GMG

NORTH MANKATO — Greater Mankato Growth reached a milestone of 1,000 business members and held a party at Mankato Brewery Monday evening to celebrate it.

"We made a major milestone, a once-in-a-lifetime milestone for our organization," said Jonathan Zierdt, President & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, making the announcement following a warmup by the Minnesota State University Maverick Machine marching band. About 60 business members were on hand for the announcement.

The membership is twice as many as any other community of similar size and puts GMG among the likes of Rochester, St. Cloud, Duluth and Minneapolis. GMG has the membership of 42 percent of all businesses in the region.

"Analytics provide evidence that GMG members generally do better with double the survivability, two times the customer satisfaction and fans, and expand at four times the rate of non-members,” Zierdt said.

When the former chamber of commerce became GMG in 2007, it had 734 members. Karen Toft, member relations director, said membership has grown steadily in the past five years.

“The Greater Mankato business community is a key driver of our marketplace," Zierdt said. “We are enabled to embrace opportunities to advance business for a stronger community because of our members, the regional marketplace, our integrated organization, staff and volunteers. We are delighted and proud to be in the top five chambers in the state for membership.”

While the main branch of GMG focuses on economic development, GMG has two affiliates: Visit Mankato, which focuses on visitor attraction and servicing, and the City Center Partnership, which focuses on development in the City Center.

Follow Tim Krohn on Twitter @TimKrohn

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