What started in 1997 with a few people with some great ideas, has transformed into the premier business organization of the Parish and one of the leaders in our region. Today, the Jefferson Chamber represents more than 900 companies in working to improve the business climate and creating business initiatives and opportunities in the Greater New Orleans region.
Through our business advocacy, we have proven to be a strong force in tackling quality of life issues. We have stood strong on public policy, beginning with the need to keep the 504-area code in our part of the region. The Chamber has stood steadfast for education reforms for our public-school system. Time and again, we are in the state house and the parish school board room advocating for a quality system for our kids and their futures. We are currently part of a coalition championing funding for early childhood development so that all children can benefit from learning centers before entering kindergarten.
We led the way, once the money was secured, in pushing the state’s department of transportation and development to begin the expansion of the Huey P. Long Bridge with our “Hurry the Huey” campaign. And just this year, we were part of the business voice behind the new airport terminal flyovers! Additionally, we created a tourism bureau known as the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau and secured a hotel/motel tax to adequately fund the tourist promotion organization.
As we have grown, we have created additional venues and organizations. In 2001, we recognized the need for a Political Action Committee (PAC), which has allowed us to put strength in endorsements of pro-business minded political candidates. Our Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, began in 2007. This Foundation has been the backbone of the workforce development grants that were a catalyst in the rebuilding after Katrina. The Foundation is also the original namesake and founder of the JCFA, a now autonomous high school that gives Jefferson Parish students a second chance at graduation. In recent years, the Chamber Foundation has become a catalyst for beautification throughout what is known as “Fat City.”
In 2017, the Chamber formed LiveWell Jefferson, a new initiative focused on creating and cultivating a culture of health and wellness among the business community and residents of Jefferson Parish. The LiveWell Jefferson campaign strives to produce more productive employees, build staff morale and reduce healthcare costs for employers.
At the parish, municipality, and state level, we have supported the need for alternative transportation to spur economic prosperity. Our due diligence and support of TNC’s is well documented and the approach of some government oversight with free enterprise decree really does work.
In 2018, we received 5-Star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for our sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact in the community, putting us in the top two percent of chambers nationally. The following year, the Jefferson Chamber was named the 2019 Large Chamber of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (LACCE).
Working with our partners at JEDCO, GNO, Inc., the Regional Planning Commission and others, our organization will continue to be a great influence in legislation, planning, and “big picture” thinking. Whether local, state, or federal legislators respect our positions and passion for policies, laws, and principles, our mission remains Improving Business – Improving Lives in Jefferson Parish and our region.
The Jefferson Chamber is a Five-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recognizing our efforts as one of the top 116 chambers in the United States.
The Jefferson Chamber is proud to be one of five chambers in Louisiana receiving accreditation by the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (LACCE).
The Jefferson Chamber completed the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses program in 2017.
The Jefferson Chamber’s mission is to work for the advancement of the business community; to enhance the economic, civic and cultural environment; and to improve the quality of life in Jefferson Parish.