GMA History

  • 1906 - Greensboro Merchants Association is formed.  In quoting from the organization's constitution and bylaws, the Association was to "establish and conduct a Central Bureau of Credits for the collection from and dissemination among its members of information concerning the responsibility and reliability of persons seeking credit; to establish and maintain a rating and report... the delinquent debtors against whom claims have been placed for collection with the corporation."
  • 1949 - The structure of the organization changes and credit exchange operations are transferred to a new corporation, the Credit Bureau of Greater Greensboro, Inc.  This new corporation began operating the Credit Bureau Reporting & Collection Division.  The creation of this new structure was necessitated in order for the Merchants Association to continue as a non-profit organization, providing services and benefits to its members.
  • 1983 - GMA moves to its present location, 225 Commerce Place.  Previous locations have included the Guilford Building in the 200 block of South Elm Street, 212 Commerce Street and 210 West Friendly Avenue, all in downtown Greensboro.
  • 2001 - FirstPoint, Inc. is formed as a holding company designed to maximize operating synergies and technology among the Credit Bureau and its for-profit subsidiaries.
  • 2006 - GMA celebrates its 100th year. 
  • 2008 - GMA merges with the High Point Merchants Association.
  • 2009 - The Greensboro Merchants Association changes its name to the Guilford Merchants Association to reflect its broader concentrated membership base.
  • 2016 - The GMA/FirstPoint Community Foundation Fund is created with a $1,000,000 endowment, with the mission of supporting projects with the potential to make a significant impact on local economy and enhance life in Guilford County.

Little has changed in GMA's constitution and bylaws and its general purposes proposed by its charter in 1906.  Its purpose remains the same - to serve its members and represent the community in the best possible light.  Along with community activist issues, over the years GMA has created a host of lead generation, marketing, educational and crime prevention services to help its members grow and prosper.  For over 100 years, GMA has been where business and resources join together.