“Most favorable tax structure for business”
Third among the “Top 10 Best Cities”
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Among seven cities worldwide “Economic Development Success Stories”
The Wall Street Journal
Ranked 10th “Best States for Business”
First on the list of mid-size “Best Cities for Relocating Families”
Primacy Relocation & Worldwide ERC
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Greater Omaha is at the center of the nation, business and technology. It’s a city on the move with first-class
resources, a strong business climate and a quality of life making it hard to match as an excellent choice for
locating a business.
Greater Omaha’s central location in the heartland of the United States has been an important factor in
building its strong economy. Located on the western banks of the Missouri River, the area has been an
important agricultural and transportation center since its establishment in the late 1850s. In its earliest
history, Omaha was a trading center and the “Gateway to the West.” From these roots, it has steadily grown
and is now the 42nd
largest city and the 60th
largest metro area in the nation. Greater Omaha’s current
population is more than 828,000 within an eight-county metropolitan area and more than 1.2 million within
a 60-minute drive.
Greater Omaha and the state of Nebraska place priority on a strong business climate. The strength of the
climate is reflected in the numerous high rankings the area has been given over the past several years.
Most recently, Forbes magazine ranked Greater Omaha eighth among the “Best Cities for Jobs” while
Business Facilities magazine ranked Omaha 15th
in the “Top 20 Cities with the Most Educated Workforce.”
In addition, careerbuilder.com rated Nebraska fourth among the “Best States for Jobs.”
While rankings provide an important gauge, another excellent reflection of business climate is development.
During the past decade, Omaha’s central business district has benefited from more than $2 billion in
development. The public-private partnerships in the area have been a key factor in these developments and
across the metro area. This type of high-quality environment guarantees a rewarding lifestyle for natives
and newcomers alike.
Independent studies by urban researchers also frequently rank Greater Omaha high among metros of its
size and larger. According to a study by The Media Audit, Omaha ranked second among the “Best Concert
Markets” and was eighth for “Best Places to Live for Affordable Housing” according to CNNMoney.com. In
addition, Today.msnbc.com placed Omaha among its “Top 20 Best Places to Raise a Family.” The state
of Nebraska is also consistently among the best in the nation and was ranked number four in the “Top 10
States for Quality of Life” by Business Facilities magazine. What cannot be quantified, however, is the
friendly attitude and ethic of hard work which gives Greater Omaha that extra edge.
The ninth “Best City for Data Centers”
The Boyd Co. / InformationWeek
Eleventh among mid-sized metros for the “Best Public Schools”
B U S I N E S S C L I M A T E
Nebraska has a pro-business tax climate. Through the
use of targeted business tax incentives and exemptions
and relatively low tax rates, Nebraska has fostered a
tax structure that is equitable to both businesses and
individuals.The state’s solid financial position is guaranteed
by a state constitution that prohibits deficit financing. At a
time when many cities are in financial trouble, Omaha can
boast of a AAA credit rating, one of only a few cities to earn
this rating from Standard & Poor’s.
Several performance-based incentives allow firms to
earn a series of tax credits, refunds and exemptions for
investment and new job creation in Nebraska. Municipal
governments also provide incentives to stimulate the
There are more than 33,000 businesses located in
Greater Omaha. While being the headquarters location
for four Fortune 500 companies, approximately 35 other
Fortune 500 companies have manufacturing plants
or service centers in the metro area.
Greater Omaha’s economy benefits from solid population
and labor-force growth with a relatively diverse industry
mix. Greater Omaha has a history of strong business-
government partnerships in area development projects.
In the past decade, this cooperative redevelopment
has resulted in more than $11 billion in new investment
metro-wide with $2 billion in downtown alone.
L abor M ar k et
Greater Omaha’s employment base is well diversified
and reflects the city’s status as a regional service and
trade center. The availability of labor in Greater Omaha is
enhanced by an excellent highway transportation network,
supporting approximately 664,000 people employed within
a 60-minute drive.
The quality of Greater Omaha’s workforce is also enhanced
by exceptional educational attainment. More than 92.4
percent of adults 25 years or older have graduated from
high school compared to 85.5 percent nationally. Greater
Omaha also has a higher percentage of graduates with a
bachelor’s degree or higher with 34.9 percent versus 28.2
Nebraska workers are also well known for their work
ethic and productivity. Compared to the national average,
Nebraska workers produce eight percent more goods for
every dollar of wages paid.
Although the quality of labor is high in the Greater Omaha
metro, it’s cost is not correspondingly high. The area
boasts of competitive wage rates and some of the lowest
labor insurance rates in the nation.
Greater Omaha’s TOP 25
1. Offutt Air Force Base ...................12,000
2. The Nebraska Medical Center ...... 8,350
3. Omaha Public Schools ..................7,000
4. Alegent Health ...............................6,750
5. Methodist Health System.............. 6,200
6. First Data .......................................5,300
7. First National Bank ........................4,650
8. Union Pacific Corporation............. 4,500
9. ConAgra Foods, Inc. .....................3,300
10. Mutual of Omaha
Insurance Company ..................3,250
11. PayPal ..........................................3,000
12. University Of Nebraska Omaha .. 3,000
13. Oriental Trading Co., Inc. ............ 3,000
14. Creighton University ....................2,900
15. Millard Public Schools .................2,760
16. Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc......... 2,500
17. City of Omaha ..............................2,400
18. West Corporation ........................2,400
19. Omaha Public Power District
20. Douglas County ...........................2,300
21. Tyson Foods, Inc. ........................2,200
22. U.S. Postal Service - Omaha ...... 2,200
23. Omaha World-Herald ..................2,000
24. Omaha Steaks .............................1,800
25. Qwest ...........................................1,800
Among the Top 25 Cities for “Best Educated Workforce”
Source: Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Largest Employer List, 2008
T r a n s po r t a t i o n
Greater Omaha is a transportation hub. The city is
strategically located at the intersection of U.S. Interstate
Highways 29 and 80. Additionally, four U.S. and eight
state highways converge in the area. Approximately 90
interstate and intrastate motor freight carriers offer Omaha
businesses direct access to national markets.
Omaha is also one of the largest rail centers in the nation,
served by three Class One railroads. Union Pacific,
the country’s largest railroad, is also headquartered in
Omaha. Shipments by rail or motor carriers can reach
major markets in the continental U.S. within five days.
Eight national and 12 regional airlines provide more than
200 flights daily at Eppley Airfield, Omaha’s major regional
terminal, located five minutes from downtown and 15 to 30
minutes from most areas of the metro.
A ring of interstate highways and well-maintained arteries
facilitate driving within the metro area. Greater Omaha’s
average one-way commute is less than 20 minutes.
Metropolitan Area Transit (MAT) also provides bus
transportation to over 12 million passengers annually.
C O M M U N I C A T I O N s
Other cities may claim state-of-the-art communications
capabilities, but none provide a better infrastructure than
World-renowned for its massive, sophisticated and
carefully planned telecommunications infrastructure,
Greater Omaha was one of the first cities in the U.S. to
develop a comprehensive nationwide fiber optic network.
As such, Greater Omaha has developed a thriving
information technology sector, attracting companies with
skilled, high-tech workforces.
Greater Omaha’s communications capabilities resemble
that of a much larger city due to the high call volume
generated by the communication- and information-intensive
companies located in the area. Digital central offices serve
100 percent of Omaha businesses.
This advanced information hub continually welcomes
new business. Internet search giants Yahoo and Google
have each selected the Greater Omaha area as the site
for their new data centers. Newly hired personnel will join
thousands of skilled workers employed by information-
intensive organizations and data centers including credit
card processing organizations, telemarketing operation
centers and customer service and reservation centers.
U T I L I T I E s
Nebraska is the only public power state in the nation.
All electrical utilities are nonprofit and customer owned,
assuring rates that are extremely competitive with other
areas of the country. The Omaha Public Power District
(OPPD) is a charter member of the Midwest Area Power
Pool, a regional load-sharing grid established to insure
adequate supplies of electricity to member utilities. With
reserve generating capacity of nearly 15 percent, Greater
Omaha has room to grow. And, with proximity to western
low-sulfur coal, Omaha’s energy needs are assured for
years to come.
Greater Omaha is served by two gas utilities providing
competitive rates. Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD)
is a publicly-owned, nonprofit utility. Black Hills Energy
serves customers in nine states while providing gas
service to Greater Omaha’s suburbs. Northern Natural
Gas Company, the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline
company, is also headquartered in Greater Omaha, and
provides three major natural gas lines to the area.
Among the Top 25 “Most Intelligent Cities”
Third among “Best Cities to Build Personal Wealth”
Fourth “Top 10 States Quality of Life”
Sixth “Healthiest State”
C O S T O F L I V I N G
There is so much to see, do and enjoy in Greater Omaha,
and it’s all at a cost 10 to 12 percent below the national
average, according to a recent pricing survey of 300 U.S.
cities. According to the Milken Institute’s Cost-of-Doing-
Business Index, Nebraska has the fourth-lowest cost-of-doing-
to other areas of the country. According to the Council for
Community and Economic Research, ACCRA Cost of Living
Index, Greater Omaha’s average home price was $218,588
in 2008. The average for the United States during the same
period was 28.3 percent higher. The average cost to rent a
two-bedroom apartment was $641 per month.
Q U A L I T Y O F L I F E
Greater Omaha is large enough to offer a variety of
cosmopolitan attractions, yet small enough to provide
a relaxed lifestyle envied by many urban dwellers. The
strength of the lifestyle is reflected in the numerous high
rankings the area has received from the national media.
Greater Omaha’s quality of living and level of community
services have contributed significantly to the attraction
of new business and industry. In addition to diverse
recreational and cultural opportunities, Omaha has a strong
infrastructure to support day-to-day living and one that is
critical to future growth.
Greater Omaha has always offered a wide variety of
recreation and entertainment opportunities, but has taken
a major leap forward with the completion of Qwest Center
Omaha. The $291 million facility recently expanded to up
to 18,300 seats in the arena and has more than 240,000
square feet of convention space. Qwest Center Omaha
is ranked ninth in the U.S. and 20th
worldwide for ticket
sales, hosting four of the top five tours in the world last
popular tourist attractions is
the Old Market. It is home to
numerous specialty clothing
shops, gourmet coffee
shops, restaurants, taverns,
galleries, nightclubs and
bakeries. In recent years, the
Old Market has also become
a popular place to live with
several historic buildings
transformed into trendy loft
apartments or condos adding
to the vitality of the area.
Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
The Boeing Company
BNSF Railway Company
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Cox Communications, Inc.
Crown Holdings, Inc.
The Dow Chemical Company
Lincoln Financial Group
L-3 Communications Corporation
LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc.
Level 3 Communications, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc.
Nash Finch Company
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc.
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Sara Lee Corporation
Science Applications International
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Union Pacific Corporation
United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
F o r t u n e 5 0 0 F i r m s w i t h O p e r a t i o n s i n O m a h a
Omaha-based headquarters are in red.
Omaha spectator sports are also available year-round
to local sports fans. Families savor their summer nights
cheering on the Omaha Royals minor league baseball
team. The Omaha Royals have served as the only
Triple-A baseball team for the Kansas City Royals, since
their inception in 1969. The metro is also home to the U.S.
Hockey League Omaha Lancers. Additionally, a number
of collegiate teams provide area sports fans something to
cheer about throughout the year. Thousands of local and
visiting fans attend the NCAA College World Series held
each June in Omaha. Omaha hosted the 2008 Olympic
Swim Trials and the first and second rounds of the NCAA
Men’s Division I basketball tournament. In 2013, Omaha will
host the USGA’s Senior Open.
Greater Omaha offers a variety of activities for all seasons
including golf, softball, hunting, skiing, horseback riding
and hiking. Within the metropolitan area are lakes suitable
for boating, sailing, fishing and a number of other activities;
more than 45 golf courses; over 1,700 softball teams to join;
as well as a variety of other sports opportunities.
nearly $100 million of private funds have been raised to build
the Holland Performing Arts Center, a world-class facility
with 2,000 seats in the main concert hall and 400 seats in
the recital hall.
The facility has enhanced cultural programs, which
already resemble those of a much larger city, including a
professional Symphony Orchestra and Opera. Greater
15 theater organizations, including the Omaha Community
Playhouse, the largest community theater in the country,
and the Omaha Theater Company for Young People.
A variety of museums and galleries are located in the
metro area, the largest of which is the Joslyn Art Museum.
Among its treasures is an extensive collection of Western
paintings and sculptures. The Durham Museum houses
artifacts linking Omaha with its pioneer past and the Byron
Reed Collection — an extraordinary array of rare coins,
medals and manuscripts. Both museums have national
partnerships with The Smithsonian Institute and the Library
E D U C A T I O N
Greater Omaha is served by several excellent public and
private school systems. There are more than 137,700
children (86 percent of all students) in metro area public
schools. There are three public school districts within the
Omaha city limits. Enrollment in private school systems
totals more than 21,000.
Greater Omaha offers 14 colleges and universities including
The Peter Kiewit Institute of Information Science, Technology
and Engineering and the Joe Ricketts Center for Electronic
Commerce and Database
enrollment is more than 53,000.
There are approximately 10,000
graduates each year from these
institutions, which range from
private colleges with enrollments
of 600 students to the University
of Nebraska at Omaha with over
Two major medical schools are located in Omaha — the
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and
Creighton University Medical Center, as well as two
pharmacy schools, a school of dentistry and other related
health professional schools. The Lied Center at UNMC is
one of the nation’s most active and most respected solid
organ and bone marrow transplant centers.
F I N D O U T M O R E
This is only a sampling of the dynamic growth and many
exciting opportunities and amenities that Greater Omaha
has to offer. To learn more about this vibrant metropolitan
community that’s on the move, call (800) 852-2622 or visit