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State opens North Omaha office to focus on economic growth

Posted at 10:13 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 13:20:10-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — New business opportunities and jobs could soon be on the way for North Omaha.

On Tuesday, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development welcomed the community to the official ribbon-cutting for its North Omaha field office.

Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Anthony Goins said that the ribbon-cutting is a step forward in the state's goals.

"We have to make sure that every citizen in our state is able to benefit from opportunities that we as a state are working so hard to create," Goins said. "Opportunities like high wage jobs, quality, affordable housing, an environment where small businesses can succeed, and vibrant community neighborhoods that people would love to call home."

They’re hoping to help more entrepreneurs venture out by connecting them with state and local resources. Brooks says he’s working with local programs, like the North Omaha Business Improvement District, that has already been doing the work to see more economic growth in the area.

Trevon Brooks, the Business Development Manager for the office, says they’re hoping to expand opportunities for business owners already in North Omaha through initiatives like the Procurement Concierge Program which Brooks says makes it easier for minority business owners to get state contracts.

“Figuring out different ways to streamline things to make it easier," Brooks said. "That's the goal. The goal is to make it easier on entrepreneurs, make it easier on folks that want to work, make it easier on the business community."

Along with helping small businesses grow, the office is also hoping to attract a large-scale employer to the North Omaha area in the coming year.

Brooks says it will take time and planning to bring in an employer like Google or Amazon, and their first step is to let these employers know what North Omaha has to offer.

“North Omaha is bursting with opportunity, so the biggest thing for us is figuring out different creative ways to market it," Brooks said. "So for us, our thing is making sure folks know North Omaha is open for business.”

LaVonya Goodwin, President of the North Omaha Business Improvement District, says that could be a huge boost for the community in a variety of ways.

"We have a commitment from the governor and from the Department of Economic Development to see a large-scale employer come right here on the ground in North Omaha," Goodwin said. "That's exciting, and also an investment for infrastructure which includes workforce housing development."

Brooks said he’s excited to see what opportunities the office will bring.

“This is the first time we’ve done something like this in the state for the North Omaha community, and we’re proud of it," Brooks said.

Governor Pete Ricketts said he is looking forward to seeing North Omaha have more opportunities to grow with the state.

"My vision as governor has been to grow Nebraska," Ricketts said. "That means that if we're going to grow our entire state to be a healthy state, it has to include North Omaha."

Mayor Jean Stothert said she is happy to see this latest office added to a growing list of efforts to improve the area.

"Every time we cut a ribbon, we create opportunities for people and business to be successful," Stothert said.

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