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OPINION: EDAWN, NNDA support Nevada Catalyst Fund

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED BY EDAWN

EDAWNIn response to the Nevada Policy Research Institute, Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) along with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) announce their overwhelming support for the Nevada Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund is an important tool in the Regional Development Authorities (RDA) efforts to attract and retain quality jobs for the region.

The Catalyst Fund provides a small incentive to qualified companies looking to relocate or expand in Nevada at a time where competition is intense. Other states are more aggressive than ever in their efforts to attract quality jobs and Nevada is at the bottom of the list when it comes to incentives. With unemployment rates still well above 8 percent in the Silver State, Nevada needs to stay competitive to add new jobs.

Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, stated, “The real question is what can the state do to help the tens of thousands of unemployed Nevadans get a quality job? Attacking the few tools the state has to attract quality companies does not seem to be a way to help the unemployed of our state. From our perspective, the catalyst fund works and compared to other states we compete with, this is a meager tool in the fight for quality jobs.”

Established in 2011, the Catalyst Fund allows companies to apply for funding through a Regional Development Authority. The applicant must meet a series of strict requirements and commit to providing a significant quantity of high paying jobs with benefits to the state. Additionally, a company applying for Catalyst funds must plan to stay in Nevada for an extended period. Once an applicant is approved to receive Catalyst funds, the county and the applicant enter into an agreement and the funds are released. The county monitors the company to ensure they use the funds for their intended purpose.

Rob Hooper, executive cirector of NNDA, said, “The Nevada Catalyst Fund is an important instrument for NNDA and other regional development agencies to allow companies to move to the Silver State and create jobs. Without programs like the Catalyst Fund along with other incentives, companies will move to other states who offer more incentives. For example, Texas has a similar program that offers up to $50 million dollars per company looking to relocate. The Nevada Catalyst Fund is already a small player compared to competing available programs. Attacking one of the most important programs that provides high paying jobs with benefits to unemployed Nevadans, is the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

NNDA currently has completed one Catalyst transaction and is working on finalizing a second. Cristek Interconnects, an aerospace manufacturer of electronic connectors, became NNDA’s first approval for catalyst funds as well as the first to be approved in the state. Cristek was deliberating locating their new facility in either Arizona or Nevada and ultimately chose Nevada due to the availability of the Catalyst fund. Cristek recently opened their new Facility in Douglas County and over the next 3-5 years plans to create over 90 jobs with an average wage of over $18.46 per hour with benefits. Over a ten year period Cristek is expected to have a $67.1 million impact on the economy and will generate over $1.1 million in local and state taxes. These economic gains are largely possible due to a $200,000 performance based grant to demonstrate Nevada’s interest in this industry sector.

Cristi Cristich, founder  and president of Cristek, had this to say about the fund, “Cristek has invested nearly $2 million to expand to Douglas County, Nevada. As an entrepreneur, I accept full responsibility for our ultimate success; however, the commitment to offset a nominal part of our startup expenses after we meet significant job creation milestones sent me a clear message that Nevada was “open for business” and interested in putting folks to work.”

About NNDA

Northern Nevada Development Authority is the recognized Economic Development Authority for the Sierra Region of Nevada which is comprised of Carson City, Churchill County, Douglas County, Storey County and Lyon County. The agency is a non-profit organization funded by the State, the counties and cities within the region and through donations from Investor Partners comprised of businesses in the communities NNDA serves. Contact: Andrew Haskin 775.883.4413

About EDAWN

EDAWN is a private, non-profit corporation founded by community leaders in 1982. EDAWN works to recruit and expand quality companies that have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks-Tahoe. In 2012 Nevada was named the No. 3 Most Business Friendly Tax Climate by the Tax Foundation and Reno was among the 50 “Best Places to Live” in BusinessWeek magazine. For more information, visit www.edawn.org. Contact: Kristal Sidener 775.829.3768