Spring Grove group hopes to continue growth with a Chamber of Commerce

SPRING GROVE, Minn. (WKBT)– To meet the needs of its businesses, residents and visitors, Spring Grove is creating an area Chamber of Commerce. After nearly two years of planning, a group of volunteers is getting ready for the next major steps.

Spring Grove is a lot like many small cities in the region.

“We’re a vibrant, progressive community. But, yet, steeped in a lot of tradition,” said Jacqui Van Minsel, the 2020 vice president for the Spring Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.

There’s a rich Norwegian heritage, with ties to the past.

“It’s a nice place. It’s warm. The people are friendly. It’s a good place to be,” said Phil Dammen, who lives in Sparta.

Right on State Highway 44, the city draws people in from all over. Phil Dammen and his wife, Diane, stopped at Bluff Country Artists Gallery to look at what the store had to offer.

“We were in Caledonia but we had to come up here and just look around because we hadn’t been here for a while,” Dammen said.

The city, located in Houston County, had a population of 1,330 in the 2010 census. While not as big as some nearby municipalities, this quaint community is growing.

“And small communities don’t get to boast that in this day and age very often,” Van Minsel said.

There are dozens of businesses, with many more moving in. Edina Realty moved its Caledonia office down the road to Spring Grove about a year ago.

“There was a need for a real estate office in Spring Grove. At the time there was no local realtor,” said Stephanie Gulbranson, the 2020 president for the Spring Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.

With an expanding community and established business district, it’s the right time for a chamber.

“It’s more to strengthen the businesses and help them to support each other,” Gulbranson said.

On Wednesday night, the volunteer group met with various stakeholders to share their research and thoughts about how a chamber could work for the area.

“And [asked] for input from those organization leaders and business owners,” Van Minsel said.

The hope is that with this help, they can continue to progress they’ve made with the businesses while benefiting those who live here or are passing through.

This year the volunteer group will be focusing on organizing and fundraising to establish the 501 (c)(6) organization. They hope to hire a part-time director for the chamber and have businesses be able to start their memberships in the new year.