for every age and every demographic.
We seek to enhance our community, accentuate local commerce, maintain economic stability and to make Wellsville a destination of choice.
In 1909 businessmen in the village of Wellsville decided to band together to help promote local business by sharing ideas and forming a common voice when dealing with issues of the day. They called this organization the Wellsville Businessmen’s Association. This organization prospered and it was clear that this association was outgrowing its original mission.
In 1923 the members of the Businessmen’s Association felt the organization would better serve them and their community by becoming a Chamber of Commerce. They sought help from the General Organization Company, a Chicago enterprise that specialized in forming such organizations. A representative was dispatched by train and spent three weeks in Wellsville creating the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce. That organization was chartered in 1924.
As the Wellsville Chamber grew and the needs of business changed it was clear that not just Wellsville could benefit from its help. The Chamber found itself serving not only Wellsville, but much of Allegany County. At that time the name was amended to The Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, a name it retains to this day.
As the Wellsville area Chamber grew, the needs of its business partners also changed. Events were planned to create excitement and many, such as the Main Street Festival and Ridgewalk Run, Race, Ride have become perennial favorites. Businesses also found themselves needing affordable health insurance for their employees. Once again, the Chamber stepped up and secured a group of Chamber Association health insurance plans linking members to such well known health insurance players as Blue Cross, Univera and Independent Health.
As we moved into 2009, we found the Wellsville Area Chamber 100 years old and still evolving. The health insurance offerings which began with 6 plans now offer over 300 combinations for its members. Health savings plans and dental coverage are also provided. The Ridgewalk Run, Race, Ride has grown from 54 friends on a hike in the woods to the premier family outdoor event each fall. This year over 1000 participants will enjoy a healthy autumn day in the forests of western New York. Not to be content with its success the Chamber’s Ridgewalk Committee has, for the first time, added an eight mile mountain bike race to the event. Along with the existing Family Bike Rides this has enabled even more families to enjoy Ridgewalk Run, Race, Ride. The Chamber has also begun a very popular event which is called the Main Street Musicfest. Created in 2008, this event brings free music to the restaurants, outdoor stages and streets of Wellsville the second weekend in August.
It is true that the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is over 100 years old but it is clear that it is more alive and vibrant than it has ever been. People may say that to achieve 100 years is a real accomplishment. We, at the Chamber, say “This is what happens when motivated people band together for the good of all.”