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Our History

For nearly 100 years, the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights and Inwood has worked to benefit our community.

   Since it was first established in 1921, the mission of the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights and Inwood has been to support and foster an environment for economic development, stimulate and support local businesses and to help improve overall conditions in the community. Today’s Chamber carries that mission into the future, recognizing the ever-changing needs of our local business communities.


The Chamber counts a diverse membership comprised of small and mid-size businesses, corporations, academic and cultural institutions and community-based organizations that serve to provide a solid foundation for the economic and culturally diverse business environment and community quality of life. We work with and serve many area restaurants and retail operations, as well as major corporations including Verizon, Time Warner Cable and all the large banks in the vicinity. In addition, we count not-for-profit institutions among our active members, including New York Presbyterian Hospital, Isabella Geriatric Center, Columbia University Medical Center, Yeshiva University and The Port Authority.

On the forefront of a changing community for the next 100 years.

   The Chamber has been the driving force in helping to establish business organizations such as the 181st Business Improvement District and the Washington Heights and Inwood Local Development Corporation. As such, the Chamber is presently working with local stakeholders to establish the Lower Broadway Business Improvement District in the southern end of Washington Heights to further address the economic development needs of businesses and residents in the local community. The Chamber’s goal is to make all of Washington Heights and Inwood a better place in which to live and conduct business.


In addition to special events and programs, the Chamber regularly holds meetings bringing information to our members and community leaders. We invite active participation and encourage that the voices of our membership be heard in open forums.

The Lay of the Land

Washington Heights is bounded to the south by 155th Street and to the north by Fairview Avenue and runs from the Harlem River on the east to the Hudson River on the west.


Inwood is the northern tip of the island.


Together, the two neighborhoods make up Manhattan Community District 12. 


The history of Washington Heights and Inwood dates back to the Native Americans who inhabited the area for centuries. Remnants of their settlements are still evident in Inwood Hill Park where Native American trails, caves and artifacts can be seen. Inwood is also reported to be the place where Peter Minuit paid the Lenape Indians $24 "in trinkets" to purchase Manhattan island in 1626.

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