Hatfield Chamber of Commerce is becoming part of Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The merger takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.
In recent years, the Hatfield Chamber, which started in 1927, had discussed merging with a larger regional chamber, but also thought there was a lot of benefit to having its own local organization, said Hatfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Larry Stevens.
Then, at the beginning of this year, Stevens, who has been the Hatfield Chamber's treasurer since he joined in 1989 and executive director since 2005, when he became the first paid staff member, announced he was retiring at the end of the year.
Discussions of a possible merger started the beginning of the year and in August the decision was made to pursue the merger with the Indian Valley Chamber, Stevens said.
"The culture of their business members and our members, it just seemed a real good fit to come together," Stevens said.
Courtney Covelens, president of the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce and a QNB vice president and commercial loan officer, also noted the good fit.
"It all just kind of came together like it would be an ideal fit for us to unite together," she said.
There already was some overlap, with some members being part of both chambers, Stevens and Indian Valley Executive Director Steven Hunsberger said.
The Hatfield Chamber has about 110 members, Stevens said. Indian Valley has about 280 and will be getting more than 80 new ones with the merger, Hunsberger said.
The name of the organization will remain Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce. The office will remain at its current location in Souderton and no additional staff will be hired at this time, Hunsberger said.
Two people from the Hatfield Chamber will become Indian Valley Chamber board members, Covelens said, along with some of the Hatfield programs continuing.
Stevens said the continuing programs include the income tax updates and municipal government updates.
"Since they're so informative for our members, they agreed that it would be good to continue those," he said.
The Indian Valley Chamber is keeping the dues for the Hatfield members at the Hatfield rate for the first two years of the merger, Stevens said.
The merger will give the members additional networking opportunities, he said.
"The more the members can interact with each other, the better," Hunsberger said.
The Chamber of Commerce advocacy programs will continue and have an expanded voice with the larger group, he said.
"We're the only organization that speaks solely on behalf of the businesses and looks out for their well-being," Hunsberger said.
"This is a way to increase our tent and continue to work on behalf of our members," he said, "so we're really pleased with this and I think it's gonna be great for the region."
"We really do look forward to the opportunities of all of us merging together and we are excited for what the new year can bring," Covelens said.