Back at Home in Lincoln, Nebraska

by Jason Ball, President, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

The saying goes, “life is a journey, not a destination.” I am incredibly excited that my journey has taken me back to a destination that I have always considered home—Lincoln, Nebraska.

I stepped into the role as president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce just a few short weeks ago at the end of January. I want to thank everyone who I have met with, spoken with over the phone or otherwise had the pleasure of contacting as you have helped make the transition back to Lincoln go as smoothly as possible.

I am so fortunate to get to work with our businesses and leaders across our community to explore new opportunities to drive business and economic growth in Lincoln. While the business community in Lincoln remains strong, we are not exempt from the challenges that communities across the country are facing. Workforce shortages, housing affordability and the critical need for investments in transportation and infrastructure are challenges we must also face in Lincoln—however, they present a significant opportunity for our businesses to lead.

The Lincoln Chamber is dedicated to driving growth and expanded pathways within the Lincoln community. In addition to workforce and housing as mentioned earlier, some of our additional local priorities include continued effective COVID-19 response, city leadership, talent attraction and economic development, tax allocation and government efficiency, tourism support, and sustaining Lincoln’s momentum.

Another area of great importance to our business community is transportation infrastructure and airline service. It is crucial to our local economy and our ability to attract and retain new businesses, talent, and visitors to our city. The Chamber has been active in discussions and policy to provide mechanisms that would help the Lincoln Airport expand airline service, such as supporting Senator Eliot Bostar’s proposed LR283CA, which would allow revenue to be expended for developing regularly scheduled commercial passenger air service at the airport.

Talent attraction and economic development remain crucial to our job growth and to ensure that Lincoln remains a vibrant community. Through the work of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, we continue working on targeted programming to position Lincoln as a welcoming community for business expansion, entrepreneurship, and talent. Lincoln has an exceptionally strong and diverse culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, which continues to thrive through impactful programs such as LPED’s LaunchLNK and JumpStart Challenge.

As I reflect on coming back to Lincoln, I would be remiss to not thank Wendy Birdsall for her incredible leadership. I had the privilege of working for Wendy years ago as a member of her team and I can tell you from experience that she was an exceptional leader and well-respected within the Chamber of Commerce and business world.

I am excited to lead the Lincoln Chamber and continue to make Lincoln a great place to live, work, and play. After leading similar organizations in other states, I can tell you how respected and how well-thought of Lincoln is by my peers from other Chambers and business leaders across the country. In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to address these and other challenges of great importance to our business community and Lincoln as a whole.