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Advantage: Nebraska

The world changes, and the Nebraska business community changes with it.

When Gov. Dave Heineman signed LB 918 into law on April 14, 2010, it was demonstrated once again that Nebraska is committed to remaining on the forefront of economic development. An update to the Nebraska Advantage Act (business incentives legislation), LB 918 takes the economy to the next level, recognizing the increasing importance of business models that include cloud computing, data centers and products delivered electronically.

Chamber members, senators and state officials were engaged in the discussions, and after much research, the Nebraska Advantage was amended to reflect changes in how businesses function using today’s technology. After all, software and other products often are no longer shipped on a shrink-wrapped disk. Businesses can use computer servers and services that are located at sites around the country (or world). And, the data centers that process and store information can be located here in the metro area.

Chamber members and staff were among those who testified in favor of the legislation, which won unanimous committee approval and was eventually approved by the full legislature.

Senators recognize that Nebraska Advantage delivers. In addition, a proactive and concerted approach by the Chamber to develop an effective enhancement to the program produced a bill that will create jobs and lead to investment.

Since its enactment in 2005, the Nebraska Advantage Act has led to commitments by participating businesses to create more than 17,000 jobs across the state and invest $5.5 billion. And those numbers continue to grow.

In Greater Omaha and across the state, this has resulted in investment and jobs in industries ranging from food processing to printing and company headquarters to pharmaceuticals.

Nebraska has taken numerous actions in recent years to continue to build a strong economy for the metro area and the state, including the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and machinery, income tax reductions and an emphasis on job training.

It started with the Nebraska Advantage Act, and it remains the reason that Nebraska has the Advantage.

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