Greater Union Township Chamber of Commerce welcomes Hillside Chamber of Commerce

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UNION, NJ — In November, the Hillside Chamber of Commerce was formally welcomed into the Greater Union Township Chamber of Commerce. “They are now an official part of our chamber,” said James Masterson, CEO of the Greater Union Township Chamber of Commerce.

It all began late last year when Masterson received a call from the Hillside Chamber. He explained to them that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, his chamber became dormant. Now, it wants to re-energize, refocus and bring more to the Hillside community.

Hillside follows the Roselle Park and Kenilworth chambers, which also joined Union during the past year. “It’s exciting,” Masterson said. “We grew pretty fast. It’s a thrilling time. The population of all four towns is 84,000 people. It’s a sizable group. That’s a big impact. All four towns are dynamic communities.”

The Union Township Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1955 and began operation in 1956. The name was changed a year and a half ago to the Greater Union Township Chamber of Commerce, because it has always had members from outside of Union. “We decided to change the name to ‘The Greater,’” Masterson said. “We wanted people to realize we weren’t just the township of Union. ‘The Greater’ implies we’re more of a regional chamber.”

Masterson, who became chief executive officer of the chamber in 2012, said, “We let people know we are there for them, increase communications, increase our cooperation with the township. We want the community to prosper. Special events, ribbon cuttings; it’s been a great ride. I enjoy it tremendously. I enjoy putting the community together. I love when I can match people up where they’re both successful. I love the community service part. We hold networking events where businesses can come together.”

Membership has climbed to more than 400 member businesses at this point. He insists dues are reasonable and it’s the chamber’s goal to help businesses survive and thrive.

“It’s a business association,” Masterson said. “Businesses join to become an active part of the community and get their name out there. We work to promote, unite, represent and strengthen businesses within. People are joining because they want to be known. They want to be part of the community.”

Membership ranges from a one-person home-based business, to smaller and mid-size businesses, such as mom-and-pop places and storefronts. “We have a good cross section of all kinds of businesses,” Masterson said. “Banks, health care, trade, real estate; it crosses the gamut.”

Memberships are tiered and charged according to how many employees are with the company. Each employee becomes a member, with health insurance, 401K plans and member discounts offered, for which they can take advantage.

In addition to helping businesses, The Greater Union Township Chamber also helps the community. “We do a number of community service projects,” said Masterson. “We helped two children with cancer with medical expenses. We had over 400 runners in our 5K this year. We support students in town. We provide scholarships. Last year, we raised $7,000 and gave out two scholarships.”

“It’s a great time to be a member.”

For more information on The Greater Union Township Chamber, visit:

Photos Courtesy of James Masterson