The St. Matthews Area Business Association “SMABA” was organized in 1955. It was a dedicated group of businessmen who drafted the original set of bylaws and formulated programs and activities that promoted the businesses that served the community. The first meeting of the St. Matthews Area Business Association was held Tuesday, August 9th at the Canary Cottage and the formal organizational vote of such an association was unanimously ratified by those in attendance.
A short time later, a meeting was set up to draft a formal constitution and approve the original set of bylaws; select officers and formulate a program of activity to be held in the community. At that time, SMABA had 81 founding members, and its mission was “to develop and promote the growth and welfare of all business in the St. Matthews area through a better serving of the consuming public, and to actively participate in all things that may ensure the accomplishment of that purpose.” Over the years and with strong leadership, active members, and effective business programming and events, by 2008 the St. Matthews Area Business Association had become the largest business association in the Louisville (KY) metropolitan area.
In 2011 the Board of Directors presented a new opportunity to its members to transition SMABA into a Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, the membership again unanimously ratified the proposal and the Area Chamber of Commerce was born. “We had become a powerful and effective advocate; full of resources, opportunities and synergies for its members including retail, business services, for-profit, non-profit, manufacturers, healthcare and more, and this became a natural progression for our organization, “ said Billy Fowler, President of the Board of Directors (2010-2014). Today, the Chamber is stronger and more effective after transitioning to our newest designation. The Chamber of St. Matthews, with its new branding, strive to convey to our members and the surrounding areas of Kentuckiana that we are here for all small businesses, not just the surrounding businesses in St. Matthews. The Chamber of St. Matthews embrace all small businesses in Kentuckiana and are here to help everyone network and succeed. Just as our mission statement states, “we are committed to the success and growth of our members through business and community opportunities.”
From its inception, back in 1955, the members have always led the success of this organization. Today our Board of Directors is committed to keep this a member-driven organization. Identifying passionate members to help guide and continuing to identify new opportunities and develop our programs and community events. Currently members are based in St. Matthews, as well as, throughout the region. They are made available through engagement with The Chamber.
“We welcome you to become a part of our community,” The Board of Directors 2016.
Find value in our organizations offerings; from networking and relationship building to the various, economic gardening components designed to build the workforce, management, and owners, as well as, their businesses.