The Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1918 as the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. At that time, the primary center of business activity in Anne Arundel County was in the City of Annapolis. The rest of Anne Arundel County was rural farm land and sparsely populated. The far northern part of the county was a residential suburb of Baltimore City.
After the Second World War
Development in Anne Arundel County began in earnest and commercial activity in the county began to grow. The Annapolis Chamber of Commerce created a committee of the chamber to focus on concerns of particular interest to county businesses and the development of commercial property in Anne Arundel County. The chamber of commerce also changed its name to the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.
In the early 1950’s, the Anne Arundel Trade Council was formed from the chamber’s committee on county business concerns. This newly formed organization focused primarily on servicing businesses in Anne Arundel County and promoting commercial development in the county. During the years between the 1950’s and 1980’s, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce exclusively focused on city business concerns and changed its name back to the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. The Anne Arundel Trade Council continued to grow in membership with a strong advocacy role in the areas of commercial development, economic development, and public education in Anne Arundel County.
The 80s & 90s
As the decade of the 1980’s gave way to the decade of the 1990’s, both the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Anne Arundel Trade Council experienced an increase in the number of duplicate memberships. Toward the latter part of the 1990’s, the duplication of membership between the two organizations exceeded 32 percent and both organizations were expending resources on duplicative programming. The business community in both the county and the city recognized this trend and began discussions on bringing the two organizations back together as one. On January 1, 1999, the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Anne Arundel Trade Council reunited to form the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce with over 1,200 business members.