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.
The Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting is one of the most popular networking events of the year, bringing together a cross-section of partners, and welcoming nearly 500 of the community’s business leaders. The event is an excellent networking opportunity and a chance to connect with both friends and colleagues. The event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with social hour and entertainment from Escape from AlcaJazz; the dinner and program will follow at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s program will focus on the Chamber’s accomplishments in 2014, outline goals for the upcoming year, recognize the accomplishments of the past Board Chair and introduce the incoming Board Chair. This year’s meeting will also feature a keynote address from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. The highlight of the evening, though, is the presentation of awards to businesses and individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth of the business community.
2014 Award Winners
Small Business of the Year - Harley-Davidson Central
Distinguished Service - Senator Annette Dubas
Partners in Progress - Chief Industries, Inc.
Tickets: $50ea/10 for $450. Limited tickets available. Send RSVP to email@example.com or 308.382.9210.
For more information on this event contact Tara Purdie, Communication and Events Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grow Grand Island
The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Convention and Visitors Bureau have partnered together to hire an economic development firm to create a proactive, five-year, holistic business development growth strategic plan. The plan will analyze Grand Island’s talent pipeline, inter-industry purchases, economic impact analysis, and exports; create a community marketing brand; and guide strategic investment in business and economic development through 2019.
Market Street, the chosen strategic planning contractor, has established its reputation of success throughout the nation. Both the Greater Omaha Chamber and the Greater Des Moines Partnership have 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 will dove with and into the Mayor’s visioning process; the data and suggestions resulting from the business development growth strategic plan will be available to the City for incorporation into their Comprehensive visioning plan.
- Community Development and Visioning
- Community promotion/marketing - Develop public and/or private pool of funds
- Networking events
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.
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.
March Direction for Business
The March Direction for Business highlights: Annual Meeting Sponsors, Business First, and sponsorship opportunities. 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.
February Direction for Business
The February Direction for Business highlights: development of entrepreneurs, Decal Blitz, Annual Meeting information and Chamber Connector awards. Read more.