Grand Island, Nebraska — a community with strong ties to our history and an even stronger focus on our future. Grand Island is the fourth largest city in Nebraska, with an estimated population of 49,989.The community also serves residents in much of rural Nebraska including an area of over 20,000 square miles with an estimated population of over 200,000. Incorporated in 1872, Grand Island has a rich history reflected today in the stability of the community and the outstanding quality of life for its residents.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to our web site where you’ll find a variety of information about our community, our businesses and industry.
To address the need for a trained and prepared workforce, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce led a community initiative resulting in the development and creation of the Career Pathways Institute. A collaborative effort involving Grand Island Public Schools, Central Community College and the business community, the mission of Career Pathways Institute is to prepare motivated learners for career pathways that lead to employment and continued learning.
Your Grand Island Chamber is proud to be a partner in Grand Island’s growth and prosperity. Your Grand Island Chamber spearheaded efforts to bring the Nebraska State Fair to Grand Island. New venue, new facilities, and a renewed sense of pride in what Grand Island is. This is just the beginning.
The Grand Island Chamber is proud to play an important role in defining what Grand Island is and will become. The Grand Island Chamber — Direction for Business.
Grow Grand Island
Grow Grand Island Implementation Leaders met on Thursday, April 16 to set the schedule for future meetings for all 39 recommendations. These recommendations were the result of research carried out by Market Street Services, Inc. and Design Workshop, Inc. and the input of thousands from the community. The Implementation Leaders reviewed baseline benchmarks for the recommendations encompassed by six overarching goals which are: advancing job creation; elevating standards of living; improving talent attraction and retention; advancing educational attainment; increasing volunteerism and engagement; and helping existing businesses grow. Specific targets, to be achieved by the year 2020, will be established for each of these goals. If you are interested in serving on one of the implementation committees, fill out the sign up sheet below and return to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
About Grow Grand Island - A Grander Vision for the Heartland: The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered together to hire an economic development firm to create a proactive, five-year, holistic business development growth strategic plan. The plan analyzed Grand Island’s talent pipeline, inter-industry purchases, economic impact analysis, and exports; created a community marketing brand; and guided strategic investment in business and economic development through 2019.
Market Street, the chosen strategic planning contractor, had established its reputation of success throughout the nation. Both the Greater Omaha Chamber and the Greater Des Moines Partnership utilized Market Street in their recent economic development plans, Prosper Omaha and Capital Crossroads, respectively.
"Market Street’s credibility with our key constituents enhanced the development of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership's five-year strategic plan, Prosper Omaha 2014-2018. Recently, Mac Holladay provided subject matter expertise for a presentation with key economic development investors and leaders from the Nebraska-Iowa metro area as we prepared to launch our new six-county Greater Omaha Regional Economic Development Organization,” said David G. Brown, Omaha’s Chamber's president and CEO.
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership stated, “Market Street did an excellent job helping us bring together our regional public and private partners at both the grasstops and grassroots level to develop and launch ‘Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines and Central Iowa.
The business development growth strategy, Grow Grand Island, recently merged with Grander Vision, the City of Grand Island's comprehensive visioning plan, to best utilize available resources. Many of the recommendations from Grander Vision overlapped or aligned with recommendations from Grow Grand Island and this merge assures community organizations and public entities are focused on the same goals.
Business First is an outreach program that seeks to facilitate expansions and mitigate layoffs by conducting a series of site visits and surveys with existing business in and around Grand Island.
The Chamber wants to help support our local partners, help solve business concerns and improve the business climate of the community. This program will help local businesses remain competitive and increase local businesses' ability to compete in the global economy.
A BRE (Business Retention and Expansion) Team will be visiting you soon!
Please contact Freida Jemison, Partnership Services Coordinator, at 308.382.9210 with any questions.
Preserving Existing Economic Assets.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is continuously engaged in identifying potential opportunities for the Grand Island business community. Equally important is our focus on preserving existing economic assets. Husker Harvest Days is one example of growing an idea into an opportunity that resulted in a successful economic engine for Hall County. And, in the near future, we will be working collaboratively with public and private partners to enhance and protect this important asset.
Husker Harvest Days
Husker Harvest Days is the largest working irrigated farm show in the world. More than 35 years ago, community leaders from Grand Island and central Nebraska envisioned an experimental farm show that could be developed as a showplace for agriculture. The Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Committee became the catalyst for the conversations and resulting development.
Following site visits to other farm shows in the Midwest, hours spent in discussion and debate, and acquisition of land at the former Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, Husker Harvest Days was born. A non-profit subsidiary corporation of the Grand Island Chamber known as the Agriculture Institute of Nebraska was formed. This group secured the funding, oversaw the development of leased land so it could be farmed and irrigated, and provided other expertise. The first show was held in 1978.
Now more than three decades later, community leaders are coming together with a goal of modernizing the Husker Harvest Days site. Infrastructure needs, including burial of utility lines, improved site drainage, and paved roads, have been identified. These improvements will ensure that Husker Harvest Days remains one of the top farm shows in the United States. We look forward to reviewing the engineer/architectural plans this fall.
Husker Harvest Days generates a $7.7 million impact on the Hall County economy, according to a recent study completed by Dr. Eric Thompson with the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The Agriculture Institute of Nebraska commissioned this study in 2013 to determine the economic impact of Husker Harvest Days. The report delineates the various economic activities associated with Husker Harvest Days and considers the spending of over 100,000 visitors who attend the three-day event, and exhibitors who arrive a week in advance to set up their exhibits and to meet with customers. These vendors, exhibitors, and visitors purchase products and services in our community and enjoy dining and other entertainment as well accruing to a $7.7 million impact.
Grand Island voted #7 most livable city
Livable cities are made, not born. In a variety of ways, these 30 places are showing how localities can serve citizens of all ages... each has a strong blend of characteristics that make it stand out across all 60 of our (AARP) livability indicators. Read more.
Volunteers keep the fair running smoothly
Nebraska State Fair volunteers sampled hot, new foods on a stick, hopped into a photo booth and listened to singing group Habitat 4 Harmony at the Tuesday night kickoff event for the group at the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center. he kickoff event gave volunteers entertainment but also information about what to expect and how to sign up for shifts online at www.statefairvolunteer.org. Read more.
May Direction for Business
May Direction for Business highlights: SkillsUSA, Golf Outing, and State Fair Kick Off. Read more.
G.I. area’s robust economy hailed by DED
In the five year period recognized as the span of the last great recession, from 2008 through 2013, Hall County gained 1,333 jobs. Those jobs represented 36 percent of the total for the entire state of Nebraska of 3,743 jobs. Employment in Hall County expanded 3.6 percent during the recession, an indication of remarkable resilience considering the economic hardships that most communities in other parts of the nation suffered. Read more.
Nebraskans urged to be cautious when hiring contractors
The season for home improvement is here, along with the season for violent thunderstorms and tornadoes that can cause thousands of dollars in damage and destruction to residential and commercial properties throughout Nebraska. As the agency enforcing Nebraska’s Contractor Registration Act, the Nebraska Department of Labor wants to remind Nebraskans to use caution when hiring contractors to repair or remodel their homes and businesses. Read more.
Volunteers support State Fair
The Nebraska State Fair has had a strong presence in the Grand Island community since its relocation in 2010. In 2014 the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce released an economic impact study, which indicated that the economic impact on the Grand Island community exceeds $21 million annually. The community recognizes this positive impact on our economy and continues to support the fair through strong volunteer efforts. Read more.
City divvies up $100,000 gift from Nebraska State Fair
Five Grand Island efforts are recommended to share in a $100,000 gift from the Nebraska State Fair. State Fair Executive Director Joseph McDermott presented a $100,000 check to the city of Grand Island during the April 14 city council meeting. It was the third such gift the State Fair has given the city. McDermott asked Mayor Jeremy Jensen to use the money for community betterment. Jensen is recommending the money be used for several purposes, based on feedback he received from the council and other community leaders. Read more.
New partnership will attract more livestock shows
Rave reviews have flowed in from all of the groups who have used the State Fair livestock facilities at Fonner Park since they opened five years ago. Not only are the facilities state-of-the-art and spacious, they are located in the middle of the country making it a convenient travel spot for exhibitors bringing in livestock from anywhere in the country. Read more.
April Direction for Business
April Direction for Business highlights: Resolutions, Annual Meeting Recap, Volunteer Appreciation and Chamber Business Booth. Read more.
Community partners join together to promote livestock complex
Community partners the Nebraska State Fair, Fonner Park, Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce and Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau have created an organization to market and promote the year-round use of the State Fair livestock buildings at Fonner Park. Creation of the Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority (GILCA) was announced during a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Nebraska Building on the State Fair grounds. Read more.
Chamber continues focus on growing Grand Island at annual meeting
Although Gov. Pete Ricketts talked about his own plans to help grow Nebraska’s economy during his keynote address at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, he said communities such as Grand Island will play a big role in the state’s success as well. Read more.
Chamber presents 3 awards at annual meeting
The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce has named Chief Industries as its Partner in Progress Award winner, Harley-Davidson Central as its Small Business of the Year and former state Sen. Annette Dubas as Richard Good Distinguished Service Award winner for 2015. Read more.
Why Sandhill Cranes are Worth a Trip to Nebraska
The annual sandhill crane migration is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. To see these statuesque, cacophonous frequent flyers on their favorite plains, head to Nebraska now. Read more.
Grow Grand Island
Grow Grand Island and Grander Vision merge and form strategic plan. Read more.