• 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.


  • Veteran’s Day Goes Virtual, Seeking Nominations 

    Brookings, S.D. — 10/26/2020 The Brookings Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee is proud to honor this great nation’s veterans with an annual program. This year has been unlike any other, but as they say, “the show must go on.” This year’s program will be offered virtually on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Viewers can tune in to the local cable Channel 9 at 11:00 AM or watch the recording on YouTube or Facebook live via the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce channels. The virtual program will be hosted by Kari Westlund, Master of Ceremonies, and the audience will hear from General Corbett, known to many of us as “Mayor.”

    In addition, the committee is seeking nominations for Soldier of the Year, Officer of the Year and Civilian of the Year to recognize during the virtual program. If you know a soldier, officer, or civilian doing great things, we want to hear about it.

    Nominations are due by October 30, 2020.  Please contact Kimberly Ton at the Brookings Chamber of Commerce 692-8922 or kimberly@brookingschamber.org or Russ Chavez, the Military & Veterans Affairs Committee Chairperson at russel.chavez@sdstate.edu for additional details and nomination requirements.

    The purpose of the Brookings Chamber of Commerce Military & Veterans Affairs Committee is to promote a positive working relationship among the community, employers, and area veterans and military groups.

    ]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.


  • Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce Moving to New Location
    Brookings, S.D. – June 4, 2020 – The Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce their upcoming move to a new building located at 1321 6th Street (formerly known to many as “Sixth Street Floral”). 

    “We are thrilled about the new location. We were able to negotiate a very reasonable lease and are grateful the space will allow us to better serve our membership with multiple private meeting spaces and better accessibility.”

    The current office, located at 415 8th Street South, has been the Chamber’s home for over three years. The Chamber has shared this office space with the Convention Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and will continue to do so in the new location. A taskforce was created over 9 months ago where board members considered over a dozen locations.

    Andi Fouberg, Chamber Board Chair, states, “We are excited for the Chamber to be moving to a higher traffic part of Brookings with space to accommodate our growing team.”
    The new location will be open September 1, 2020. Once the teams are settled, a Membership Mixer/Ribbon Cutting will be planned so the public can check out the new space. Stay tuned to the Chamber’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BrookingsAreaChamber) for updates on progress and upcoming events.
    For more information, please contact the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-692-6125.


  • It is very clear, now more than ever, how much we value you, we miss you and can’t wait to see you (in person) again! So, as we comply with the social distancing guidelines, we decided to partner and sponsor five small business awards during National Small Business Week: Community Champion of the Year; Innovative Business of the Year; New Business of the Year; Veteran-Owned Business of the Year and Women-Owned Business of the Year.

    Brookings is very fortunate to have depth, variety, and longevity within its small business sector. It’s fair to say our small businesses are pretty awesome! As we all try to find our way through these unprecedented times, our businesses continue to shine and exceed our expectations as they show innovation, ingenuity and grit.  

    Both the Chamber and BEDC support small businesses with a variety of programs and initiatives, and through all stages from launching to retirement. Each organization knows the dedicated people behind these businesses, the countless hours they put in and the passion they have not just for their business, but the community as well.

     “There are so many amazing small business owners here in Brookings! I’m excited be able to acknowledge them and celebrate their hard work and dedication,” said Ashley Biggar, Director of the Chamber’s Downtown Brookings program.  “We invite residents to help us recognize these businesses by nominating them to receive the new awards.”

    Nomination applications can be found on the Chamber website www.brookingschamber.org/business-development, and individuals can submit as many different nominations as they would like. The deadline for submitting is Friday, April 17, 2020 and the awards will be announced one per day May 4-8th of National Small Business Week.

    “Brookings has small businesses in every industry sector – retail, manufacturing, service, hospitality, and more. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the integral role they have in growing our local economy,” said Jennifer Quail, Director of Entrepreneur Support with BEDC.

    The federal government classifies businesses with 500 or fewer employees as a “small business”. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the US each year.

    For more information, please contact Ashley Biggar at ashley@brookingschamber.org or call the Chamber at 605-696-7561.