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.
We value your input!
As we prepare for 2018, we are interested in learning which of the services we provide are most important to you and your business. To that end, a short survey has been developed. Your participation would be very much appreciated. Please click here to complete the survey.
The following individuals have been named the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce's Top 35 Under 35 for 2018!
Ibby Allan, Green Line Equipment
Sarah Arthur, Hornady Manufacturing
Bianca Ayala, Grand Island Public Schools
Dr. Rachel Brown-McDonald, Cottonwood Dental
Grady Erickson, Mayer, Burns & Koenig Law Firm
Andy Gdowski, Equitable Bank
Jenna Grenier, Lutz
Bethany Guzinski, Wood Bros. Realty
Jessica Hanson, Cottonwood Dental
Dr. Tyler Hanson, Eyecare Professionals
Phil Hranac, Edward Jones
Sarah Koch, Heartland CASA
Shane Labenz, CMBA Architects
Cole Larsen, Chief Buildings
Mitch Maire, Cobler Chiropractic
Erin McMillan, CHI Health St. Francis
Jana Meyer, Essential Personnel Inc.
Ashley Millard, Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Keith Mingus, Five Points Bank
Adam Musich, Active Family Chiropractic
Jacqui Nordstrom, Rabo Agrifinance
Rachael O’Callaghan, Beavercreek Marketing
Bonnie Oltean, Heartland CASA
Raece Paulsen, Nebraska Truck Center
Mark Porter, 10/11 News
Michael Porter, Wells Fargo Bank
Cody Raile, Feel Fit
Jimmy Reed, Century 21 Daly Realty
JR Rother, Bosselman Enterprises
Josh Smidt, Hornady Manufacturing
Dr. CJ Stec, Stec Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Joseph Stump, Almquist, Maltzahn, Galloway & Luth
Kelsey Trausch, Surgery Group of Grand Island
Kelly Wilson, GI Area Economic Development
Mallory Zelasney, State of Nebraska District 9 Probation
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.
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 Michala Soundy, Director of Workforce and Community Development, at 308.382.9210 with any questions.
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.
» Phase I: Competitive Assessment
» Phase II: Target Sector Analysis
» Phase III: Business Development Strategy
» Phase IV: Implementation Plan
» Grow Grand Island and Grander Vision Merge
» Sign Up Sheet
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.
Web-Based Buyer's Guide
Grow Grand Island is establishing a web-based buyer's guide to promote and encourage business-to-business procurement on a local level in Hall County.
We invite any business to participate in this beginning phase of building the database, which entails capturing your goods and services in the form of keywords via an online questionnaire. Complete the questionnaire!
Keywords should be specific and comprised of 1-2 (maybe 3) words. Phrases and sentences should be avoided. Pre-planning your keywords is encouraged, although your submission can be edited at a later time. To access a free tool to help identify the best keywords, click here.
If you have any questions, please contact Tonja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee members include: Tonja Brown, Jessica Hendricks, Tammy Slater, Tanya Potthoff, Freida Jemison, Michelle Fitzke, Sara Bennett, Jay Wren, Cindy Johnson, Griselda Rendon, and Sandra Barrera.