Are You Seeing What I’m Seeing?

I’d hate to jinx anything…but life feels normal again! I walk into a store and see smiling faces, I attend an event and bump shoulders with strangers—it feels good to be back. The relief from this return to normalcy isn’t so much for myself as it is for our local businesses. All I have to do is look at my calendar and I feel so positive about the economic outlook for Omaha. Having our city’s biggest events back has been amazing, such as the College World Series, Omaha Swim Trials, Omaha Fashion Week, Jazz on the Green, concerts and conferences at CHI Health Center, Omaha Performing Arts productions, and many more. I’m very pleased with how customer confidence is raising back up! It’s also great knowing that these events are bringing new people into Omaha and even Nebraska for the first time. Attracting outside dollars is a huge win for our business community, and it’s nice to show visitors that we don’t still drive covered wagons here in Nebraska.

According to Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, the managing organization of the Consumer Confidence Survey®, “Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020. Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved again, suggesting economic growth has strengthened further in Q2. Consumers’ short-term optimism rebounded, buoyed by expectations that business conditions and their own financial prospects will continue improving in the months ahead. While short-term inflation expectations increased, this had little impact on consumers’ confidence or purchasing intentions. In fact, the proportion of consumers planning to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances all rose—a sign that consumer spending will continue to support economic growth in the short-term. Vacation intentions also rose, reflecting a continued increase in spending on services.”

I’m very proud of the community as a whole for taking the necessary steps to ensure health and safety so we could get to this point again. Just continue to shop local, eat local, drink local, stay local, etc. The more we do, the more we all thrive.

Now while things are looking up and people are patronizing local businesses again, we’re seeing a new problem: hiring. It seems like every industry is hiring—construction, health care, retail, hospitality, technology, sales, etc.—and they are all struggling to find people to fill their open positions. Companies are having to really put themselves out there and rethink the way they hire, they way they attract the right talent, their employee benefits, vacation time, employee engagement, and employee appreciation.

In this issue, we have our Employing Omaha feature, which highlights a handful of amazing companies to work for here in the Metro. Take some time to read through the benefits, both tangible and intangible, that these businesses offer to their employees. If you’re at a business that is hiring, ask yourself what your company is currently doing to market yourself as a desirable employer.

Advertising goes far beyond products and services. You need good people representing your brand if you want to succeed, and that means making your job opportunities stand out in the competitive pool we are in.

Strictly Business is here to help your business tell your story in a way that attracts the right people for your team. With our quarterly Employing Omaha feature (February, May, August, November), you can let our readers know what it means to work for your company. We share this feature in print, online on our newly redesigned website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.