EDITORIAL: Midstate Chamber celebrates 125 years

The Midstate Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a major milestone highlighted by the organization’s 125th Anniversary Dinner and Awards event held Sept. 18 at the Aqua Turf.

A history that spans three centuries is an accomplishment for any organization, but is perhaps especially impressive for one that must meet a broad range of interests across a large geographic area.

The Midstate Chamber serves businesses in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington, Berlin, Cheshire and throughout central Connecticut. The chamber is known, of course, for helping new businesses launch with a ribbon-cutting and some fanfare. But its mission reaches far beyond those events to a wide range of support and initiatives that include opportunities for networking, promotion, leadership and education, according to the organization’s statement of purpose.

Over the past 18 months, the chamber has taken on a new task helping its members navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.

While the chamber is a mainstay of the business community, it’s also a significant presence in our communities, partnering with area chambers, towns, schools and other organizations on a wide variety of ventures.

One notable initiative is the chamber’s Hispanic Outreach Leaders in Action. Among its activities, HOLA is helping celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a Taste of Salsa in downtown Meriden tonight, an event that also raises money for scholarships for Latino students.

This is just one example of the chamber’s impact. Now multiply that with similar activities, large and small, across the years and through decades that add up to an extraordinary presence over the course of 125 years.

Over 300 people were at the 125th anniversary festivities. The awards given out reflected the chamber’s commitment to the attributes that keep communities strong. These included leadership and innovation awards and even an Excellence in Education award, which this year went to Meriden native and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The chamber has not only supported business success, it also has led by example as a model of how to attain and sustain success.  

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