If you own a business, you likely are a member of your city’s chamber of commerce.
So if you are in LA, the star-studded Hollywood Chamber of Commerce just may be the one you opt to have membership in.
How much would it help your business to be part of this group, which 24 times a year, inducts a celebrity into the internationally renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Established more than 50 years ago, this attraction for the community has become one of the most successful marketing ideas devised by a chamber of commerce.
But, the activities of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce go beyond the Walk of Fame, according to Leron Gubler, President & CEO, of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
“We are a business organization working to make Hollywood a better community for both businesses and residents,” he says. “We work to create a strong economy by helping businesses in their dealings with the public sector. Whether it is a large company or a small business, we are there to assist in resolving the issues that affect their ability to conduct business.”
Activities include the Hollywood Expo, which provides Southern Californians an opportunity to visit Hollywood and take advantage of great offers; networking opportunities through our Business After Hours Mixers, our Speed Leads, and a monthly Tech101 Series.
The Chamber also represents the interests of business with government, by speaking out at numerous hearings, writing letters and lobbying on issues that impact our businesses and by making trips to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento.
Following are some of the achievements of the Hollywood Chamber:
- October 1921: The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was formed to replace the old Board of Trade. A five-day membership drive resulted in 2,517 members. The first order of business for the new organization was to raise funds for the grading and installation of 20,000 seats to create the Hollywood Bowl.
- 1932: The Santa Claus Lane Parade was first sponsored by the Chamber. In 1978, the parade was given a new look, renamed the Hollywood Christmas Parade and grew to national prominence as the nation’s largest celebrity parade with national television distribution for the first time.
- 1942: To aid the World War II effort, the Chamber donated its metal Santa Claus Lane Christmas Tree decorations to Uncle Sam. Each tree decoration was 16 ft. tall with 160 lights and weighed 750 pounds.
- 1949: The Chamber entered into an agreement with the Department of Recreation and Parks to repair and rebuild the Hollywood Sign and to remove the “land” so that it would spell “Hollywood”. The cost was $4,000. A second restoration was done by the Chamber in 1973.
- 1950s: When the Hollywood Freeway was being designed by the State Division of Highways, plans called for only one Hollywood off ramp. After intense lobbying by the Chamber, the State agreed to provide eight Hollywood ramps.
- 1953: The idea for a Hollywood Walk of Fame was generated by Chamber members and a committee was formed to pursue the idea. Following a vote by property owners to create an assessment district, the Walk was installed in 1960. In 1962, the L.A. City Council appointed the Chamber as the institution to handle additions to the Walk of Fame.
- 1972: The Chamber recommended Vermont Ave. as the most appropriate route for a Los Angeles subway to the valley. It was not until 1985, after an underground explosion in the Wilshire area, that the transportation agency saw the error of its ways and adopted the route recommended by the Chamber.
- 1974: Following strong lobbying efforts by the Chamber, Caltrans widened the Hollywood Freeway from Hollywood Blvd. to the Pilgrimage Bridge to eliminate a major bottleneck.
- 1978: The Hollywood Sign had deteriorated to such a level that it could no longer be rehabilitated, The Chamber formed a “Save the Sign” Committee and raised $250,000 in 32 days to completely replace and rebuild the Sign.
- 1985: The Chamber raised $150,000 to pay for a feasibility study to create a redevelopment district in Hollywood.
- 1986: The Chamber was the leading proponent of the need for a Hollywood Municipal Courthouse, which opened in 1986.
- 1992: The Chamber lobbied successfully for City funding of private security patrols on Hollywood Blvd.
- 1995: The Chamber raised $62,000 to fund a study to create a business improvement district on Hollywood Blvd. The Chamber worked with Councilmember Goldberg and the Hollywood Entertainment District was successfully initiated in 1996.
- 1996: The Chamber hired a publicist and launched a campaign to change the media’s perception of Hollywood. As a result, numerous positive stories were printed on the Hollywood renaissance.
- 1997: The Chamber launched its new foundation to give back to the community. To date, more than $250,000 in grants have been awarded to Hollywood nonprofit agencies.
- 1998-99: The Chamber acted as the lead agency in organizing community support to testify at public hearings in support of long-sought projects at Hollywood & Highland, Sunset & Vine, and the CineramaDome Entertainment Center. Each of these projects was built.
- 1999: The Chamber lobbied hard for passage of AB1695 (Knox), which was very effective in reducing pimping and prostitution on public sidewalks.
- 2000: A project spearheaded by the Chamber to erect 46 historic markers at a cost of $250,000 in Hollywood was completed.
- 2001: A Hollywood tourism promotional video was completed by the Chamber. The project was funded by the Hollywood Sign Trust.
- 2002: The Chamber organized its first media information center to assist with press coverage of Hollywood in connection with the Academy Awards.
- 2003: The Chamber launched a new website, Explorehollywood.com, to promote Hollywood tourism.
- 2004: The Chamber commissioned a study to convince the Motion Picture Academy that Hollywood should be the home for their proposed museum.
- 2005: The Chamber worked on legislation to create a Hollywood statistical area that would require the reporting of demographic data on the community.
For more information:
Contact the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
7018 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90028