Mission & History
The mission of the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce is to advance, advocate and aid in maintaining a sustainable pro-business environment in Wyandotte County.
Established in 1898 as the Mercantile Club of Kansas City, Kansas, a local group of businessmen formed a membership based group which set about growing the community, and would later be re-named and established as the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce in 1918. Since that time, the Chamber has been a leading voice of the business community in KCK and surrounding areas.
The KCK community has experienced exponential economic growth over the last decade and the KCK Chamber is at the forefront of that success by enhancing and leveraging the talents and resources of its diverse Members to sustain and catapult development opportunities throughout the Metropolitan area.
The KCK Chamber is a membership based organization led by a volunteer board, representing businesses and non-profits of varying sizes and sectors. The day-to-day work is handled by a paid staff of full-time employees. Staff works with a variety of committees made up
of Members and the Board of Directors.
Membership with the KCK Chamber offers numerous benefits and keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within Wyandotte County. Chamber Members have the opportunity to participate in exceptional programs, gain exposure for their business at numerous networking events and take advantage of the many business services we provide.
In 1918, the Chamber purchased the former Elks Lodge at 727 Minnesota which had suffered heavy damage from a fire. The Chamber re-built the building and has been there ever since with the exception of the 1950’s after the opening of the Town House Hotel.
The hotel was the first full service hotel built in downtown Kansas City, Kansas and part of its development agreement included the Chamber taking up residence as a tenant.
The Chamber building has also been used as the home of the Community Chest, the forerunner of today’s United Way of Wyandotte County, the Kansas City Kansas Women’s Chamber of Commerce and its former annual Museum project to tell the history of Native Americans in Wyandotte County, the KCK Jaycees, Kaw Valley Arts & Humanities, Wyandotte Economic Development Council, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
From its earliest inception the KCK Chamber as it is also known was involved in different business and community projects such as road projects like the Lewis & Clark viaduct, the former private Victory Hills Golf Course now known as Painted Hills, and even agreeing to help sell the needed subscriptions to start the Kansas City Kansas Kansan in the 1920s. It also oversaw a downtown retail merchants association for many years.
The KCK Chamber was substantially involved in the war effort in both World War I and World War II.
The KCK Chamber has been heavily involved in the changes of local government. This started in the early 1980’s with the change in city government from a three person commission to a Mayor/City Council form of government. Another change was completed in 1997 with the consolidation of the City/County government. The Chamber partnered with others to hold forums on unification, researched and published a study that among other recommendations discussed consolidation. When a grassroots effort moved forward to work on the vote, the KCK Chamber assisted in fundraising for the effort.
In 2007, a Kansas City Kansas Chamber Foundation was established to assist in funding community and economic development activities in Wyandotte County.