History of the Batesville Area Chamber
Concerned businessmen and the Batesville Board of Trade merged to form the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce on March 14, 1919. The original board of directors had 11 members who met weekly. The Gem Theater, now called the Landers Theater, was the first headquarters of the Chamber. The goals of the Chamber in 1919 were obtaining a cotton compress, paving city streets, improving rail service, constructing a bridge across the White River, and flood control. Membership dues were $12.00 per year.
The present Chamber offices were constructed in 1964 from the bricks of the old Ringgold mansion, located where Marshall Dry Goods is now. In 1984 the Chamber changed its name to the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce works for the betterment of the entire community. The Chamber carries on a continuing program to intice new businesses and industries to come to the Batesville Area and also performs valuable services for our area’s existing industries. As a goodwill ambassador, the Chamber tells the world about the Batesville Area’s commercial, industrial, and historical facilities. It reflects Batesville’s tradition of friendliness and hospitality brings new businesses and people to the area, which in turn improves the enjoyment of all who live here.
Batesville has been named a center of excellence by the Quality First Batesville program. Quality First Batesville is a management training program for area businesses and their employees to teach them the skills necessary to better analyze their business. Quality management uses the talents of the people who are doing the work to solve productivity and quality problems. The Chamber has been instrumental in developing this program, which is the first program of its kind in the state and the third in the nation. This ongoing program is designed to assist our existing companies in becoming world class competitors. Businesses and industries participating in this program have saved thousands of dollars for their companies.
The goals of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce are to continue to improve the quality of life for our citizens and to promote our area through active participation of our committees which will help the area to grow and prosper.
In addition to the projects of our board of directors and committees, the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce offers service to residents of the area and newcomers. We keep on file a community profile, information on civic clubs, churches, employers, restaurants, motels, and historical sites in the area. We have telephone books available at no charge to the public. City of Batesville/Independence County Maps are also free! We also have a brochure rack with information on tourist attractions in Arkansas. We help local civic groups with their projects by serving as a central location to drop off applications, forms, contest entries, etc.