Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



Published in Business in Nebraska, Volume 60, No. 679, March 2005. Presented by the UNL Bureau of Business Research. Used by permission.


The cost of doing business in Nebraska affects all residents of the state. It directly influences the profitability and prospects of tens of thousands of Nebraska proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. The indirect effects may be even more far-reaching, affecting both the cost of living and the quality of life in the state. Business costs influence the prices that businesses must charge for providing goods and services. These costs even affect whether certain retail and service businesses survive in small and mid-size Nebraska communities. The cost of doing business also may influence the size of the Nebraska economy. Many Nebraska manufacturers, farmers, and transportation and service businesses face competitors located around the nation and the world. Businesses' costs influence their ability to compete effectively.

There are many ways to examine the issue of business costs. A study might compare business costs in Nebraska or other states or examine the relative growth rate for businesses in Nebraska. This study takes a different, and perhaps more direct, approach by surveying a random sample of Nebraska businesses about their cost seduction prides. Businesses are present$ with a list of 19 business cost factors ranging from market-driven matters (such as the cost of supplies and taw materials, labor costs, or utility costs) to factors more directly tied to federal, state, and local policies (such as taxes and regulation). While businesses might want to see all types of costs fall, the survey requires respondents to select their five top priorities for cost reduction. The result is a list of priorities as reported by businesses.

This report presents the results of a survey sent to 500 Nebraska businesses during March 2005. Business priorities are presented for all businesses. Separate results on cost reduction priorities also are presented for businesses with more than 20 employees.