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Omaha Magazine

Omaha CVB: Omaha’s History of Recovery

Jul 23, 2020 11:37AM ● By Tracie McPherson
communications director Tracie McPherson Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Omaha has a long history of being an economic hub. The city’s early success as a railroad town drew a variety of industries to the downtown area.  With steady growth and business ingenuity, Omaha’s reputation continued to grow. 

In September 2007, Omaha ranked eighth among the 50 largest cities in the United States in both per-capita billionaires and Fortune 500 companies. According to USA Today, no other city in the country could claim a ranking as high as Omaha on both lists. 

Omaha continues to earn top honors and rankings as a resilient city when it comes to its economy. After the 2009 recession, Forbes magazine put Omaha at the top of its list of the nation’s fastest-recovering major metropolitan areas. Magazine editors said the area’s diverse economy, stable housing prices, and low unemployment helped it rate the best (No. 1) in their study of the 100 largest metro areas.

As the country and our city work toward some semblance of normalcy post-pandemic, Omaha again appears well positioned for recovery. Moody’s Analytics analyzed the top 100 U.S. metro areas and determined cities with “low population densities and high levels of educational attainment” are in the best position for recovery. The analysis concluded with Omaha’s “strong financial services sector” and “fairly well-educated population,” the city is among those better prepared to bounce back from the coronavirus-induced recession.  

This year’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting was held virtually due to the threat of COVID-19. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO, addressed shareholders online from an empty arena that is typically standing room only. During the meeting, the Omaha native provided hope for the country’s economy, “We have faced tougher problems, and the American miracle, the American magic, has always prevailed,” said Buffett. “And it will do so again.”

Like Buffett, Omaha has a solid track record of being able to navigate a financial crisis. Here’s to adding 2020 to the list. 

This column was printed in the August/September 2020 issue of B2B Magazine.