The Solvang Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th anniversary of serving Solvang. The city presented the chamber with a proclamation recognizing its history and contributions at the Jan. 11 City Council meeting.
The Solvang Chamber started as the Solvang Businessmen’s Association (SBA), which was created 10 years after the town was founded in 1911. The group that met in Dania Hall included A.E. Fauroso, M.L. Baker, H.C. Hansen, T. Austed, Mr. Harsen, Marcus Neilsen, S.H. Lyons and Albert Rasmussen. Many of these names continue to be part of Solvang today.
The SBA was founded to encourage tourism, foster industries, assist in agricultural enterprises, encourage the establishment of new enterprises, and in general to promote the welfare and the interests of the town of Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley.
Todays’ chamber of commerce continues that legacy under the direction of executive director Tracy Lavery-Beard and chamber president Jack Williams.
“It’s such an honor to be the executive director of a chamber that has been working for the businesses and the town of Solvang for 100 years,” said Lavery-Beard. “From its beginnings as a small group of businessmen, the mission remains virtually the same — promote and support Solvang and the greater Santa Ynez Valley.”
“I agree with Tracy,” said Williams. “The chamber is the go-to resource for a wide range of services for Solvang, from answering tourist questions to assisting local businesses in acquiring COVID relief grants and loans.”
Today, the Solvang Chamber is the clearinghouse for a wide range of services needed by today’s businesses in this fast-moving and challenging environment.
“We have a four-legged approach,” said Lavery-Beard. “First is representation, where we take local issues to the city, county and state levels. Next is economic development to help promote, support and strengthen business in Solvang. Third is education to ensure our members and interested others receive information and training on topics that directly affect our Solvang business community. And finally, we provide a wide range of resources, such as being part of the local Economic Development Collaborative and SBA loan center.
“I look forward to 2021 and helping the chamber, the town of Solvang, as well as the greater Santa Ynez Valley prosper.”
For more information on the chamber visit www.solvangcc.com.