Inside the Committees & Programs of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

April 7, 2022 10:10 am

The North Shore Alliance is made up of 30 cities and towns along the northeast region of Massachusetts. While each municipality has their own government, they each have resources to help local businesses achieve success while enriching the community. 

One of those resources is the Chamber of Commerce, geared toward giving local businesses the tools they need to thrive, even in a pandemic world. The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is one such chamber that bears a closer look. 

In a recent North Shore Conversation, a weekly radio show produced by the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and hosted by Laura Swanson, we had the chance to talk to Ken Riehl, the CEO of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce (GCACC). 

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What is the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce? 

The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce serves as Cape Ann’s leading advocate for business, promoting our members and the region’s economy, celebrating our culture, and enhancing our community’s quality of life. The GCACC serves Essex, Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, and Manchester-By-The-Sea with a 1,000 members strong. 

Celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year, the Greater Cape Ann Chamber is so proud of the beautiful and diverse region that they represent. During the interview with Mr. Riehl, he mentioned so many of the activities that tourists and residents alike can enjoy in our region. He mentioned activities such as: boating, beach fun, rocky shore lines, marshes, hiking trails, farms, open spaces, restaurants, shops, cultural heritage areas, arts, and heritage/historical landmarks.

Much of the work of the chamber is focused in these areas:

  • Promoting the region and raising the visibility of our members among residents and visitors 
  • Helping businesses thrive by fostering connections, providing training and education, and offering programs that benefit these organizations
  • Addressing the economic, educational, and cultural needs of the Cape Ann region by providing support for key community priorities (Source: GCACC

Committees & Program Priorities 

Given the year round tourism industry and the growth of businesses of varying industries, the GCACC has many committees and priority programs that support the businesses of the region. 

The goal of the hardworking members and leadership of the chamber is to connect businesses to the resources that they need, as well as help the community understand the resources that our region has access to. 

Mr. Riehl explained that a big part of the work of the chamber is to promote Cape Ann as a visitor destination as well as the hundreds of small and large businesses in the area. 

Here is a brief outline of some of the committees of members working on the goal to help support our region’s businesses. 

  • The Tourism Council that asks the question of how to increase tourism in the area as well as how to ensure that the visitors that come to our area have a positive experience during their trip. In this regard, the GCACC operates a visitor center in both Gloucester and Rockport as well as extensive literature about places to visit, eat, and stay. 


  • The Education Collaborative meets monthly with the schools on Cape Ann. Right now, Riehl explains that one of the top priorities is a focus on the mental health of our school children after two years of a global health crisis. 


  • Committees of different categories of business such as: Young Professionals, Women’s Business Groups, Contractors and Trades, and Health and Wellness committees. 


For more information about the GCACC visit their site and find out more about their resources and membership benefits