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Southern Ocean County Chamber 100

Over the past one hundred years, the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce has enriched the quality of life for the citizens and guests of Ocean County through the promotion of business and tourism in the greater Long Beach Island region. An organization of “ persons interested in the prosperity of Long Beach Island”, which gathered on March 4, 1914 for the first of what was to become many meetings of the now Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been involved with every aspect of life on Long Beach Island from tourism to storm recovery and entertainment to business development, entertainment and storm recovery programs.

"Lure of Long Beach Island" written by George B. Stevens in 1914 was the start of tourism promotion that has continued today. The first guidebook was published in 1938 and continues to provide pertinent information and guidance for visitors to the island. The Chamber has operated a visitor center, which has introduced visitors to all the area has to offer and organized and run many events to promote the island since 1940. In 1964, there was a Long Beach Island day at the World’s Fair. The Chamber has organized such programs as: Operation Christmas Tree (old Christmas trees used to fortify the dunes), the Miss Magic Pageant, the Festival of lights and Tree Lighting, and the Chowder Festival. Their hard work and strive for excellence has garnered four separate New Jersey Governor Tourism Awards.

Long Beach Island
Board of Trade Building 1972
Photo Credit:
Jack Lamping Photography,
Southern Ocean County
Chamber of Commerce Archives

Over the past decades the Board of Trade’s involvement in achieving its goals, the Chamber has under gone several name changes in its lifetime; The Long Beach Board of Trade, the Long Beach Island Board of Trade in 1942, so as not to be confused with Long Beach California, Long Beach-Stafford Board of Trade in 1968 and finally to Southern Ocean County Board of Trade where in 2007 they have assumed the role of Destination Marketing Organization.

The Southern Ocean County Board of Trade has encouraged responsible growth through the development of infrastructure from schools, paving of safer roads, businesses, public sewers and water. The main element for organization in 1914 was to build the first automobile bridge across the bay. Since then, the Chamber has also been instrumental in the 1959 and 2014 bridges and a new Causeway. For which, the endeavors and persistent efforts of the Board of Trade created convenience and enjoyment for the residents and visitors alike on the island today.

Over the years the Chamber has also provided help in navigating numerous hurricanes, super storms, nor’easters,
and other natural and man-made disasters that have threatened the quality of life and financial sustainability of the region. They have assisted in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local hunger relief and many local charities. The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce with nearly six hundred members continues to play a vital role in support of the $4.2 billion tourism in Ocean County.

View The 1938 Guide Book

June 20, 1914 Governor Fielder Leading Auto Parade
Photo Credit: Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Archieves

Long Beach Island Causeway 1958
Photo Credit: Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Archives

Ariel View of Long Beach Island Bridge and Causeway
Photo Credit: Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce Archives


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