Formed in 1924, this Chamber, as the advocate for the region’s business community, has always located its offices in the Downtown area of the city of Marlborough. Originally the Chamber occupied empty storefront spaces until they were rented out to a new business. In the early 1980’s, the Chamber office moved into one room of the post office on Florence Street. In 1986, the Chamber office moved into the Victoria Building on Main Street.
The Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce office is back on Florence Street at number 11, where it has been since 1993.
Because the Chamber serves the needs of the city’s many businesses and community at large, the leaders of the Chamber felt strongly about keeping the presence in the downtown core area. The Chamber often plays a catalytic role in organizing and promoting community forums on important issues that impact local businesses. In 1965, the Chamber raised funds to build the tower that houses the John Brown Bell and in 1999, the Chamber, while celebrating its 75th Anniversary, raised the funds to build the current gazebo in front of the Walker Building.
Ever since the first period of industrial growth 1836 and 1890, Marlborough has been a place where entrepreneurs can find a receptive environment for new ideas. Entrepreneur and civic leader Samual Boyd, who opened the city’s first shoe factory, is credited with turning this agricultural town of 2500 people to a shoe manufacturing center of 14,000 people. Boyd was also instrumental in helping prepare the city for its future by bringing in the railroad and by building its electric railway, which ran through the downtown area.
A booklet highlighting the city of Marlborough’s qualities, opportunities and advantages, produced by the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce in 1927, described the Living Conditions as “Nearness to one’s employment is one of the outstanding advantages of living in Marlboro. Most of Marlboro’s population live within easy walking distance of their work and habitually go home to a warm dinner at noon. This fact alone makes for industrial stability and contentment.”
The downtown area of Marlborough, as in many New England communities, was where the city started and then grew. It was the core of residents and businesses which grew into the great community of Marlborough.
Today, the Marlborough Regional Chamber still holds meetings and events downtown. The President’s First Tuesday Business Talks is held the first Tuesday of every month at Main Street Café. This meeting is open to all people who want to talk about business and community issues.
Celebrating the designation of the City of Marlborough as the #1 place in the State of Massachusetts to raise children, the Chamber continues to be very involved with the city’s school system through the School/Business committee and the Annual Chamber Scholarship Program, where the Chamber, through the Marlborough Regional Community Foundation, awards $5000 in scholarships to graduating high school students.
In 2009, the Marlborough Regional Chamber’s leadership identified a need to bring higher education to the city of Marlborough. Quinsigamond Community College seemed like a natural fit for our community. Our Leadership Team meets monthly to delve into the curriculum, stability and placement of the classes. One of the initial focuses in partnering with both the Assabet Valley Technical High School and the Marlborough High School to offer college courses onsite. Another and most important focus is to locate a facility to house the new Quinsigamond Community College site. Quinsigamond also partners with four year colleges so students can flow from high school right into college and get a bachelors degree locally, affordably and with ease.
Recently, the Marlborough Regional Chamber’s 2010 Business Awards were given out at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. Among the awards, two downtown businesses were recognized. The Entrepreneurship Award was given to Welly’s Restaurant on Main Street for outstanding success in entrepreneurship, success and growth in less than two years. Marlborough Savings Bank took a blighted corner in downtown and created a wonderful banking center in an impressive building. For these efforts, they received the Marlborough Pride Award.
The Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce is the hub for business development and growth. Our networking programs and events connect member business people to potential customers and vendors. In today’s world of electronic communication, it is far more important to establish relationships one on one to grow business contacts. The Chamber has positioned itself to keep business in the region and to be The Connection For Success!