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Our Story

Who We Are

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is the convener, voice and advocate of the 125,000+ businesses across the borough of Manhattan, which is the heart of New York City’s economy.

We’re focused on advancing the economic vitality of our region by building a strong and thriving climate for the broad business community, including solo-entrepreneurs, small businesses, startups and larger companies.

While there are significant advantages to doing business in New York City, we provide meaningful solutions to overcome the biggest challenges facing businesses here. Since 1920, the Chamber’s mission has been to empower its business members to thrive.

The Chamber is a 501(c)6 membership organization. The Chamber also has two 501(c)3 nonprofit arms: our foundation allows us to provide resources, education and other programming to the business community. Our community benefit fund allows us to provide emergency grants to small businesses in need.

Our organization is business-minded, community-focused and future-driven.

city skyline

What We Do


The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce helps to drive economic growth and prosperity for our region by advancing the business goals of our members.

Specifically, we help businesses to:

  • Increase revenue and grow. We help businesses to innovate and grow by providing education, technical assistance, promotion and other resources. We also foster B2B sales and collaboration by connecting small, medium and large companies to one another.
  • Influence public policy. We help businesses of all sizes to advocate for the public policies they need to excel in New York. We also convene exclusive and intimate conversations between our high-level members and New York’s most prominent thought leaders and policymakers.
  • Give back. We provide platforms to help businesses implement their social impact and community investment priorities, particularly when they align with our goals of advancing small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses (MWBEs).

Our History

The Chamber was incorporated in 1920 as the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce.

It was founded by 11 prominent merchants in the Yorkville neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, which at that time was predominantly comprised of German-born immigrants.

Their mission was “to foster and improve the trade and commerce of Yorkville…and to promote the prosperity and general welfare thereof.”

This was particularly important in the wake of World War I when a wave of anti-German sentiment had spread throughout the United States.

Over the decades the Chamber expanded to encompass Mid-East Manhattan, then Mid-Manhattan and finally, in 1997, the entire borough of Manhattan.


Members of the Yorkville Chamber aboard a parade float in 1923.
Members of the Yorkville Chamber aboard a parade float in 1923. They were mocking the congested “standing room only” conditions of the Lexington Avenue subway line and urging the city to implement a new subway line along 2nd Avenue. Mayor Hylan thought it was hilarious. In 2017 (94 years later) the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce was on the host committee at the launch event for the new 2nd Avenue Subway line.