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Chamber

About the Chamber

The Chamber’s economic development department recruits companies interested in relocation and provides information and assistance to companies preparing to expand in our area. The Chamber works with a wide array of partners to help existing Greater Waco-area businesses overcome challenges that prevent them from growing, thriving and maintaining operations in our area. For most area businesses, these economic development activities boil down to new jobs and new capital investment that strengthen the flow of dollars in our economy. It can also mean new customers for your business. You can take advantage of the host of market data and information made available to companies looking at relocation to our city.

The Greater Waco Chamber Mission:

To prepare and market the Greater Waco region for the businesses and jobs of the future and an outstanding quality of life.

  • We will be the most livable and economically vibrant mid-market region in Texas.
  • We will educate, attract and retain the workforce businesses and institutions need to succeed.
  • We will develop creative and results-oriented public-private partnerships to be competitive.
  • We will market Greater Waco to attract talent, growing companies and investment.
  • We will be a model for sustainability—economy, ecology and equity.

The Chamber's History

Founded in 1899 as the Waco Business Men’s Club, leaders realized early on that by working together, local businesses can have a greater impact on the quality of life and economic vitality of the area. By the early 1960s, the Chamber was located downtown at Fourth Street and Franklin Avenue. The Chamber continued to play a pivotal role in the city and moved into a space provided by the city of Waco, where it was housed for more than 30 years.

Shortly after the turn of the new century, Chamber leaders began to dream of a new facility that could serve as a showcase marketing center for Greater Waco. The adoption of a breakthrough initiative in 2005 defined the dream and vision for spurring development at Waco’s Town Square. The city made a site available at 101 S. Third Street, adjacent to Heritage Square, for a new Chamber headquarters. A capital campaign was set in motion to raise funds for construction. More than $7.4 million was raised through the investments of the businesses, foundations and individuals. The Salome Commerce Center opened June 6, 2008, and became the first green Chamber building in America.

The First Green Chamber in America

leedgold_certThe Waco Chamber is a business organization dedicated to enhancing Greater Waco as a center of excellence and community of choice for businesses and residents. Located in growing Central Texas along the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, Greater Waco is keenly aware of the balance of economy and environment. Greater Waco Chamber built America’s First Green Chamber of Commerce building in 2008 and has received a LEED certification at the gold level for its headquarters and regional marketing center at 101 S. Third St. at Heritage Square. This is the first green Chamber building in America.

 

Below are certifications for sustainability:

  • The Knoll Reff Office System furniture in offices and workstations, including Knoll Life Chair, is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute.
  • The wood, particle board, MD and veneer of the Knoll Life Chair meet the Sustainable Gold SMaRT© Consensus Sustainable Product Standard as established by the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability.
  • The Knoll Reff Office System furniture in offices and workstations along with 100 percent of all wood in the building is Forest Stewardship Council Certified Wood.
  • All carpet in the building contains very low emissions of volatile organic compounds, as certified by Green Label Plus, an independent testing program of the Carpet and Rug Institute.

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The two-story, 13,916-square-foot facility is the marketing center for Greater Waco where the Chamber showcases the region to prospective businesses, investors and consultants considering a Central Texas location. The building, made possible by the Challenge Greater Waco Campaign, is owned by the Waco Chamber of Commerce Community Development Foundation. The Chamber’s sustainable site was made possible by the city of Waco.

 

The building is designed to accommodate the scores of committees and task forces that advance the organization’s comprehensive economic, community and organization development agenda.

 

As the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building in Central Texas, the Waco Chamber LEED certification emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

 

The building is a significant gathering place for business and community leaders. The two largest of the building’s five conference rooms open to the park at Heritage Square. The interior is designed to be as impressive as the exterior of the building. The gallery is an open space where renderings and models of future development will showcase the changing look of the community. A sweeping staircase connects the first and second floors, and a skylight brings light into the interior of the building.

For more information about the Waco Chamber of Commerce, contact Felicia Taylor at 254-757-5600.