In Praise of the Delray Chamber

Delray Chamber CEO Karen Granger

Delray Chamber CEO Karen Granger

Editor’s note: We are off to Las Vegas on business (really) and we’ll be back next week with some new posts. But if we don’t return, it’s because we won big at the tables (boardroom tables) and we have bought an island. Have a great week.

You could feel the enthusiasm as soon as you walked into the room.
These are good times for many local businesses and the Delray Chamber is once again at the forefront of commerce in this city.

A large crowd gathered Friday night at the Delray Marriott to honor its best and there was genuine happiness and appreciation for the talented business people in the room.
Under the leadership of President Karen Granger and the hard work of a happy staff, the Delray Chamber is back to doing what it does best: creating a sense of community among local businesses through networking, advocacy, programs and events.
Chambers of commerce can seem old fashioned in today’s high tech environment. But there is still a need for local businesses to know one another and to support each other. As a result, chambers still have an important role to play in communities.
Boca’s chamber has long been the gold standard of local chambers– flush with members and resources.
In Delray, the chamber has always been a little less corporate and more small town in its style and approach. But it seems today that the Delray chamber is both honoring the warmth of its past (the organization is marking 90 years) and moving boldly into the future with outreach to younger professionals and tech companies.
The Chamber is also recognizing and working closely with local non profits, has always sought a close relationship with the city,  and is championing collaboration, smart growth, intelligent debate and strong schools.
It’s a compelling mission.
And an important one too.
As Delray changes, there is a desire to honor and preserve its rich history which is critically important. But there is also a desire to “round out” Delray’s compelling list of attributes in order to make its success sustainable.
The chamber– which has always supported arts and culture and food and beverage– wants to grow and diversify the economy by nurturing entrepreneurship, encouraging a nascent fashion cluster, strengthening retail and promoting office development.

There is also a strong desire to look beyond the downtown to places like Congress Avenue, the Linton corridor and areas west of the city limits. There is also a push to work with neighbors and be a larger player in Palm Beach County and South Florida.
It’s going to happen. Why? Because there is passion and talent and when an organization aspires great things happen.
Great cities need strong schools, safe neighborhoods, quality housing, good government, involved citizens and a thriving business community.
Business is not a special interest. It’s a stakeholder; an essential piece.
As I saw the best and brightest win awards last week while mixing and mingling with each other I couldn’t help but get swept up in the moment. When business is strong, so is the community.
Our chamber deserves a round of applause for its role as a resource, convener, advocate and friend to all of Delray. We are a greater Delray Beach as a result.



  1. Wanted to especially applaud Karen Granger, a friendship builder and visionary who pores herself into the chamber so that it knows an abundant life!

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