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Small Biz Survey: Confidence in Nevada’s Economy Swells

Nearly nine out of ten small business leaders across Nevada say the state’s economy is heading in the right direction. That’s according to an annual survey by Nevada State Bank. To break down that survey, KUNR News Director Michelle Billman talks to contributor Kaleb Roedel of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The study was conducted by the consulting firm Applied Analysis, which surveyed 402 business owners, operators and senior management from around the state. Companies that responded ranged in annual sales of $250,000 to $10 million. This year’s results show the highest percentage of confidence in the state’s economy compared with the studies done in previous years.

“The main factor is the Trump administration’s massive tax bill signed last December, which basically calls for sweeping tax cuts for businesses,” Roedel explains.

Of the companies surveyed, a little over half reported experiencing higher revenues, with 70 percent saying they expect the earnings to continue to grow in 2018.

Business leaders still have several concerns about the local economy's future, though. They include a lack of skilled workers across the region, especially for blue-collar jobs, along with Northern Nevada's shortage of affordable housing.

“The average wages, generally, have not kept up with the cost of living in Northern Nevada,” Roedel says. “For example, according to the website payscale.com, the average salary in Reno currently is around $48,000, which is down 1.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017, and the current cost of living here is 7% higher than the national average.”

Nevada State Bank CEO Terry Shirey will discuss the survey results during his keynote address at NNBW’s Breakfast and Business Event on April 5th at the Atlantis.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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