The Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1918 as the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. At that time, the primary center of business activity in Anne Arundel County was in the city of Annapolis. The rest of Anne Arundel County was rural farmland and sparsely populated. The far northern part of the county was a residential suburb of Baltimore City.
After the Second World War, development in Anne Arundel County began in earnest and commercial activity in the county began to grow. The Annapolis Chamber of Commerce created a committee of the chamber to focus on concerns of particular interest to county businesses and the development of commercial and residential property in Anne Arundel County. The chamber of commerce also changed its name to the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. In the early 1950s, the Anne Arundel Trade Council was formed from the chamber’s committee on county business development. This newly formed organization focused primarily on servicing businesses in Anne Arundel County and promoting commercial development in the county. During the years between the 1950s and 1980s, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce exclusively focused on city business concerns and changed its name back to the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. The Anne Arundel Trade Council continued to grow in membership, with a strong advocacy role in the areas of commercial development, economic development and public education in Anne Arundel County.
As the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, both the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Anne Arundel Trade Council experienced an increase in the number of duplicate memberships. Toward the latter part of the 1990s, the duplication of membership between the two organizations exceeded 32 percent and both organizations were expending resources on duplicative programming. The business community in both the county and the city recognized this trend and began discussions on bringing the two organizations back together as one. On January 1, 1999, the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Anne Arundel Trade Council reunited to form the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, with more than 1,200 business members. In recognition of its regional influence and service area, the organization is now known as the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.
Today, the organization is one of the most dynamic chambers of commerce in Maryland, with a strong advocacy role for businesses, a vibrant collegial role that helps businesses owners expand their customer reach and unparalleled access to resources important for businesses to grow and succeed in Anne Arundel County and the city of Annapolis. The Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce is the chamber of commerce of record for Anne Arundel County and is the leading business organization in the region; fostering communication, the exchange of ideas, and facilitating effective collaboration on issues affecting business and economic development. In addition, the organization provides services and programs to meet the varied needs of its members and affiliates, which help them meet the challenges of a constantly changing business environment.
The Chamber of Commerce is known for creating innovative and workable solutions to problems and issues facing Anne Arundel County and the region. In everything it does, the Chamber of Commerce strives to make Annapolis and Anne Arundel County a better place to live, work and do business.