Business and Economy

Tesla, Now Faraday?

Aug 18, 2015
faradayfuture.com

Tesla, the electric car company, is building a massive battery factory in Northern Nevada. State lawmakers promised it some billion dollars in tax incentives to get it here.

Nevada JobConnect

Many more Nevadans are getting back to work.  That’s according to economic data released Wednesday that shows the unemployment rate in Nevada dropped to its lowest level in seven years. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in June. State economist Bill Anderson says it’s the first time since the height of the recession that the state’s unemployment rate has dipped below seven percent, but he cautions that the number of people still not working remains high.  

Foreclosures In Nevada Up Almost 40 Percent In April

May 21, 2015

Foreclosures in Nevada jumped nearly 40 percent last month, making the state second in the nation for the highest residential foreclosure rate. 

The real estate analytics company RealtyTrac reported yesterday (Wednesday) that one in every 555 Nevada residential properties was subject to a foreclosure filing in April, behind only Florida

Nevada saw 893 foreclosure starts, 681 notices of pending trustee sales and 548 repossessions.

Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority

The three largest veterans organizations in the U.S. are all coming to Reno for upcoming conventions, events that are estimated to bring in more than $36 million to the region.  The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority recently announced that the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans will all be headed to Reno over the next five years. Authority President Chris Baum says having a one-story convention center set Reno apart from competitors like Phoenix, Miami, and San Juan: 

Thomas Vatany / www.planespotters.net

  Nonstop flights from Reno to London were supposed to take off later this year, but the service has already been canceled. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Thomas Cook Airlines made the call after learning that its customers would have to wait at least three hours to clear U.S. Customs at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Brian Kulpin, with the airport, says it all comes down to staffing.

"There's a need for more customs agents here in Reno," he explains. "We just added one at the beginning of April, but it's not enough to do the job faster."

Regional Transportation Commission

The controversial Southeast Connector roadway project received final federal approval this week. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the thoroughfare will eventually connect South Reno to Sparks, easing congestion on Interstate 580 by offering an alternate route to many job sites, including Tesla's gigafactory.

At a press conference held by the Regional Transportation Commission Thursday in Reno, RTC Chair Neoma Jardon said this is more than just a new road, it's a job creator.

Nevada has the fewest wineries of any state, with just four filling our glasses today. While advocates want to grow the industry, there’s fear that the state could become a mere “suburb” of California wine with few bottles bearing a homegrown stamp. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports.

There are no commercial wineries in Washoe County, but UNR Professor Grant Cramer has been making wine in Reno for a decade.

Governor Brian Sandoval delivered testimony during a joint committee hearing Wednesday for his plan to increase business license fees in order to raise money for K-12 education. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Despite wide support for improving the state's lagging education system, Sandoval is charged with convincing a Republican-controlled legislature to raise taxes for the cause.

In a rousing speech, Sandoval made his case, saying economic development will suffer if the state can't create more revenue and devote it to students.

Alexa Ard

In the past, innovation often took place in isolated, suburban office parks where businesses could keep their "secrets secret." That's according to Jennifer Vey, a fellow for the Brookings Institution who studies the revitalization of urban areas and metropolitan economies.

Yevo International, the sister company to Nutrient Foods

A research and manufacturing company called Nutrient Foods is moving its headquarters to Reno, adding 300 jobs to the region. The company, based in New Jersey now, makes nutrient-dense meals as an alternative to processed foods, which can contain empty calories with little nutritional value.

Bryan McArdle is with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, or EDAWN.

SolarCity

Nevada is leading the nation in solar industry job growth. A new report from a nonprofit called the Solar Foundation says Nevada has the most solar jobs per-capita nationwide.

Just last year, the state added 3,500 jobs in that field, and a lot of those employees work for SolarCity in Southern Nevada. They've hired a thousand new workers since last spring.

Reno's MidTown District: One Young Bar Owner's Story

Feb 13, 2015
Alexa Ard

When KJ Flippen took over as the owner of the Zephyr Bar in 2011, it was in his words, "a dive." Today, it's a thriving lounge located in the heart of MidTown. Flippen talks with Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli about the Z-Bar's transformation and what it's like to be a young entrepreneur.
 

Alexa Ard

Tech entrepreneurs are calling a stretch of First Street in downtown Reno Startup Row. Nate Pearson is one of them. His company TrainerRoad makes an app to help cyclists train for races. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss caught up with him for our series on local small business leaders.

Neal Cobb

As Reno has changed over the decades, so have the small businesses that set up shop here. No one knows this better than local historian Alicia Barber. 

Photo by Alexa Ard

Women-owned businesses in Nevada are growing faster in number and employment than other companies, according to a  2013 American Express studyJimmy Beans Wool started as a small yarn business in 2002 by knitting enthusiast Laura Zander. Last year, the company’s revenue exceeded $8 million.  Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray talks with Zander.

Photo by Alexa Ard

Tesla and other big companies get most of the attention in Northern Nevada, but, actually, small business accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s employment. Reno Chef Mark Estee, who owns Campo and the newly opened Provisions, is one of those job creators.  Reno Public Radio's Anh Gray sat down with Estee to learn more.

People in Washoe County who struggle to get around town could have an even harder time if bus routes are cut, which could happen if the transportation commission can't find more money. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Mark Tadder lives just a quick walk from a bus stop in northwest Reno, and that’s no accident.

“I started riding the bus in earnest about a year ago when my vision failed and I wasn’t really able to walk so much and get around that way.”

TahoeReno.com

Earlier this year, Tesla Motors chose Northern Nevada for its battery factory in exchange for a huge incentives package. It's a bounty for communities there that, until recently, have seen years of slow economic recovery. Will Stone of Reno Public Radio reported for NPR's Morning Edition on the impact of this factory.

When Lance Gilman talks Tesla, it can feel like a return to the days of the Gold Rush, silver mining and pioneers.

"The new Comstock Lode is sitting right in front of us right now. There is going to be tremendous financial growth."

The number of jobs in Nevada could return to pre-recession levels by the end of 2017. That's the latest prediction from the state's chief economist Bill Anderson. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details.

During the recession, Nevada lost 175,000 of its nearly 1.3 million jobs. Bill Anderson, chief economist for the state's Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation, says Nevada has been slowly rebuilding its labor force over the past four years.

EDAWN

At a town hall event last week, one economic development expert in Reno said the region could see up to 50,000 new jobs in the next several years, largely thanks to Tesla. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details on that hefty projection.

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