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  • Writer's pictureTonja Brown

What is Grow Grand Island?

Grow Grand Island (GGI) was formed as a 501c3 in 2016 and in many ways functions as a quiet force encouraging and promoting community development.  That is why many folks still ask, “what is Grow Grand Island anyway?”


The simple answer is a group of community leaders supporting various projects and initiatives to make Grand Island a better place to live, work and play.  This is accomplished by utilizing funding both from the City’s Food and Beverage Tax, as well as business donations and grants.  To truly understand GGI, however, you must look beyond the simple answer.


GGI was designed to be an area partnership—to bring together stakeholders for a common purpose.  To squelch the limitations of silo thinking and maximize the dynamics of collaboration.   To cultivate bold ideas that generate business and quality of life opportunities in our region through planning, partnering, and doing.  (That last sentence is our mission statement.)


Our core partners include our local Chamber, Economic Development Corporation, and Tourism.  Our executive committee includes representatives from the city, City Council, Hall County Commissioners, and leaders from a wide range of businesses and organizations.


The Amur Plaza expansion is an example of a recent initiative.  As a matter of fact, a recognition totem will soon be placed in the area that will celebrate the partnering that occurred to create this great community space.  Beginning in late May, Hear Grand Island will kick off another summer full of free concerts that will have Amur Plaza hopping!


On a less tangible front, GGI and core partners have collaborated to engage with a lobbying firm to make sure Grand Island fights for state funding and program opportunities that help us grow and thrive.  In addition to these efforts, we have been working to communicate better with our Senators and other state departments, to provide a deeper understanding of our needs.


This is just a small sample of GGI’s work.  Since 2016, we have engaged in 28 initiatives, and have collectively leveraged over 60% of the funding for those initiatives from other sources.  When looking purely at initiatives utilizing Food and Beverage Tax funding, we have leveraged 85% from other funding sources.  Each initiative has its own story of collaboration and success.


The best way to learn about GGI past, present, or future, is to visit the website ( or follow GGI on Facebook and Instagram.   If you have questions, comments, or ideas for the future, you can reach out to me at

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