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East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce

A Brief History about our Long History...



A non-profit, membership-based organization, originally known as East Providence Business Men’s Association, founded on June 15, 1897 for the original purpose of social, literary and educational relations among its members.


Founding members of the East Providence Business Men's Association:


Benjamin Wilson –  probate judge, was president of the town council of East Providence for nearly ten years, and a member of the board. Cousin of George Wilson, the founder of Rumford Chemical, lived on Wilson Avenue in Rumford section of East Providence


George N. Bliss– judge, State House representative, school committee member, lawyer, the former Bliss School in East Providence was named after him. Veteran of the Spanish-American War and recipient of the Medal of Honor.


Simeon Hunt – Earned Doctor of Medicine from Dartmouth Medical School. Medical examiner for the Tenth District of East Providence.  He also served as East Providence’s health officer from 1885 to 1887, and as a member of the school committee from 1886 to 1888.


Harmon Seeley Babcock – educator, lawyer, poet, author. Brown University graduate earning an A.B. degree, valedictorian of his class.  Also earned an A.M. degree and was admitted to the bar in the same year. A superintendent of public schools of East Providence, R.I.; was town solicitor.


John McCausland – co-owner of Boston Store, a dry goods emporium in downtown Providence



  • In 1956, name was changed to East Providence Chamber of Commerce.

  • In 2005, the Chamber was renamed again to East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce to better reflect the communities it serves. Membership is comprised of 200+ businesses based and/or doing business in East Providence & Barrington, Rhode Island and Seekonk & Rehoboth, Massachusetts.



What is a chamber of commerce?

A chamber of commerce is a voluntary partnership of business people working together to build a healthy economy and improving the quality of life in the community in which they work and/or live. Chambers of commerce are operated by their members. It is not a government agency nor supported by tax revenue. The board of directors is elected by the membership and their role is  to determine the policies and goals of their individual chamber. The board chair presides over board meetings. The chamber’s executive director/president oversees, performs and/or coordinates the day-to-day operations and activities of the chamber office.




Mission Statement

The East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business for our community. We support economic growth, development and prosperity through our advocacy, public relations and members services.


Adopted by East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

April 21, 2016

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