By Governor Pete Ricketts
March 12, 2018
Official photo here.
The fourth-best state for business according to Forbes. The sixth-best state by fiscal condition according to George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. The seventh-best state overall according to U.S. News and World Report. Nebraska rose seven spots in Chief Executive’s best states for business in 2017.
These are just a few of the numerous reasons job creators are choosing Nebraska at a faster rate than any other state. It’s why Nebraska has, for the second consecutive year, won Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup for achieving the most economic development projects per capita of any state in the nation.
This recognition by Site Selection—a top-tier economic development publication—is tremendous news for Nebraska. Our citizens and communities across the state have been working together to cultivate a business-friendly environment, and that work is clearly paying off. For the past two years, we’ve achieved the most economic development projects per capita of any state. These projects help to create jobs and grow the Nebraska economy. Site Selection recognizes projects that include:
- A minimum capital investment of $1 million;
- 20 or more new jobs created; or
- 20,000 or more square feet of new space.
In 2016, Nebraska had 101 such projects. We built upon this success in 2017 by increasing that number to 110. In winning this award, we out-achieved much larger states like Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Georgia.
This accomplishment would not have been possible without the talented teams across Nebraska who work with our communities to attract investments and grow our state. Teams in my agencies from the Departments of Economic Development, Agriculture, Transportation, Labor, and Environmental Quality partnered with our community leaders, chambers, agriculture associations, and numerous other partners to secure investments in Nebraska.
This win would also not have been possible without people like you. Our great workforce and strong values are the most important reasons companies choose to invest in Nebraska. Companies know that when they come to our state, they will find people who understand the value of hard work and loyalty. They know this translates to places where they can grow and thrive with support from the community.
Why does this matter? No business ever moves to or invests in a generic place called “Nebraska.” They move to a specific community under a specific set of circumstances that offers the right tax environment, the right workforce, and the right regulatory climate, among other things.
When it comes to attracting businesses, a welcoming community makes a big difference. I’ve heard first-hand from businesses like Hendrix Genetics and Costco that community support was pivotal in their decision to invest in Nebraska. Hendrix Genetics noted that they chose to locate their new facility in Grand Island because of how welcoming the entire community was. One of the major reasons Costco selected Fremont was because 100 people stepped up to greet them—from the mayor to the city chamber—on their first visit. Other communities looking to grow should see these cities as models for attracting investment.
Though Nebraska has won the Governor’s Cup the past two years, we must keep working. We should strive to make our state an even more attractive place for job creators and new opportunities. Along the way, the following four strategies can support our work: investing in our workforce, reducing unnecessary regulations, expanding international partnerships, and lowering taxes.
- Workforce Development: To invest in our world-class workforce, we have launched programs to connect Nebraskans to great opportunities like the Developing Youth Talent Initiative and our first-in-the-nation reemployment program.
- Cutting Regulation: Over the past year, we’ve reviewed all of our regulations, and we are now working with Senators on LB 948 to reduce the number of restrictive regulations mandated by state law.
- International Trade: International trade missions have supported investments from companies like Kawasaki of Japan, Agri-Plastics of Canada, and Novozymes of Denmark.
- Tax Relief: Right now, I am working with Senators to lower the property tax burden on Nebraskans across the state with the Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB 947). We must achieve major tax relief so we can continue to grow our state.
Once again, thank you for your help in growing Nebraska. The Governor’s Cup is proof that Nebraska can achieve great things when our citizens work together. Let’s keep investing in our people and our state, so we can continue to be the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family. If you have ideas on how we can further promote growth and investment in our state, I want to hear them! Please call my office at 402-471-2244 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.