Business news

image courtesy Silicon Prairie News

Omaha is among the best cities in the U.S. for jobs, according to Forbes Magazine.

Forbes released its list last month of best cities for jobs, with Omaha ranked seventh. Last year, Omaha was named as a top city for startup businesses.

Omaha’s young professionals will gather next week for an event focused on their community.

The event happens next Wednesday, February 29,  at the CenturyLink Center. Last year, Forbes Magazine named Omaha as one of the top cities for young professionals. Omaha also made Forbes’ list of most affordable cities.

Among the topics are community development, leadership, building a a personal brand, and social media. Author and designer Bruce Mau is the keynote speaker.


A Rhode Island-based biofuels company is expanding its operation at a southwest Iowa plant.

BioProcess Algae broke ground Wednesday on a five-acre facility at the Green Plains Energy ethanol plant in Shenandoah. BioProcess opened a demonstration plant in 2009 at GPRE’s Shenandoah campus. The facility captures the waste products used to make ethanol, and uses them to grow algae. The algae is then used in animal feed.

Courtesy city of Omaha

Construction is set to begin early next year on a major restoration project in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood.

City officials announced the Dundee restoration project Thursday. It’ll involve new sidewalks, landscaping, benches, and parking along Underwood Avenue from 49th to 51st streets. Work will also be done along 50th street.

Omaha, NE – The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual meeting luncheon on Wednesday, February 1st.

David Brown is Chamber President and CEO. He says awards that'll be given out at the luncheon include the Chairman's Award of Excellence and Volunteer of the Year. He says the meeting is for anyone who's interested in how communities grow and what Omaha needs to do to make sure there are enough jobs here for future generations.

Brown says Governor Dave Heineman is one of two guest speakers at this year's luncheon.

Omaha, NE – A monthly economic indicator for the nine-state Mid America region shows a slight decline in December.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss compiles the Mid America Business Conditions report. The monthly business conditions index declined to 50 in December from 52.6 in November.

Goss says the economy will grow this year, albeit slowly. He expects interest rates will remain low and inflation won't be an issue.

The index is an indicator of overall economic health in the nine-state region.

Omaha, NE – Retired Omaha city employees can expect to pay more for their health insurance beginning this summer.

City officials announced Tuesday that all retirees will pay a share of their health insurance costs starting July 1. Right now, 84 percent of retired city employees don't pay health insurance premiums. The ones who do pay between $30 and $80 a month. Health care claims from retirees have increased 303 percent in the past nine years.

Omaha, NE – The Small Business Administration is warning Nebraska and Iowa businesses about several new loan scams.

SBA Inspector General Peg Gustafson says a variety of scams are circulating. One involves a business owner receiving a phone call saying they can't get a loan if they don't do business with a particular firm.

Omaha, NE – The Rural Mainstreet Index improved in March to its highest level in nearly two years.

The RMI measures the overall health of the rural economy in nine states, including Nebraska and Iowa. In March, the index rose to 47.4, an 11 point jump from February. Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says while that's an improvement, the economy is still struggling.

Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska-Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research is out with a new report that characterizes Nebraskans without health insurance.

Research Coordinator David Drozd says he was surprised to learn that uninsured rates are highest among college age individuals and those in their early working years. The report, released last week, provides new information that may aid the current public debate regarding health insurance coverage.