• History

  • Long before you began your career or opened your business, Greater Lafayette Commerce was already working for your success.

    Our unofficial roots go back to 1901 and The Lafayette Commercial Club, then the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, founded in 1910. By 1927, a single, business-focused organization was formed: Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

    These milestones highlight some of the successes achieved, frequently in concert with community partners.

    The New Millennium 

    2015: Discover Lafayette-West Lafayette recruiting and quality-of-life magazine published, the 10th since 1996.

    Advancing Manufacturing program launched.

    Grand Marquis de Lafayette awards, begun in 1985, now total 44—29 individuals, three businesses and 12 organizations.

    2014: MatchBOX Coworking Studio debuted.

    2013: Diversity Roundtable launched.

    2012: Next Generation Consulting finalized quality-of-life plan, “From Good to Great: Making Greater Lafayette a Community of Choice.”

    2011: Annual Lemonade Day for youth entrepreneurs debuted.

    2008: Greater Lafayette Commerce became the new name for Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp.

    2007: Intersection Connection created to create new opportunities for youth, financial learning and healthcare.

    2006: Sister City relationship with Longkou, China, began.

    Tippy Connect Young Professionals formed as a subgroup.

    Lafayette-West Lafayette Development Corp. created by merging six groups: Downtown Business Center, Lafayette Community Development Corp., Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association Inc., Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Dev. Corp. and Vision 2020.

    2004: Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce chose as new name for Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Lafayette-West Lafayette Economic Development Corp. selected to rename Greater Lafayette Progress Inc.

    2001: Vision 2010, Plan for the Future, developed.

    Community of the Year Award received from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

    Late 20th Century

    1999: Chamber-sponsored coffee-table book published, Greater Lafayette: Indiana’s Star City.

    1995: Community earned All-America City Award from National Civic League

    1993: Sister City relationship established with Ota, Japan.

    First Small Business Award given, to AC Engineering

    1987: Chamber advocated for Hoosier Heartland Highway to link Lafayette and Fort Wayne; completed in 2014.

    Famed basketball player and coach John Wooden spoke at the Chamber Annual Dinner.

    A hole-in-one at the Chamber Golf Outing earned the golfer a new car.

    Golden Apple Awards program to honor teachers was launched.

    1985: The first Grand Marquis de Lafayette Award was given, to Lilly Endowment.

    1983: Greater Lafayette Progress Inc. formed under chamber umbrella to promote economic development.

    First 50 Years

    1974: National sportscaster Chris Shekel gave the 47th Annual Dinner keynote.

    First small business trade show held; held continuously since and now known as Business Expo.

    1960: Fantus Area Research identified industries to recruit, noting good transportation and technically trained workers as local assets.

    1951: Third House debuted, linking locals to the Indiana legislature.

    1937: Chamber hosted a smoker for Purdue faculty and staff to promote relationships between educators and businesses.

    1936: Advocacy began to relocate in-town railroad tracks; achieved in 2001.

    1932: Chamber sponsored a 35-acre community garden for those affected by the Great Depression.

    1927: Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce created.

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