Wanting to give direction to the economic growth of the local economy, which was given impetus by the tremendous growth at the two military bases, several of the more enterprising businessmen decided to form The Greater Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce. Thus, Thad Eure, Secretary of State of North Carolina, incorporated the Chamber of Commerce of the Town of Spring Lake, North Carolina on May 24, 1962. Since that time, the Chamber has strived to in promote the economic well being of Spring Lake .
The purpose of the Chamber is to develop, encourage, promote and protect the commercial, professional, financial, industrial, and general business interests of the Town of Spring Lake. The Chamber was organized also to achieve broader objectives such as to promote the civic interests and general welfare of the community; to extend and promote the trade and commerce, and to foster, develop, and protect the agricultural, and industrial progress of Spring Lake, Cumberland County, and the upper Cape Fear Valley, and to promote and maintain a positive program of friendly relations with the neighboring military installations and the personnel assigned thereto. Concurrent with its purpose, the Chamber expressly chose to be nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and nonpolitical in all respects.
The Town of Spring Lake, then a community of around 2,000 residents, had been incorporated only eleven years earlier in 1951 when a small group of local businessmen who were just as enterprising as the early Scottish settlers founded the Chamber and set forth its lofty and noble goals and objectives. Since the inception of the Chamber, commercial development overshadowed the waning agricultural sector and for that reason the Chamber focused on the retail aspect of economic development of the community.
The founders of the Chamber were: Rupert C. Creech, Howard L. Hall, W. A. Holland, Grady Howard, Al W. Wheatley, Clyde N. Quick, Sigmund Swain, R. Linwood Rivenbank, and Howard Pate. The first officers were elected from among the founders. They were: Grady Howard, President; Al W. Wheatley, Vice-President; Clyde N. Quick, Secretary; Sigmund Swain, Assistant Secretary; R. Linwood Rivenbank, Treasurer; and Howard Pate, Assistant Treasurer.
The Chamber was incorporated as the “Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce, Inc.”, although it has been referred to as the “Greater Spring Lake Area Chamber of Commerce” from the time it was organized. The Chamber has had close ties with the military community since its establishment in the early 1960s. It has held many activities for and with the military. The Chamber has also been very instrumental in fostering the economic growth of Spring Lake which blossomed from one small general service store to more than 400retail and service businesses including one regional shopping center and several quality hotels.