The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce is the oldest continual business organization in upper Manhattan, having been chartered in 1896 as the Harlem Board of Commerce. Twenty-five years later, the name was changed to The Uptown Chamber of Commerce. In 1993, reflecting the tremendous growth taking place in its service area, the Chamber’s name was officially changed to The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. It was restructured as a not-for-profit business, civic and community development organization which would focus on commercial development, educational services, as well as concentrate on the development of small business, arts, culture, travel and tourism industries in the upper Manhattan area.
Over its 130 years, the Chamber has co-sponsored some of the most important key development projects in New York City, including the George Washington & Triborough Bridge Construction, New York’s first subway line, being actively involved with supporting the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s, and as a key sponsor and major force behind the 1939 World’s Fair, and most recently the development and construction of “Strivers Gardens,” one of urban America’s most extraordinary mixed-use residential and commercial development projects.
The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce has for the past four decades played a significant role in the revitalization of Harlem and in making Harlem a key tourism destination. Over 40 years ago, the Chamber created a one-day, HARLEM DAY celebration which has developed and grown to become “HARLEM WEEK.” Last year, HARLEM WEEK attracted in excess of three and a half million people to its four week celebration which focused on Jazz, sports, cultural events, theatre, movie festivals, economic development, business fairs and expositions, carnivals, gospel festivals, nightclub and restaurant special events, among others.
The Chamber’s major development is focused on the Striver’s Center area located between 130th & 141st Streets from 5th to St. Nicholas Avenues. This development project concentrates on small businesses, boutiques, restaurants, mixed-use residential-commercial developments, health services and educational institutions as its target.
The Striver’s Center Development Project has gone a long way to provide a major anchor for Upper Manhattan’s second Harlem Renaissance. The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce is proud of its accomplishments to date, achieved through commitment, support, direct involvement and contributions of its caring and informed Chamber membership base which now exceeds one thousand, Nine Hundred (1900) members and associates