The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce predates the official formation of the city.
In its genesis, the Chamber of Commerce was known as a “commercial club” that was a small collection of local business owners who would meet for small get togethers.
Fast forward a few decades, in 1985 the official Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce had roughly 50 members and the organization was looking to hire a director.
In 1986, Nancy Littell was hired as the first ever Executive Director.
“I got the job and my first day of work was April Fool’s Day,” Littell said. “The organization had enough money to pay me for three months and during that time I was supposed to find a way to fund myself.”
In the first year as director, Littell “beat the streets” and recruited over 200 members to the Chamber of Commerce.
“People were joining because they believed in our mission,” Littell said. “I wanted to keep the business community coordinated and well-focused on what’s the health of Cannon Beach because if Cannon Beach isn’t healthy, no one’s business is going to be healthy.”
During her tenure as director, Littell helped transition the Chamber’s newsletter to a magazine and started the Stormy Weather Arts Festival.
After seven years as director, Littell resigned from her position, leaving the organization in a healthy, thriving position.
Today, the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce has grown to over 300 members and employs three full-time and two part-time positions with James Paino as Executive Director.
“Businesses, organizations, and even residents join the Chamber because we offer benefits to them that far out way their membership amount,” said Paino. “We publish the Cannon Beach Magazine that supports our community, oversee the visitor center with rack cards and information that directs people to our local business, and our website is a huge draw.”
Membership to the Chamber requires an application and fees vary from $185-$310.
In addition to directly promoting businesses, the Chamber also enhances the community by sponsoring several volunteer-based events throughout the year including the famous Sandcastle Contest.
“We’re doing everything we can to make our community better,” Paino said. “We want to make sure that our community stays viable. If you don’t have a strong business community, we will lose our visitors and the village character that draws people here.”
The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce is located at 207 N Spruce. The Visitor Center Lobby is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit the Chamber online at cannonbeach.org.