Having originated in 1952, after a period of time the Chamber of Commerce was put on hold. Then in 1987, the committee to reestablish the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce was set in motion at the behest of then Mayor Jeanette Barrett. She commissioned a four man committee composed of Bill Gray, Art Bolin, John Lazenby, and Ferrell Long to prepare the organizational structure. The Wetumpka Merchants Association, led by Jack DeVenney became a part of the Chamber organizational project. The committee set about to organize and filed incorporation papers on February 24, 1989, to establish the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce. By Laws had become official on February 3, 1989, and William M. Gray served as the first elected president through March, 1988..The first year saw inclusion of approximately 50 charter members in the organization. Jackson Thornton & Company, Principal Dennis Fain, has faithfully provided the services for accounting, reporting, and auditing throughout the life of the Chamber. Jan Wood came on board in December, 1992 and began to concentrate on visibility, growth, and community impact. The Chamber has sought to forge its role as a promoter of the community—especially of attractions, tourism, and retiree relocation. The Chamber is a nerve center for information for tourism and business referral, with its chief responsibility being to provide the venue or format for local business and community leaders to meet together to share information and promote community interests and projects.
Early in 1995, the Chamber sought a permanent home and gathered commitment from its membership, made a leap of faith and purchased the historic building at 110 East Bridge Street. This two story white masonry location originally constructed in 1905 of limestone was the Bank of Wetumpka. After the demise of the bank in the years of the Depression, the historic building served to house a variety of business ventures—barber and beauty shops, jewelry store, insurance and accounting offices, gift shop, restaurant and eatery, drug prevention and treatment program and finally, June 1, 1995, as the home of The Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce.
Since that date the Chamber has promoted various fundraising efforts to support the improvement and repair of the building in such a manner as to maintain its historical integrity. Major projects have included replacing the roof, painting the interior, placing marble tile front steps, repairing window framing, cleaning and painting the exterior surface and awnings, and polishing and reinstalling the sliding copper and brass doors at the front entrance.
The growth of Chamber participation and membership has been substantial with broad based participation ranging from retired individuals who seek to serve their community to the largest high-tech manufacturing firms located in our area. In 2012, the Wetumpka Business and Innovation Center was established within the building whose purpose serves as a small business incubator with affordable rental space and mentoring for new businesses.
It is our desire to be responsive to the perceived needs and wishes of the area citizenry as well as our mission to promote the best and most equitable economic endeavors for the City of Wetumpka and Elmore County.