Kiplinger ranks Omaha No. 1 among ’10 Best Value Cities’

Earlier today, Kiplinger released its "10 Best Value Cities for 2011" and Silicon Prairie's own, Omaha, earned this year's top spot. Also honored on the list was Cedar Rapids, Iowa, coming in at No. 9. …

Earlier today, Kiplinger released its “10 Best Value Cities for 2011” and Silicon Prairie’s own, Omaha, earned this year’s top spot. Also honored on the list was Cedar Rapids, Iowa, coming in at No. 9.

The list, which recognizes metro areas that “offer vibrant economies, a low cost of living and plenty of lifestyle amenities,” placed Omaha at No. 1 for its “hot business climate, cool amenities and cheap-and-easy living.”

(Left, screenshot of slideshow on kiplinger.com)

This is great news for Omaha and yet another recognition for all the amazing work and synergy taking place in our city and region.

One component I particularly enjoyed about the story that accompanied the list, “Best Value Cities 2011: 1. Omaha, Neb.“, is the way that senior editor Bob Frick focused on the broad range of characteristics that make Omaha great. While on one hand the brand identity and wealth that Warren Buffett has brought to Omaha is unquestionably extraordinary, it’s the emerging ideas, businesses and new generation that are making their mark on the community and region.

I had the opportunity to visit with Frick while he was in Omaha, and I enjoyed sharing with him the great work and momentum we’ve seen over the last few years within the entrepreneurial and startup arena. There’s still a great amount of work to accomplish within the region, but as Frick mentioned, our goal is to develop a powerful regional network through Silicon Prairie News.

Other entrepreneurs and creatives featured in the article include Saddle Creek Records and Slowdown, the amazing Grey Plume restaurant run by Omaha native Clayton Chapman, and Mark Hasebroock of Dundee Venture Capital.

To get input on what this recognition means to the Omaha community, we spoke with David Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, via email.

Silicon Prairie News (SPN): What does it mean from your perspective for the City of Omaha? How is this different from other rankings we’ve received?

David Brown (left, photo from omahachamber.org): Being named the nation’s No. 1 Best Value City by Kiplinger reinforces the message for the marketing, research and recruiting done by the Greater Omaha Chamber. Kiplinger’s demographic is C-level employees — exactly the demographic we look to reach with our efforts.

SPN: What do you feel this means for the growing startup and entrepreneurial community here within Omaha and across the Silicon Prairie?

Brown: This No. 1 ranking helps us tell the world that not only does Omaha have a strong, stable economy, we’re also a cool city! The article points out that our quality of life appeals to a broad spectrum of people. Entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well and encouraged here. Young professionals can find a quality place to call home. I hope this ranking opens people’s eyes to what makes Omaha a great place to be and helps turn the question mark after Omaha to an exclamation point.

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