Chamber President Looking Back, Looking Forward
The December transition into January always brings a sense of hope and renewal. As we look forward to another year of growing jobs in Lincoln and raising our national profile, I do so with confidence based on our successes in 2017.
Lincoln received numerous awards and rankings from national publications including a number one ranking from “Trivago” for Best City for Craft Beer and Cycling, a number three ranking from “Forbes” magazine for Best City for Young Entrepreneurs and a top ranking for Nebraska for Best States for Business.
Membership in the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce continues to be strong, but what we are very proud of is our retention rate at 86% which is well above the national average. We are excited that more and more organizations are seeing and experiencing the value of a Chamber membership.
The Chamber advocated at the local level for critical community infrastructure, tax reform, talent attraction and economic development. On the federal level the Chamber advocated for fiscal responsibility, infrastructure funding, energy policy, immigration reform, trade and research. The business community knows the Chamber is always looking out for their best interest and new ways to grow and attract more businesses to Lincoln.
The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) also points to a number of successes. Lincoln’s startup business scene has become nationally recognized and the awards are a direct result of the innovation and entrepreneurship promotional efforts from the Partnership. We have a record number of people employed in Lincoln at 193,000 – 2,000 more than this time last year and 12,000 more than just five years ago.
The Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) had a record setting month for lodging tax and visitors and hosted several major national events such as USA volleyball and USA wrestling. The CVB kicked off the first-ever Lincoln Craft Beer Tour this past summer distributing over 600 beer guides in one week. The solar eclipse in August brought thousands of visitors to Lincoln and the Chamber’s seasonal sign campaign attracted a great amount of media attention.
The Lincoln Young Professionals Group has grown to 1,400 members, and continues to fuel leaders for Lincoln’s future. Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group celebrated 10 years of empowering young professionals in Lincoln to create an energetic and dynamic environment of learning, networking and entrepreneurship.
As I look forward to 2018, I can’t help but be excited for what’s ahead for Lincoln. New businesses are starting every day as a result of the work of the entrepreneurship community. New employers are looking to Lincoln because we have worked together to ensure our city is vibrant and people are choosing to stay in Lincoln to join the workforce each year.
I know the next 12 months will hold something special for Lincoln’s future.
The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, (www.lcoc.com) please contact Jaime Henning at firstname.lastname@example.org.