California companies should come to Northern Nevada and a company from Poland will come to Carson City, a development authority audience here was told Tuesday.
Rob Hooper, executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), told a luncheon audience of about 100 the medical aesthetics firm from Warsaw, Poland he identified as Youvena had committed to locate in Nevada’s capital, though after the luncheon he said it’s in the early stages and would take time. Meanwhile, executives from firms in Minden and Reno made the case for California companies to join them in the Sierra region.
Dan Wray of Minden’s Bio Film Management, Inc., and George Holman, senior vice president and general counsel with Reno’s Server Technology, Inc., bashed California as less than business friendly, with Wray even showing a photo of Gov. Jerry Brown and saying: “What brought us here? This guy.” He also credited people of the region and Carson Valley as he spoke at the NNDA luncheon in the Carson Nugget.
Wray, Bio Film president, said 30,000 people in California pay 80 percent of the state’s taxes and the state would go bankrupt if those people left. He talked about his firm, his love of airplanes, and said many well-to-do business people in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state to the west had planes, as did he.
“It would be fun to get them over here,” he said, asking a rhetorical question about how to do that. “I think we should get ‘em to fly in.”
Holman in his remarks said startups in the Bay Area face stiff workforce competition from big tech firms such as Apple, reading from that giant firm’s free menu for its employees.
“You have to give away your company,” he said of young firms who must use stock options and perks to lure employees in such an environment. Meanwhile, he cited business tax, regulatory and judicial advantages Nevada held over California,.
“There is no advantage to living in California,” he said. As an example of the upside in coming to Nevada, he said Server Technology came from Mountain View and has grown from an $8 million firm with 22 employees to a $100 million company with 190 on board, 150 of them in Reno. He said Server Technology now is the second largest provider of power distribution units.
“We’re very grateful to be here,” he said.
Hooper not only disclosed the firm from Poland was committed to coming here, but also claimed NNDA has helped bring in companies between 2010 and now who account for $1.7 billion in economic impact. He said that translates to 3,033 direct jobs and 5,190 when you include indirect employment. He reminded his listeners that things were difficult in 2009, but NNDA redefined itself and things kept improving.
“There’s a couple of hundred deals in the pipeline,” he said, though he said every deal takes time and not all of them pan out. He stressed that NNDA was working particularly to bring into the region manufacturers or other businesses with need for the types of jobs that paid well. He said workforce development has improved to prepare for the firms being targeted.