Hancock Chamber of Commerce
Igniting change for exciting growth and opportunity.
For 90 years, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce has been sticking to our core fundamental values and igniting change, progress and innovation. Our track record of community involvement goes back to 1925, when several members of the Bay St. Louis Rotary Club first established the Bay St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. The organization grew along with the area, and in 1945, changed its name to the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. For the past seven decades, the group has helped form dynamic partnerships between the county’s thirteen diverse communities and cities, achieving common goals that improve both our business environment and our quality of life. Today, the Hancock Chamber is 1,500+ members strong, representing over 10,000 employees in the area. We bring together business, community, and governmental leaders who work year-round to promote the economic, social, civic and well-being of Hancock County. In short, we are building an organization whose success is timeless.
- The Hancock Chamber of Commerce is the County’s leadership hub, bringing together business, civic and government leaders, working toward common goals. Together, we are making Tourism Everybody’s Business!
- We’re a vital part of Hancock Tomorrow, a five-year county-wide economic development strategic plan created in 2012, funded by the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. The board identified five priorities in 2013:
- Enhance small business development support capacity
- Pursue hotel developments
- Improve aesthetics of major transportation corridors
- Devise incentives for Stennis employees to reside in Hancock County
- Develop retail strategies
- The Chamber also partners with county and state government to promote community development projects like McLeod Water Park enhancements, the Possum Walk Heritage Trail that opened in 2013 outside the front door of INFINITY, the opening of the new Jourdan River Blueway and the creation of the new sports complex that is under development.
- In Bay St. Louis, the Hancock Chamber supports redevelopment of the beachfront – including the new Harbor as well as special events and festivals: Bay Harborfest, Crab Fest, St. Rose Heritage Festival, Arts Alive! and the Snowflakes and Sugarplums Festival.
- In Waveland, we’re on board with development of projects like the Waveland Business Center and promoting Waveland’s Ground Zero Hurricane Museum.
- In the Kiln, the Hancock Chamber’s Kiln Business Council supports private enterprise and nonprofits through events like First Fridays at Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company and the McLeod Park Fishing Tournament.
- In Diamondhead, the Chamber’s Diamondhead Business and Professional Association is working with government to make the state’s newest city one of the most prosperous by promoting events like the Holiday Merchants Fair, Blessing of the Fleet Crusin the Coast, and making the Diamondhead Arts and Crafts festival a top Hancock event.
- The Chamber’s Greenways & Byways Committee is bringing together partners like the City of Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, NASA, INFINITY, MDOT and MDA to make the most of the new award-winning Scenic Byways system. The Coast’s only beach front scenic byways system, with over 43 miles of roads, was recently awarded prestigious Community Economic Development Award by the Mississippi Economic Development Council. In 2015, the Beach Blvd. Scenic Byway will extend across the Bay Bridge into Harrison County.
- To keep you more informed about the latest events and opportunities, we’ve revamped our entire communications system 3 new websites(Hancock Chamber, HanockMSMyhome, and MS Gulf Coast Scenic Byways); a new look for the Annual Newcomers Buyer’s Guide – a partnership with the Sea Coast Echo; the weekly Chamber Checklist, 28 social media outlets from Facebook to Pinterest are maintained; and, a Smart phone application through our media partner, Mississippi Magazine.
- The Chamber board oversees more than a dozen different committees that focus on education, beautification, greenways and scenic byways, community development, leadership and recognizing the best and brightest in Hancock County through our annual awards gala.
- The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce has generated more than $9 million in grant monies that have been invested in quality of life and business endeavors, including a $3 million revolving loan fund for Hancock business.
- The Chamber is also a marketing partner to INFINITY Science Center, the $30 million visitor and educational asset drawing millions in tourism dollars even as it brings incalculable advantages to the young minds of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and to the future of the coast itself.
- The Hancock Chamber also manages Partners for Stennis Space Center, a volunteer group of businesses and private citizens united to promote NASA’s Stennis Space Center and to facilitate job creation and economic development through programs, projects and events.
- The Hancock Chamber also established the Hancock Community Development Foundation as a 501 (c) 3 public charity in 2006 to serves as the ”umbrella” for organizations that enhance economic development and quality of life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Sponsored funds establish youth scholarships, preserve coast heritage, develop scenic byways, improve and beautify civic spaces, kick-start economic development and foster the arts, ecotourism and youth athletics.
Explore our web site to learn more about the wide range of projects we’re spearheading. www.hancockchamber.org