1819 - Creation of Saint John Board of Trade
The story of the Saint John Board of Trade begins on the sunny morning of April 5, 1819, at Mr. Cody’s Coffee House on the southeast corner of King and Prince William Streets. It was here on that fateful morning that a group of local business leaders, led by William Black, met to discuss the formation of a local business association. The purpose of this association was to correspond with similar bodies in other provinces, and the public department in England, while attending to matters that affected the trade and commerce of Saint John. At this meeting a Chamber of Commerce was formed, with William Black elected president; Hugh Johnston Jr., vice president; and Lauchlan Donaldson, secretary.
1872 - Dominion Board of Trade
By 1872, with Saint John growing at a steady pace, the Board decided it was time to incorporate as a local body that would be part of a national organization. With this in mind, and with the help of other boards across the Dominion, by the end of the year they had received their charter and helped form a Dominion Board of Trade.
1983 - New entity: a Body corporate with national affiliations
A new entity but the basic focus of the Board still remained the same. A prime example of this is the fact that in 1883 the Central Railway Committee, International Bills of Lading Committee, Postal Committee and Bay Service Committee were among the busiest of the Board.
1913 - Immigration time
By 1913 the Board added immigration to its focus by allowing the newly arrived immigrant to view the advantages of New Brunswick in general, and Saint John in particular, against the disadvantages of their former homeland. Bringing, in 1913 alone, 53 such members to Saint John.
1922 - Entertainment time
The Saint John Board of Trade focused on entertainment and helped initiative the creation of the New Brunswick Films, which produced Blue Water, the first feature film made in New Brunswick.
1930 - Civic government
By the 1930’s, with civic interest running high in Saint John, the Board decided it was time to take a more active role in civic government. This action lead to the formation of the Civic Improvement League, which in 1936 managed to change the form of civic government.
1960 - Social Services priorities
In the 60’s the Board continued their fast pace, by helping to initiate the creation of the Social Service Council of Greater Saint John, Consumer-Business Information Bureau, Saint John Chapter of the National Secretaries Association, Joint Labour Management Standing Committee, Statistical Information Centre, Provincial Study Committee on Mental Health Service and a free garbage collection system throughout the city.
Along with these ventures the Board also managed, in the 60’s, to be a major player in the amalgamation issue of 1967 and foster the growth of U.N.B.S.J. While at the same time creating their own Water Committee (Environment), Designated Areas Incentive Program and Growth Centre Concept.
1970 - Development of Saint John
The 70’s saw a return to past issues, with the Board pushing for Power Generating Stations at Coleson Cove and Point Lepreau. A new regional hospital at Millidgeville and commercial developments in the uptown area (Brunswick Square, Market Square) also received strong support from the Board. The Canada Games in 1985 and Festival By-The-Sea the same year were endeavors of the 80’s that received strong support from the Board.
Also, transportation was a focus as always, with the Board pushing for better road, rail, sea, and air connections with other parts of Canada and abroad.
1985 - The Canada Games & Festival By The Sea
The Canada Games in 1985 and Festival By-The-Sea the same year were endeavours of the 80’s that received strong support from the Board. Also, transportation was a focus as always, with the Board pushing for better road, rail, sea and air connections with other parts of Canada and abroad.
From Board of Trade to Chamber of Commerce
Nowadays –Make it Happen for Business
The new logo, with the blue box, is a symbol of this partnership and how four walls can come together as one, stronger regional chamber.The Chamber, through its deep roots, originating as the Saint John Board of Trade, still maintains its legacy as one of the country's first established business associations, serving as the voice of business for the Saint John region since 1819.Representing almost 700 small, medium, and large businesses and organizations and therefore, the interests of more than 30,000 citizens, the Chamber is a dynamic advocate and the principal voice for the business community of Greater Saint John. Through the support of our members we are committed to have the Greater Saint John to be recognized as the best place in Canada to start, run and grow a business... period!