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Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce was established in 1936 and has over 500 members. The Chamber is fully committed to promoting the economic vitality and positive image of the business, industrial and entrepreneurial community of Greater Merced, as well as the community at large.


A number of organized committees work to assist the Chamber in carrying out its goal of maintaining a focused approach to improving the business vitality in the Greater Merced area.

The Business and Economic Development Committee makes an outreach to business owners to learn what concerns them and how the Chamber can help. They hold regular meetings of local manufacturers to exchange ideas. The committee holds quarterly Wake-Up Merced Breakfasts that inform the entire community about local issues such as the annual state of the community, law enforcement updates, healthcare and business development issues. The Chamber works with state and federal legislators to improve the business climate through its cooperative association with the Merced County Association of Governments and its One Voice program.

This committee also brings information to the membership concerning health, safety and other workplace issues.

The Government Review Council (GRC) meets monthly to review federal, state and local business issues. On occasion, the GRC will bring in speakers/presenters that describe their position and reasoning on the issues. Discussion leads to policy positions recommended to the Chamber Board for approval. When necessary, the Chamber will appoint a spokesperson to speak before local government on an issue that has an impact on a number of our member businesses.

The Chamber Education Committee works with the school system and both the City and County of Merced to provide assistance and recommendations regarding improvement of the upcoming workforce. One of the many programs developed by the Education Committee is the Junior Leadership Program which is in its 12th year, graduating over 240 students through the program. This program targets high school juniors and seniors from Merced high schools and is patterned after Leadership Merced, the Chamber’s successful adult leadership training program celebrating over 30 years and 600 graduates. The committee is also responsible for the selection and distribution of its local scholarship program.

The Ambassador Committee serves as goodwill liaisons of the Chamber with the general membership, but particularly with the new members. They meet, greet and introduce new members at various functions. They are the volunteer base for the Chamber.

The Leadership Merced Committee plans and organizes the Leadership Merced Program.The Finance Committee oversees the financial health of the Chamber. The Special Events Committees plan the Golf Tournament, the Cioppino Dinner and other special events throughout the year.

Throughout the Year

Quarterly Wake-Up Merced Breakfasts inform the community about timely issues.

Quarterly luncheons are held featuring key speakers in the community discussing issues pertinent to business.

The Chamber partners with Merced College to present the Customer Service Academy and the Thrive and Survive classes. These two classes offer both our businesses and the public quality training for a better workforce. Other classes such as Leadership Training and Workplace Harassment Awareness Training are offered.

Business Connectors are held on the third Thursday of each month. These are popular mixers where current and potential members can meet, exchange information and talk business in a relaxed informal atmosphere. Bring your business cards and interact with other business contacts. Opportunities exist where you can sponsor a mixer and promote your business.

Ribbon Cuttings and Opening Celebrations are held for new businesses in the community.

The Chamber offers trips with a business slant to its members. These trips have included China, other U.S. regions, Europe and many more.


The Chamber works with many other community and government organizations to enhance local businesses. Here are just a few:

California Chamber of Commerce
City of Merced
County of Merced
Merced College
Merced College Workplace Learning Center
Merced Conference & Visitor’s Bureau
Merced County Association of Governments
Merced County Office of Education
Merced Hispanic Chamber
SBDC – Small Business Development Corporation
UC Merced
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Western Alliance of Chamber Executives

Benefits of Membership

Your voice is heard through advocacy efforts of the Government Review Committee

The Chamber represents you on the various Business and Development

Organizations within the county

The Chamber partners with the One Voice program to take your issues to State and Federal levels

Referrals of Chamber members to business inquiries

Receipt of the monthly Chamber publication – The Gateway Magazine

Weekly email blasts on Tuesdays

Monthly Chamber news page in the Merced Sun-Star

Business Development opportunities through participation in Chamber Committees

Your company listing in the Chamber’s annual Merced Today publication

Your company listing in the Chamber’s online business directory

A listing of the entire membership, including addresses, for contact by mail

Monthly mixers to meet and network with other members

Exposure through Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremonies

New Member Orientation

Marketing & Promotional Opportunities

Your company name on the Greater Mercer Chamber of Commerce website ( with a direct link to your site

Advertising in Merced Today

Advertising in the Gateway Magazine

Sponsorship of many of our major community events

Display of information in our lobby

Be part of a dynamic alliance of business partners. Join the Greater Merced Chamber and open new opportunities to promote your business; be heard in local, state, and federal government; and become a steward of your community.


The Chamber positions its members to meet the exciting challenges of the areas developing economic base through its unique educationally focused Leadership Merced program.

The Leadership Merced Program began in the 1980s to enhance the skills, resources and civic involvement of community leaders. The mission of the Leadership Merced program is to develop a diverse network of dynamic business and community leaders, who, individually and collectively, are catalysts for advancing long-term views and actions on issues critical to the quality of life in Merced County. This is accomplished by:

Developing leaders who know and understand Merced County and are committed to its future.

Presenting a program of leadership training, which increases in the candidate an understanding of Merced and of themselves as future leaders.

Affording access to community leaders, gaining firsthand experience, knowledge and encouragement for greater business and community involvement.

Offering an opportunity for the graduates of the program to maintain affiliation and involvement with and establish a commitment to the leadership program and to the leadership opportunities of the community through performing day chair functions.

Leadership Merced begins with a “Get Acquainted” reception of members and spouses in September and concludes with graduation in June. The participants meet for a full day each month, with “Setting the Stage” starting the first session, followed by days regarding agriculture, health and human services, business economics, government, education, law and justice, the media, arts and communication, and ending with “Future Day.” There is a full two-day “retreat” over a weekend.

Leadership Merced is a program supported by the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce. Participants are generally sponsored by their place of employment, with a portion paid by them. Tuition includes seminars, resource materials, meals and transportation during the regular sessions and the retreat.

For additional information and an application, contact the Chamber at (209) 384-7092.


Mirroring the Leadership Merced program is “Junior Leadership Merced” (JLM), which is going into its eleventh year. This program looks for high school juniors and seniors who have leadership potential and provide an assortment of mentors and networking opportunities to help youth improve their skills while learning more about their local community.

The goal of this seven-month program is not only to provide leadership training to our youth, but to open their eyes to the potential of returning to Merced County as adults and becoming a viable member of our communities.

Students involved in the program are enrolled in two Merced Community College courses, which are held during their once-a-month meetings that begin in September. Other sessions include Business and Community Day, College Day, Government Day and Law and Justice Day. In addition, they also participate in a two-day leadership retreat held at the Jack L. Boyd Outdoor School. Ending their seven-month program is graduation, held in March.

Unlike the adult program, there is no charge to the student for this program. JLM is currently sponsored by Chamber members, and gracious donations and sponsorships by local businesses that host meals and session days during the year.

To learn more about this program, contact the Chamber at (209) 384-7092.

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