Marshall seeks new office to help small business

Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall

Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall

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Gov. Steve Sisolak and Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall are asking lawmakers to create and fund the Office of the Small Business Advocate in Marshall’s office.

Marshall told the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday the plan would pay for an ombudsman for small businesses to help them, “navigate state agencies.”

She said the Department of Business and Industry currently operates the Small Business Development Center and the system of higher education helps new businesses as well.

But she said at present, there’s nobody who takes up the issues those small businesses face after they come to Nevada.

“This position is really focused on the next step,” she said. “Currently, that’s not a service being provided at the Business Development Center.”

Marshall said much of what the office would do is help businesses get through licensing and other contacts with state agencies when those small businesses have a problem and need someone to go to bat for them.

She said the proposed budget for the office would be about $232,000 over the biennium.

The office would also keep track of the issues that come up and provide lawmakers with an annual report on the types of issues they’re dealing with. She said if the ombudsman identifies a pattern in the types of licensing or certification issues that come up, that report would help lawmakers decide whether some statutory or regulatory change should be made.

Assemblywoman Heidi Swank, D-Las Vegas, asked whether non profit organizations could access those services. Marshall assured her nonprofits would be taken care of as well.


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