The Business Chamber

Our History

Almost 100 years old
​This Chamber was founded in 1925 and chartered under the name of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce. Interestingly enough, like most Chambers of that decade (See History of Chambers), we were formed for the specific purpose of attracting new industry. And, not just any industry...
The founders had their eye on a particular statewide event that had gained national attention at its debut the year before. So, they formed the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce to attract and host the Florida Frolics and Beauty Review.

Just a few years before on September 25th, 1920, The Fall Frolic was created and held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event was designed to bring business to the Boardwalk: "three hundred and fifty gaily decorated rolling wicker chairs were pushed along the parade route. Three hundred and fifty men pushed the chairs. However, the main attractions were the young 'maidens' who sat in the rolling chairs, headed by a Miss Ernestine Cremona, who was dressed in a flowing white robe and represented 'Peace.'" (according to PBS TV Special on First Miss America Pageant). The national response to the event inspired similar events throughout the country and is considered the origins of today's Miss America Pageant.

Melbourne Chamber of Commerce founders were successful in their bid, winning ​the rights to host the 2nd Annual Florida Frolics and Beauty Review in Melbourne, Florida in 1925. The economic boom that the event attracted allowed the Chamber to grow rapidly as tourist flocked to the area for years to see the place "where it all happened."
​​In 1982, the name was changed to the Chamber of Commerce of South Brevard.

In 1987, the Chamber of Commerce of South Brevard and the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce consolidated and became the Greater South Brevard Area Chamber.
Series of Name Changes
​In 1991, the named was changed to the Melbourne-Palm Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
 
In 2010, the Chamber was renamed the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida, Inc. in order to communicate our organization’s interest in a regional outreach and participation.
Home of Astronauts
Destination of Presidents
The Space Coast has been the home of astronauts since the inception of the space program. It also a favorite destination of U.S. Presidents.

On a very warm day on June 22nd, 1987, President Ronald Reagan visited the Melbourne Regional Airport (now known as the Orlando Melbourne International Airport) to address the business community. 
President Reagan was particularly concerned by the overspending by the federal government and was championing a Balanced Budget Amendment: "​Over 80 percent of the people, if we believe the polls, believe that we should have an amendment to the Constitution that says the Federal Government cannot borrow money and go in debt. And so far, we haven't been able to get action on that." He went on to argue for the need for a line item veto. To this day, a Balanced Budget Amendment has not gained sufficient steam to be considered a real possibility. The line item veto, however, was granted by Congress almost a decade later in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. Only to be overturned by the Supreme Court in 1998.

The day after the first presidential debate, then-candidate Donald Trump rallied in Melbourne at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport on September 28th, 2016 to a crowd estimated over 10,000. President Donald Trump went on to become the 45th President of the United States. 

President Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, returned to Melbourne on February 18th, 2017 to a crowd estimated over 9,000. President Trump opened with, "It is so great to be here in Florida, my second home, with you. This is a state I truly love." In his 40 minute speech to cheering and applauding supporters, he spoke on many issues. Two dominate themes emerged from his remarks: First, the country has a serious problem with illegal immigration. President Trump called the current system "broken" and "in need of a complete overhaul." Second, the national media is corrupt, tainted, and political. The President argued that the media is full of "fake news" because they are not reporting on the real news, they are trying to make news themselves and persuade public opinion to their way of thinking. 
As the Chamber grew in size (Members, budget, and staff), its influence grew. This, in turn, allowed the Chamber's territory and regional presence to grow. ​Though the Chamber does not have official boundaries, the Chamber considers its territory a semicircle from just south of Jacksonville in the north through Orlando in the west to just north of West Palm Beach in the south. 
Territory
​That said, the Melbourne Regional Chamber boasts of Members beyond that semicircle; however, a super-majority of the Chamber’s Members have offices or establishments in Brevard County.
The Best of the Best...
of the Best
We Are 5 Star! ​On February 23rd, 2010, the Melbourne Regional Chamber was originally accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a 5-Star Chamber, heralding it as in the top 1% of all Chambers of Commerce nationwide.  The Melbourne Regional Chamber was re-accredited at the 5-Star Chamber level on March 10th, 2015.
We Are a Certified Plus Chamber! ​In September 2010, the Melbourne Regional Chamber was originally accredited as a Certified Plus Chamber, the highest accreditation level in the state of Florida awarded by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP). The Melbourne Regional Chamber was re-accredited as a Certified Plus Chamber in September 2016.