MSA: Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
Best places ranking: #3 among midsize metro areas
If Omaha conjures up images of merely cornfields and cows, think again: Four Fortune 500 companies and Warren Buffett call this Midwestern city home.
Omaha's low cost of living, great schools, and affordable yet educated workforce make for a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. Locals complain of high property taxes, but Nebraska is also the only state with a 100% public power system, offering customers some of the lowest utility rates in the country. Business owners can also benefit from the "Nebraska Advantage," a series of state tax incentives that in some cases nearly eliminates the burden of corporate income and sales taxes.
Agriculture -- certainly not tourism -- is the major industry that built the city, but that's not to say Omaha doesn't have a burgeoning arts and culture scene. As a frequent tour-bus stop between Chicago and Kansas City, Omaha gets many big names dropping by. Saddle Creek Records, an indie rock label representing Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes and Cursive resides here, as does the Qwest Center, a 18,300-seat arena that brings music and sports fans from Des Moines and Kansas City, which are both less than 200 miles away. -Annalyn Censky
Resources for getting started in Omaha, NE
Local startup resources
Omaha Business Statistics
"Entrepreneurship, for me, is a combination of two key ingredients: passion and discipline. Both come from people, and the people in Omaha are key" -Nick Hudson