• Relaunch of Downtown Economic Development Incentive Fund

    Brookings, S.D. — 01/29/21 The Downtown Brookings Business District Committee, a committee of the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, relaunched the Downtown Economic Development Incentive Fund (DEDIF) today. The purpose of the DEDIF Loan Program is to stimulate private investment in downtown Brookings by lending funds to downtown property owners for the purpose of exterior streetside real estate improvements, repairs, and historical preservation.

    The fund, created by driving financial support of Lowes several years ago with additional support from NorthWestern Energy as well as First Bank & Trust, was previously managed by the Downtown Brookings Inc. (DBI). That downtown organization dissolved a couple of years ago, becoming a committee of the Chamber. Recently this committee put together a subcommittee to manage the fund along with the Program Manager and Downtown Director, Ashley Biggar.

    “We are ecstatic to revive this program to revitalize the streetscape of our historic downtown,” said Ashley Biggar, Director of Downtown Brookings. “The DEDIF subcommittee has worked diligently to put together a new look and easier application process to encourage more projects in downtown Brookings.”

    The mission of DEDIF is to support the continued economic growth and enhancement of downtown Brookings. Operating as a revolving loan fund, the program will enable the continual reutilization of a single pool of money. As monthly loan payments are made, DEDIF funds will be recycled and reloaned to new loan applicants. Eligibility for DEDIF assistance is based on location within the Downtown Brookings Business District, the financial strength and repayment ability of the applicant, the feasibility and economic viability of the project, and project conformity.

    Additional information on the terms and conditions may be found on the Chamber’s website at brookingschamber.org.

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-8922 or email ashley@brookingschamber.org.



  • 3rd Annual Let It Glow Holiday Light Competition Winners Announced

    Brookings, S.D. — 01/08/2020 The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce helped the community of Brookings get into the holiday spirit this season with the third annual Let It Glow, a holiday light competition. 34 houses illuminated Brookings in the contest, an increase from the 32 participants last year. 612 votes were submitted via text from those that drove and carefully selected their favorite house to be crowned the winner, up from 549 received last year. 

    Residents decked their homes with lights, lawn ornaments, wreaths, and more to help bring holiday cheer to residents in Brookings. Participants had the chance to win one of the three $100 cash prizes for three different categories: Best in Show, Clark Griswold, and People’s Choice.

    The 2020 winners are:

    • Best in Show
      • WINNER: Kristopher & Sarah Shrewsberry home (#10)
    • Clark Griswold (most lights)
      • WINNER: Corey & Heather Ridgway home (#32)
    • People’s Choice (public vote)
      • WINNER: Jeremiah Ackermann home (#19)


    This event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors! Thank you to our title sponsor Mediacom Residential, as well as our event sponsors Emilie Portz of Century 21, Outdoor Design & Landscape, The Brookings Register, Brookings Dental Clinic, Embrace Dentistry, Mills Property Management, and Sanford Clinic.

    Thank you to all who participated in this fun holiday competition and helped select our winners! We are already looking forward to next year!

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-8922 or email info@brookingschamber.org.


  • Brookings Education Appreciation Week


    Brookings, S.D. — 12/9/2020 — Our educational systems are vital to a healthy and prosperous community. Facilitating societal change-makers and being part of a crucial time in youths’ lives, educators abound provide purpose and stage success for future citizens of the world. The Brookings area is flush with educational opportunities and we’re extraordinarily lucky for the value educational entities offer our community.

    To show our utmost gratitude, the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, South Dakota State University, and the Brookings School District powerhouses are teaming up to bring you “Brookings Education Appreciation Week.” From December 14-18 employees from BOTH educational systems will be privy to exclusive deals sponsored by over 25 local small businesses. Simply present your employee ID!

    We’d like to sincerely thank all involved in the educational system now more than ever. From teachers and professors, to administrators and leadership, to staff ensuring students are fed, healthy, clean, and safe; their influence now sets a growth precedence for the future. From redesigning course and classroom structures, to integrating safe and responsible activities, to ensuring the best of our students is brought to the table-- they have persevered through and through. Continuing efforts to create opportunities and experiences for an inclusive class setting is a never-ending battle. Their dedicated time, unwavering commitment, sweat, and tears have not gone unnoticed.

    For a complete listing of participating businesses, please see brookingschamber.org. Mark your calendars and keep your ID badge handy. Employee identification will be required to reap all “Brookings Education Appreciation Week” deals and exclusives.

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-8922 or email info@brookingschamber.org.


  • New Program Announced: Gift Card Giveback 

    Teaming Up with the Community to Safely Support Our Small Businesses

    Brookings, S.D. — November 11, 2020 The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce has conducted surveys of their membership over the past months and has found many businesses continue to struggle, some even at risk of having to close their doors within mere months if conditions don't improve. In response, the Chamber of Commerce has created the Gift Card Give Back program. The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce will build an online shop where gift certificates to participating local businesses will be sold.

    The program is open to all locally owned, for-profit small businesses located in the Brookings area that are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses may join the program by completing the participation agreement form at brookingschamber.org/givebackform and by sending to info@brookingschamber.org before Friday, November 13 at 5:00 pm. A membership to the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce is required.

    The online store will go live on Thursday, November 19. Shoppers may visit brookingschamber.org/store to purchase gift certificates. The program will match each purchase, dollar for dollar, for as long as the matching fund lasts. That means that for each $20 unit purchased, the customer receives a $40 gift certificate to be redeemed when the time is right, and the business receives that $40 now, when cashflow is most crucial.

    Kelsey Doom, the Chamber’s President & CEO, says “This pandemic has affected us all, but we’re finding the impacts are significantly greater in our small business community. This program is designed to double any investment made to the matching fund using consumers’ purchases of gift certificates. It’s really a win-win.”

    The shopping experience will be broken into two phases. Phase 1 will include a $500 purchase limitation per household; in addition, no more than 5 gift certificates to a single business may be purchased. If there are matching funds left after December 1, 2020, Phase 2 will begin. Phase 2 will simply remove the purchase limitation per household/business. Businesses who sign up are required to agree to a set of terms and conditions for participation. Certificates will expire December 31, 2021.

    Individuals and organizations wishing to contribute to the matching fund are invited to contact Kimberly Ton at the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. The more funds that are raised means more help that we as a community can provide to the Brookings area small business community.

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-8922 or email info@brookingschamber.org.


  • New Program to Keep Downtown Brookings Clean 

    Brookings, S.D. — September 21, 2020 —  The Downtown Brookings Business District, a committee of the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, started a new litter cleanup program this past Sunday. The new program is one of several strategic initiatives the committee has embarked on this year. 

    “This new program is such a win not only for downtown Brookings but the entire community, ” said Downtown Brookings Director Ashley Biggar. “I’m so grateful for the overwhelming welcoming response from all parties when I presented this idea.”

    Keep Clean Downtown Brookings is a volunteer effort to remove litter in the Downtown Brookings Business District and keep the Brookings community clean in more ways than one. The Chamber will work with the Brookings County Drug Court participants and other groups requiring volunteer hours to clean downtown every Sunday during the spring, summer, and fall months as weather and volunteer availability allows. This program is available for anyone looking to volunteer. Volunteers can sign up on the Chamber website. 

    “Our first time out was such a success,” Biggar stated. “The participants were great and are so excited to continue this effort.” 

    “It felt good to give back to my community and keep it clean,” said participant Steven Ramon. “There is so much downtown. It was fun to explore and see that there’s so much to get out and do while volunteering.” 

    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-8922 or email ashley@brookingschamber.org.