The Greater York Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) and the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce (YCRC) are merging, according to a press release.

That means a larger organization of nearly 1,000 members will expand opportunities for businesses in the greater York area in addition to the YCRC’s existing service areas of Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Tega Cay.

Debbie Ruth

“This association will provide our members direct access to additional resources, with continued emphasis on the things important to our local companies, like business advocacy, economic strength, and quality-of-life,” said Debbie Ruth, GYCC Board leader and executive VP of Vision Metering in York.

The new association will focus efforts more on business development and less on civic activities, Ruth said. Being a part of the YCRC provides members a stronger voice on local business issues and increases opportunities for informational and networking programs.

Marc Howie

Marc Howie, YCRC Board Chair and community development VP at York Electric Cooperative, said the merger will benefit all parties.

“This arrangement is a win-win situation for all partners,” he said. “I am excited about the synergy that can occur within and among the four service areas.”

Howie said that having one organization represent a majority of the county’s business areas, including the county seat, assists businesses in distributing resources. Plus, it will reduce the confusion of visitors and some citizens as to which area each chamber serves. F

Current YCRC President, Rob Youngblood, will remain CEO of the organization, which becomes effective on September 1, 2019.  GYCC’s executive director and merger supporter, Melissa Noebes, resigned last month to return to work in the private sector. 

Although there may be some restructuring, Youngblood said he plans to retain the existing staff members of both chambers. As in all YCRC service areas, an advisory board will be formed to represent the interests of chamber members in the Greater York area.  Other undetermined operational details will be addressed prior to Sept. 1.