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Business Beat: Boba Business Deals With Bubble Shortage, Car Lots See Drastically Lower Inventory

An image of a bubble milk tea drink, known as Boba.
Kaleb M. Roedel
Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Here's the latest business news from around Northern Nevada, with Business Beat from the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Boba Interest Grows While Supply Remains Limited  

Bubble tea, or boba tea, is a Taiwanese milk tea drink that is bursting in popularity. So when Kyle Stenberg and his four business partners made plans to open the Biggest Little Boba Shop in downtown Reno, they were ready to drink up that sweet boba revenue.

However, they weren’t ready for a global supply shortage of the drink’s key ingredient: those little tapioca balls. These pearls are imported from Taiwan, and they are one of many items and industries affected by the pandemic-induced bottleneck in the Asian-U.S. shipping chain.

Since opening in mid-May, Stenberg says he has had to pay 3-to-5 times the normal price for those tapioca pearls from local or online retailers, and it may be 45 days or longer before the shop gets any more large shipments from Asia. But the owners are confident demand will continue rising far longer than any shortage will last.

Read more about how supply chain disruptions are affecting local business at nnbw.com.

Car Dealers Face Mounting Challenges Amid Global Chip Shortage

If you’ve driven around to any of the car lots in town, you might have noticed that there don’t seem to be as many vehicles on the lot as usual. That’s due to a global supply shortage of computer chips that has forced automakers to slash production across the industry, and it’s having an effect here in Northern Nevada.

Dolan Auto Group CEO Ryan Dolan says his company is down to about half the cars it normally has on the lot, and Champion Chevrolet owner Jack Stanko says its stock is down nearly 90%.

Read more about how the computer chip shortage is impacting car lots at nnbw.com.

New Rural Northern Nevada Economic Development Authority Approved

Some rural cities and counties in Northern Nevada are combining efforts to create a new regional economic development authority.

The Humboldt Development Authority last month unanimously approved and recommended the formation of the Nevada I-80 Regional Development Authority. It would include Humboldt County, the city of Winnemucca, Pershing County and the city of Lovelock. It is tentatively set to launch July 1.

The request for proposal is scheduled to be signed by all participating municipalities and submitted to the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development for approval.

Read more about the new economic development authority at nnbw.com.

Kaleb Roedel is a KUNR contributor and reporter with the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. For more business news, check out the Northern Nevada Business Weekly at nnbw.com or in print on Wednesdays.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist who joined KUNR as a reporter in November 2021.
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