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Northern Nevada sees increase in companies and new jobs



Greater Reno-Tahoe saw an uptick in the number of companies that relocated to and expanded in the region over the past 12 months compared with the previous year, pointing to increased business activity in an otherwise still sluggish economy.

According to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, the organization and its regional partners assisted 17 companies move to or expand in the region, creating 670 new jobs compared with the 11 companies and 513 jobs reported last year -– a 55 percent increase in the total companies and a 31 percent increase in the total jobs created year over year.

The 17 included eight companies that relocated to the area, seven expansion projects and two startup companies. Five of the 17 projects included headquarters operations. The top three industries represented included advanced logistics (eight companies), advanced manufacturing (five companies) and business and financial services (three companies).  One clean energy company also relocated.

The companies represent a combined projected $134 million economic impact to the region in new tax revenue, employee payroll and capital investment, and more than  1.5 million square feet of purchased or leased industrial or office space.

In addition to previously reported companies, four companies announced relocation and expansion plans in the Northern Nevada region during the third and fourth quarters of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, including:

Multifamily Technology Solutions, Inc. The San Francisco-based company operates a national apartment and home rental website, MyNewPlace.com.  The company opened a national marketing/sales office in downtown Reno and plans to employ 25 in advertising and marketing related positions.  The relocation represents a one-year annual economic impact of $1,193,632.  Dominic Brunetti of NAI Alliance led the real estate negotiations, and UNR’s College of Business assisted the company with workforce recruitment.

Ziegler & Ames.  Ziegler and Ames, distributor of high-quality urns from Bellingham, Wash., is relocating its headquarters to a 24,000-square-foot distribution facility in Sparks where it will employ 10 within the first year.  The opening of the facility represents a one-year economic impact of $1.5 million.  Ziegler & Ames chose Sparks due to its geographic and tax advantages. Neil Krutz from the City of Sparks provided key assistance.

Hedwin Corporation.  The manufacturer of plastic containers, liner products for pails and drums and other custom plastic parts is relocating its warehouse and assembly operation from Carson, Calif., to a 44,000-square-foot facility in Reno.  Hedwin Corporation will employ 12 people and represents a one-year economic impact of $996,325 to the region.  The company cited Northern Nevada’s logistics advantages and pro-business climate among reasons for its relocation.   NAI Alliance, JobConnect, Truckee Meadows Community College and EDAWN assisted the company in its relocation.

French Gourmet. The manufacturer of artisan frozen dough including croissant puff pastry, strudels and muffin batter in a variety of flavors is moving its headquarters and manufacturing operation from Honolulu, Hawaii, to a 71,000-square-foot facility in Sparks, in which it will utilize 32,000 square feet immediately.  French Gourmet plans to hire 38 employees and will have a one-year economic impact of $27,912,981.  The company said Northern Nevada offered lower utility and shipping rates and greater proximity to its U.S. customer base.  NAI Alliance and Nevada JobConnect were key community partners working with EDAWN to assist the company.

Stan Thomas, vice president of business development for EDAWN, said the region saw an increase in company and site consultant visits over the previous year.  “It’s a good sign when site consultants representing companies and the companies themselves, looking to relocate or expand to an area, increase their visits to Northern Nevada.  This past year we had 74 site visits, more than triple the year before, which tells us companies are beginning to move ahead with their growth plans.”

EDAWN and its partners are working 24 high-priority company projects that are likely to decide on their relocation or expansion plans within the next 12 months.  An overview of the prospective companies includes:

  • Logistics companies lead the total projects with 12 businesses, followed by seven manufacturing companies, three business and financial services firms, one software  operation and one non-target industry entity.
  • Geographically, the majority of the companies originate from the West (10), four companies come from the Southeast and the remaining companies are based in the East and Midwest.
  • Combined, if all of the companies choose to relocate or expand in the market, between 1,000 and 1,400 new jobs would be generated.

Nevada continues to garner favorable national rankings for its business climate including ranking in the Top 10 Best States for Business in 2011, according to Chief Executive Magazine, and Nevada ties with Georgia for Highest Entrepreneurial Activity in 2010 according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.

EDAWN is a private, non-profit corporation founded by community leaders in 1982 to diversify the Greater Reno-Tahoe economy by recruiting, expanding and starting up quality companies that have a positive impact on the region’s quality of life.  Reno was named the No. 1 Place for Doing Business in America in 2005 by Inc. magazine.  For more information on doing business in Greater Reno-Tahoe, visit www.edawn.org.

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