Belleville Chamber of Commerce
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The Belleville Chamber of Commerce came to being in 1864 as the Belleville Board of Trade for Hastings County and initially every business in the county was obliged to join. In 1920, the Board of Trade changed its name to the Belleville Chamber of Commerce. Chambers of Commerce were eventually established in Quinte West, Madoc, and Tweed as they branched off from the Belleville unit.
There have been five locations in the history of the Chamber of Commerce. These include the current location in the historic log cabin at 5 Moira Street East. Previous locations include, a building near City Hall on Front Street which burned down in 1948, inside the City Hall building, a location on Campbell street, and 338 Pinnacle Street between Victoria and Station Streets.
A Belleville District Junior Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1961. Known as the “Jaycees,” the first President at the time of inauguration was Zdenck Kvards. Over 600 local businesses were members of the Chamber of Commerce as of 2014. The organization also sponsors, nominates, and delivers the Belleville Citizen of the Year Award annually.
According to the information retrieved from the files collected by the Hastings County Historical Society, notable Presidents have been:
1931 – J.O. Hertz [Herrity?]
1956 – H.P.M. Cane
1958 – J.N. Yanover
1959 – J.C.R. Punchard
1960 – E. David
1961 – Jerry Wishart
1962 – W.T. Elliot
1963 – J.B. Corke
1969 – Hugh Murray
1970 – Jack Ireland
2014 – Andy Bridgeman
2014 President Elect – Tracy McCollum