Biggest Little City
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    Desert Rainbow

    Photo Credit: Sb Sullivan

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    Couple sitting at Wingfield Park

    Photo Credit: Darron Birgenheier

  • Nala
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    Service Dog, Nala, at the Truckee River

    Photo Credit: Timothy Conzachi

Reno and State of Nevada Resources

The City of Reno works closely with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to undertake economic development initiatives within the Reno City limits. Through these partnerships, businesses which are relocating to or expanding in the City have access to incentives and programs that are provided through the State of Nevada:

The City itself also provides two loan resources to qualified businesses:

The Reno Accelerator Fund

The City of Reno in collaboration with NewBean Capital and EDAWN launched the Reno Accelerator Fund convertible note program in January 2014.

The goal of the program is to provide early-stage capital to eight promising startups, especially businesses that focus on technology.  “We’re looking for the kind of companies most likely to create jobs, so we know that’s technology,” says Nicola Kerslake with NewBean Capital. “But that could be across all sectors – technology for agriculture, for example, or software for veterans. There are no restrictions in terms of the type of technology.”

The Reno Accelerator Fund plans to invest up to $20,000 each in the eight businesses by the end of June 2014. Doug Erwin, Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development for EDAWN, says he envisions the program expanding on Reno’s already burgeoning Start Up Row along First Street in downtown Reno.  The new program also ties in with the Kauffman Foundation’s One Million Cups program in Reno, which kicked off in March 2013 and focuses on publicizing and supporting local startups.

For more information about, and applications for, the Reno Accelerator Fund, please go to the link above or contact Nicola Kerslake, the program administrator, at (775) 623-7116 or hello@acceleratereno.com.

Valley Economic Development Center

VEDC is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) – a non-profit lender with a mission “to create and sustain jobs and businesses in our communities by providing high-quality economic development services.”  VEDC has a successful 38-year history in Southern California and recently expanded to Nevada. Among its many programs are loans for women-owned businesses, minority-owned business, microloans, direct loans for $50,000-$700,000, and SBA loans for $50,000-$5,000,000. The City of Reno is providing a $200,000 loan loss reserve for VEDC to leverage $3 million in available loans to qualified businesses within the City of Reno.

For more information about the VEDC loan program, please go to the link above or contact Chris Fream, the program administrator, at (775) 785-5820/(775) 221-1766 or cfream@vedc.org.

Other Economic Development Collaborations and Resources

Smarter Region

Smarter Region is an exciting new initiative aimed at improving economic development in the Reno-Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Smarter Region is based on the five recommendations of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant that the City of Reno received in April 2013. Starting in August 2013, the leadership of ten prominent regional agencies in the MSA – public and private – came together for the first time to examine how to break out of their silos and work cooperatively to attract industries, grow jobs, nurture entrepreneurs, and improve workforce development.  This high-level forum for candid cross-sector communication and decision-making allows for more effective collaboration and sharing of resources.

The entities which are collaborating on Smarter Region include, in alphabetical order:

Workforce Development

Nevada JobConnect and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) work in concert with the local education sector and employers to improve and diversity Reno and Northern Nevada’s workforce. New programs in both K-12 and higher education are under development to create the workforce of the future and position our region to be fully prepared for industrial growth. Recently, for example, the University of Nevada created new minors in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – an emerging industrial concentration in Northern Nevada as a result of being one of six designated test sites for the FAA’s UAS program– as well as entrepreneurship. Truckee Meadows Community College is expanding its nursing and healthcare programs, another growing industrial sector in our region.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

The City of Reno is participating in a nine-county regional consortium for a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that is being spearheaded by the Western Nevada Development District.  This important document, when approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will enhance an integrated approach to the implementation of numerous regional priorities that support economic development, including airport and surface transportation infrastructure, and advanced manufacturing.  The consortium expects the new CEDS to be approved in the first half of 2014.

Political Support 

The City Council has consistently supported economic development through provision of necessary public services and facilities such as police, fire, streets, sanitary sewer, and parks provided by City departments as well as the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Regional Transportation Commission, and Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.  The Council has also directed the City plan for future development and services, provide a "one-stop shop" for development customers, internet access to development services, and an efficient and timely review process.  

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