Business and Economy

Washoe Business License Applications Moving Online

Mar 9, 2016
erikaow / CC BY-SA 2.0

Business owners will be able to apply and pay for business licenses and permits in Washoe County online, for the first time ever this summer. Our reporter Rocio Hernandez has more.  

The regional business license and permits program is an effort by the cities of Reno and Sparks along with Washoe County and the health district that will connect them digitally to customers. Amber Drlik with the City of Reno says this change has been repeatedly asked for in customer surveys.

The Basement: Touring Reno's New 'Hipster Mall'

Feb 28, 2016
Rocio Hernandez

An underground marketplace called The Basement has opened inside the historic 1933 post office in downtown Reno. Our reporter Rocio Hernandez took a tour of the renovated space and sends us this audio postcard. 

More than half a dozen shops are tucked between brick walls and under a maze of exposed pipes. I wander into Sugar Love Chocolates where store owner Krysta Bea Jackson is attending to new customers.

Jackson says her products are made from French and Belgium chocolate and natural ingredients such as fresh strawberries and pistachios. At least one customer is sold.

Sierra Nevada College

Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village, hosted its own version of Shark Tank this week. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt was there to hear the winning pitch.

Apparently, Canada has a coin problem.

"We do not have a one dollar bill. So what this means is every time you get 4.99 back in change? It's all in coins.  It's just ridiculous. Personally, I went through my car the other day and found $17 worth of Canadian coins in there, and I don't even live in Canada anymore."

Ted Murphy / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Nearly $5 million in gaming tax revenue has not been collected by Washoe County due to an accounting error. Our contributor Bob Conrad with ThisisReno has the story.

The tax went uncollected for more than five years and county officials say that money could have helped during the recession. County manager John Slaughter:

UNR Alums Want To Connect Students With Employers

Feb 12, 2016
Rocio Hernandez

After noticing how difficult it was to explore Reno’s job market, two University of Nevada, Reno alums decided to come up with a solution. With support from local business leaders, they’ve launched their own online platform called Dringo. Reno Public Radio’s Rocio Hernandez reports that unlike the typical job board, Dringo includes research and project opportunities for students.

Alexa Ard

We recently covered Directions 2016, an economics conference in Reno. Unlike in the past, this year’s conference included what's called a cultural forecast.  While other speakers focused on economic trends, Colin Robertson, curator of education for the Nevada Museum of Art, looked closely at the impact art could have on Nevada’s economy. To learn more, our reporter Rocio Hernandez sat down with him.

Cost Of RSCVA's Strategic Plan Is Doubling

Feb 6, 2016
Alexa Ard

A new strategic plan is underway for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, but not without some big kinks that will more than double the price of the project. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.com has the story.

The RSCVA board voted recently to hire a local strategic planning firm to complete work that was started by an out-of-state company called CS&L.

Mighty Travels / FLICKR.CC / ATTRIBUTION 2.0 GENERIC

On the heels of Uber, Lyft joins the list of ridesharing services that can pick up passengers at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Our contributor Luiza Vieira has the story.

Lyft signed an agreement with the airport authority last week that allows its drivers to officially pick-up customers at the airport terminal. Before they were only allowed to drop people off. 

Elko Extends Ban on Medical Marijuana Shops

Feb 1, 2016
Brett Levin, CC by 2.0

Elko is extending its ban on medical marijuana shops despite comments from residents who want it lifted.

Elko Daily Free Press reporter Marianne McKown says most people who attended the meeting last week spoke in favor of the dispensaries.

“Pretty much everybody who got up said that they were for lifting the ban on medical marijuana,” she says, “because it’s already hard enough to find doctors; we shouldn’t eliminate being able to get our medicine.”

Sergei Scurfield / Flickr, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

Nevada has seen steady economic recovery for the last five years, and now has the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Unemployment has fallen to 6.4 percent, down from a high of 13.7 percent in 2010. Jobs have increased for 60 straight months, and small business employment is up to nearly its pre-recession peak.

Bill Anderson is Nevada’s chief economist, and he says a lot of this growth comes from filling in those jobs that were lost during the recession.

Growth Puts Strain On Local Housing Market

Jan 28, 2016
Dan Moyle/ Flickr.cc / Attribution 2.0 Generic

The housing market is facing an inventory shortage, while buyers are struggling to find affordable pricing. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne has more on the housing dilemma in Northern Nevada.

With economic growth pulling more people into Washoe County and the outlying region, realtors are having a tougher time finding homes that suit their buyers.

John Graham with the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors says the market has less than three months of housing inventory. The national average is around six to eight months. Fewer houses means higher prices.

Reno, Washoe Fire Divorce (Finally) Settled

Jan 28, 2016
Carla O'Day / ThisisReno.com

Washoe County and the City of Reno held a press conference Wednesday to announce that they’ve reached a settlement over the region’s so-called fire divorce to deconsolidate fire services. Bob Conrad from ThisisReno was there and has the latest update on this story.

Washoe County will pay the city nearly $450,000, and both say they’re ready to put the matter behind them. They also stress that this settlement will save taxpayers from the costly litigation.

Breaking Down The Tesla Effect

Jan 26, 2016
Alexa Ard

Since Tesla announced its gigafactory in Northern Nevada, many businesses have followed suit, including Switch and a major retailer headed for downtown Reno. Some are going as far as calling this trend the Tesla Effect. Our reporter Rocio Hernandez breaks down what that means.

When Apple brought its data center to the area two years ago, Mehmet Tosun, who chairs UNR’s economics department, knew that things would not suddenly change with just one company, but now Apple is not alone.

Arlington County / Flickr, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

A strict interpretation of Nevada law reveals that collecting water with rain catchment systems, or rain barrels, is illegal. With ongoing drought conditions, Nevada’s state engineer Jason King says that there should be some exemptions. Bob Conrad of our media partner ThisisReno has the story.

The Governor’s drought forum was tasked with addressing the state’s water resource challenges and released its recommendations last month.

Marcus Lavergne

A new e-commerce company plans to bring 500 jobs to the Reno-Sparks area in the next 5 years. The news came at a press conference Thursday. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne was there and has the story. 

Jet.com has already opened its 160,000 square-foot warehouse in Northern Nevada. The company, which launched in July, is known as a “smart shopping platform” and competes with companies like Amazon.com.

Marc Lore is Jet.com's founder and CEO and spoke at yesterday’s event.

Rennett Stowe / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

The Lake Tahoe region is experiencing higher housing costs and stagnating wages for its workers. That's according to a recent economic prosperity report. To learn more, Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick chatted with Heidi Hill Drum; she's the executive director of the Tahoe Prosperity Center and one of the people behind this report.

Reno Airport Adds Rideshare Pickup For Uber Customers

Jan 20, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Rideshare company Uber is now allowed to pick up passengers at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Uber has been able to drop off customers at the airport since September, when they began operating in the state. But until Wednesday, they weren't able to pick anyone up.

Now, the rideshare service has a contract with the airport, like other ground transportation services, and its own designated pickup spot — away from the taxi line — complete with transit shelter.

City of Reno

Reno City Council unanimously approved an annexation request for a small chunk of Lemmon Valley, just north of the city, at its last meeting. That's despite complaints raised by several nearby residents.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the details.

The land is being eyed for development and its owner says the 730 acres would be ideal for new housing. 

ThisisReno

Reno City Council could vote Wednesday on annexing a slice of Lemmon Valley being eyed for development. Michelle Billman reports the decision raises larger questions among North Valleys residents about how growth is impacting their community.

City Council has already unanimously approved an ordinance introduction for the annexation. The owner says the land would be ideal for housing, which has some Lemmon Valley residents worried, including Doug Robertson who spoke up at the last council meeting.

Interview: What's In, What's Out For Downtown Reno

Jan 8, 2016
Mike Higdon

We've seen a flood of business news this week with Reno Provisions shutting its doors and the announcement of a major retailer coming to the heart of Reno. Our reporter Julia Ritchey caught up with the Reno-Gazette Journal's Mike Higdon to get the inside scoop on downtown development in 2016.

Higdon says the closing of Reno Provisions, following a highly publicized E. coli outbreak, is a major blow to the foodie movement.

Pages