Nevada Business and Industry chief: Office bonds with state’s small business | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Business and Industry chief: Office bonds with state’s small business

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

Nevada's Department of Business and Industry wears multiple hats but now often dons the one that aids small companies, the top official there said Wednesday.

Bruce Breslow, department director for two years, said Business and Industry historically served as babysitter for various divisions, agencies, boards and authorities, which it still does to provide ongoing oversight. But he emphasized financial and regulatory help for small businesses while making a Carson City talk at a Nevada Business Connections breakfast meeting in the Gold Dust West Resort.

"If you need help with bonding, give me a call," said the former mayor of Sparks, a longtime sportscaster, businessman and government official.

Breslow directed that remark on bonds to manufacturers in the audience at the business and development networking organization session. He predicated his remarks on the need for financing to build a factory, as one example, and stressed he meant they should give him a direct call. He later said as repeated complaint his office gets is about responsiveness, or lack of it, in government.

In that, he was answering an audience question about the biggest problem he encounters and said his office has made contact with others in government, provides connections and follows through to make certain action is taken.

Breslow said when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed him to his current post in November 2012, he found an under-used provision charged his department with helping small business firms. He said economic development brings new firms to Nevada, while his department helps small existing Silver State companies.

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He has put out a 61-page document on various means of finding and obtaining bonds, loans or triggering other financial underpinning, he said, which was part of a need to "think outside the box" due to tight state revenues.

The revenues have been mostly down or flat in and after the recession, he indicated, with education and mental health taking up much of the state's budget. So finding different ways to offer business help, he said, is important.

"My office is here to help business thrive and grow," Breslow said. "We have a giant staff of four."

It oversees such things as not only the small business initiatives, but real estate, financial institutions, housing, manufactured housing, transportation, insurance, labor and wage matters, consumer protection and workplace safety. But Breslow stuck to his dominant theme Wednesday about helping small firms find finance or easing other burdens on them.

Aspects he stressed include a new markets tax credit program and one for industrial revenue bonds, as well as a small business round table and ways to ease regulatory burdens. He said the Sandoval administration has eliminated 1,000 regulations that stifled business.

Breslow's background includes sportscasting for Reno television channels, a career he keeps alive doing summer Olympics coverage, serving as Sparks' 22nd mayor during the 1990s, commercial real estate work, and roles in the administrations of the late Gov. Kenny Guinn and former Gov. Jim Gibbons before joining Sandoval's administrators.

Work for this administration included heading the Department of Motor Vehicles before taking over at Business and Industry.

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