The President of the Nebraska State Chamber says there’s no doubt COVID has posed the most challenging economic conditions of a lifetime, but there are signs the state could emerge with a stronger and more competitive economy after the pandemic is over.
Bryan Slone Wednesday told attendees to the Chamber’s Virtual Regional Fall Forum, held virtually from the WNCC campus in Scottsbluff, that our state has fared better than others due to effectiveness of our banks obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans, a phenomenal health care system and the Governor’s decision not to impose a blanket ‘stay in place’ order.
Slone said those factors helped blunt the economic impact here, and it’s clear to him that Nebraska is in a unique position to be competitive in a way other states may not be. “I get calls every day at the Chamber, and I have a friends who get calls every day, of people from the coasts and large cities, who really want to find a better quality of life, a safer place for their family to be, and a safer place to bring their businesses.”
However, Slone did say the state has some issues that need to be addressed to turn the potential growth into reality directly related to workforce development.
He said those include improvements in childcare, transportation and flexible working arrangements, as well as using the education system to develop, attract and retain younger workers and the need to modernize the state’s tax system.