Business Retention &
2023 Executive Summary
Introduction to BRE Program and Objectives:
The Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program, a core initiative of The Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership, focuses on supporting and retaining local businesses for sustained economic growth. Recognizing the significance of existing businesses in driving economic development and job creation, BRE visits aim to address business needs, assist with expansions, and help companies navigate economic challenges. Annual BRE visits serve as a platform to connect with businesses, identify trends, and determine policies for advancing the regional economy.
Business Growth Projections:
Approximately one-third of companies expressed plans for capital expenditure in the next three years, totaling over $3.3 billion. The investments include renovating current facilities, buying new equipment, and expanding or investing in new facilities.
A dynamic wave of growth is expected to happen in 2024. The companies that participated in our BRE program, expressed a total of 2,511 jobs to be added in 2024. This not only signals a commitment to their individual growth trajectories, but also contributing significantly to the overall employment landscape of Greater Omaha.
Top Issues Faced by Companies:
The survey identified labor availability as the most common challenge (103 companies), influenced by pandemic impacts, a competitive job market, remote work preferences, skills mismatch, wage pressures, and demographic trends. Access to capital ranked as a major concern for small businesses and startups, with connections established to community resources like Nebraska Enterprise Fund and Kiva Iowa, a microlending platform.
130 employers maintained their current level of employment and 71 employers increased full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the past year, with a similar trend expected for the year ahead. The top positions needed included engineers, production/warehouse workers, office roles, and sales representatives. Industries foreseeing major job growth included food processing, professional services, IT/data processing, and commercial sales/retail.
The BRE program resulted in positive outcomes, including 59 new economic development relationships, 28 instances of business assistance provided, 45 referrals to Greater Omaha Chamber programming, 64 referrals to community programming, and the identification of 11 potential investors and 12 new economic development projects.
- Greater Omaha Chamber
- Grow Sarpy
- Greater Fremont Development Council
- Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation
- Nebraska City Area Economic Development
- Mills County Economic Development Foundation
- Cass County Nebraska Economic Development Council
- Gateway Development Corporation