Kris Holt: More Capital manufacturers say they are thriving
August 31, 2014
A new report from Nevada Business Connections reflects increasing confidence among Nevada's manufacturing center of the state. This report identifies challenges in the Capital Region of Carson, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey Counties as well.
More Nevada manufacturers and distributors now say they are "thriving," and they're faring better than many of their U.S. peers — although local companies are more concerned about the impact of state and local government regulations and taxation. The new NBC Developing report is from Nevada's only private economic development organization based in Carson City. The survey responses were based on input from 46 onsite, personal visits to manufacturers in Carson City and Douglas counties, Lyon and Storey counties will soon follow. Carson City has 140 manufacturers and Douglas County has 70. The report represents 1,249 primary jobs.
According to several national surveys, Northern Nevada expressed more confidence and optimism than the nation as a whole on a number of measures. For an example, 66 percent of respondents said they were "thriving" compared to 36 percent nationally. Nationwide, 5 percent of companies were declining compared to 2 percent in northern Nevada. Sales grew last year for 73 percent of Northern Nevada companies compared to 69 percent nationwide.
Just a note, most California companies view their state's regulations as inhibitors to growth. This is the highest in the country.
Additional takeaways from the survey about Northern Nevada's manufacturers:
The No. one reason why these manufacturers moved or expanded here is "quality of life."
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All but six are family owned.
All companies feel threatened and are upset with the proposed "Margins Tax" (10 manufacturers are ready to leave the state if it passes — with 285 employees).
Nine manufacturers are planning to expand in Carson City and Douglas County during the next 18 months, adding 312 jobs.
75 percent are originally from California.
All offer some type of employee benefits.
Most importantly, all are experiencing labor issues — lack of qualified / skilled employees. (No shows, poor communication skills, drug problems, etc.)
95 percent expect their health care costs to rise.
83 percent cited Affordable Care Act as their greatest limitation to growth.
Most manufacturers are unhappy with federal politicians.
All believe that most government officials and elected politicians don't have a clue as to how important manufacturing is to the economy. "They don't know we even exist."
Vacant industrial buildings are limited for expansion and relocation. (10- to 20,000-square feet buildings are in high demand for purchase or lease.)
81 percent of manufacturers would like to see more manufacturers recruited to the region for the synergy of employees, support services / products and political leverage.
Half of the 48 manufacturers were recruited by the NNDA during the 1990s.
Two companies have EPA issues with air, water or hazardous waste materials.
Telecommunications are solid, except for certain areas of Douglas County.
Transportation is adequate without rail.
Power rates (electric) are extremely high compared to the other western states.
According to all manufacturers, Western Nevada College is a huge asset.
Healthcare is good. Most go to Reno for major healthcare issues.
90 percent would love to have a "Nevada Manufacturers and Suppliers Directory" for business to business resources.
20 percent commute to work from other cities / towns.
More than half complained about local government, no growth, no development, and anti-business attitudes.
Both airports were ranked high.
Bottom line, most manufacturers are happy with the quality of life, current overall cost of doing business and sensible regulations.
Kris Holt is executive director of Nevada Business Connections. He can be reached at email@example.com. NBC hosts monthly breakfast meeting in Reno and Carson City. The public is welcome to attend.