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  • Writer's pictureTonja Brown

Grand Island recognized nationally for economic growth

In a remarkable testament to economic resilience and strategic development initiatives, Grand Island has proudly emerged as the highest-ranked metro area in Nebraska for economic growth in 2023.


Grand Island ranks 22nd overall nationally according to an Area Development Leading Metro Locations study. Additionally, Grand Island has achieved the impressive ranking of #3 for core economic indicators, #11 for economic strength and #30 for wage and salary growth out of 384 metros in the United States.


“Our success underscores the pivotal role of strategic business location in fostering growth, said Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation President Mary Berlie. “Every square foot of our city resonates with opportunity. The remarkable growth of businesses and GDP has been instrumental in fueling our success, driving innovation, creating jobs and attracting investment.”


The five-year study measured data of metro communities across the U.S., including local gross domestic product and how it’s trending, unemployment rates, job growth, how well the needs of employers are matched with the labor market and the activity in high-focus sectors.

Grow Grand Island, along with core partners of the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation, and Grand Island Tourism, in conjunction with the City of Grand Island are delighted to announce this significant achievement that reflects the dedication, collaboration and forward-thinking approach of our local community stakeholders.


“We are incredibly thankful for our community partnerships, and it’s through these relationships that we are making Grand Island stronger,” Mayor Roger Steele said. “Our work in growing this great city has been a point of pride, and to have these efforts recognized in this national study will only add to our desire to continue on this path.”


The latest rankings position Grand Island as a beacon of economic prosperity in Nebraska, outpacing other metro areas in the region. This designation is easily validated with a drive down the Highway 281 corridor, a stroll through Railside Business Improvement District or dip in the splash pad at the Veterans Athletic Complex.


“It’s not surprising that the steady growth of Grand Island’s tourism economy mirrors the overall growth found in this study,” adds Grand Island Tourism Director Brad Mellema. “Looking forward to the next 24 months, we will see a significant increase in hotel rooms to help further fuel the growth.”


Key factors contributing to Grand Island's economic growth include:


•     Community Engagement: The strong collaboration between private businesses, community organizations and the City of Grand has created a supportive environment that encourages entrepreneurship and growth of our flourishing business community. Business and community projects can leverage a public-private partnership for development.


•      Business Diversity: A diverse and robust business ecosystem has played a pivotal role in Grand Island's economic success. While staying true to our historic roots, Grand Island has attracted a wide range of businesses and industries. Grand Island is resilient, and our economy can handle the highs and lows of the global economy.


“This recognition is a testament to our community's commitment to fostering innovation, attracting investment and creating a conducive environment for businesses and residents to thrive,” said Cindy Johnson with the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce.  “A thriving community is attractive to workers and their families.”


As we celebrate this accomplishment, we all remain committed to furthering initiatives that will ensure sustained economic growth, job creation and community prosperity.


“There has been a wave of positive momentum happening in recent years,” Grow Grand Island Chair Tonja Brown said. “Whether it be the City, County, businesses, nonprofits, foundations, clubs, volunteers, etc. -- all are stakeholders in success and how it impacts the health and vitality of the Grand Island area.”


For more information, please contact Communications Manager Spencer Schubert at or Tonja Brown at


Reference to cite for graphics/data:  (Area Development Magazine, Q4/2023 Issue)bleestament to ecic resilience and strategic development initiatives,

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