Effort to revive chamber of commerce

Nearly a decade after it dissolved, the Rahway Chamber of Commerce is making a comeback. The Chamber will host its first meeting, open to the public and non-members, Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Masonic Temple on Irving Street.

Bob Markey, the founding president of the original chamber in 1977, is acting chairman of the new chamber, which will be a member of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce. A longtime local Realtor and property owner, Markey said the chamber’s main objective will be to support and help encourage all businesses in Rahway, from downtown to St. Georges Avenue to Route 1 — “the little guys to the major employers.”

The Rahway Center Partnership‘s efforts have been focused around the central business district. The chamber also will support efforts to strengthen schools, parks, the arts and other organizations, he added.

“There will be some overlap and it’s most important that a way be created for the two organizations to regularly communicate,” Markey said, adding that the two organizations shared office space on Main Street in the ’90s. Chamber membership and vitality was at a low point when Markey took over as chairman in 1992 and eventually dissolved about 10 years ago, losing many of its volunteer members to the Rahway Center Partnership.

***

The Rahway Center Partnership will host its semi-annual wine and cheese party Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Train Station Plaza on Irving Street. Admission is $15.