Economic impact: how much did EDAWN help? | NevadaAppeal.com
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Economic impact: how much did EDAWN help?

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

An economic development organization that has received millions of dollars in government money released an annual report this week saying it helped businesses it worked within their $402 million impact on the region.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, which received about $1.5 million from the state and local governments in the 2005-06 fiscal year, keeps notes on how much it helped each of the 38 companies it listed in this year’s annual report. It does not, however, release that information to the public, said Chuck Alvey, corporation president and chief executive officer.

Alvey said the corporation did not intend to say that it was instrumental in all the businesses relocating, expanding or staying in the region or that it was the only organization that helped.

The corporation, for instance, worked with many other organizations such as cities, counties, the state, the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), Sierra Pacific Power Co., as well as real estate agents and developers.

“It’s not at all meant to be egotistical,” Alvey said. “It’s meant to be a report card, that these are the companies EDAWN has helped assist along with our partners. We simply report this is the economic impact of the companies we were involved with in the last year.”

However, last year’s annual report was more pointed.

“For the third straight year,” the report said, “EDAWN broke its own records … in creating economic impact for the region.”

In another section of the report, EDAWN lists last year’s $330 million economic impact and uses it to calculate a $119 return on every $1 invested in the corporation.

EDAWN lists this and other annual reports dating back to the 1999-2000 fiscal year under the “about EDAWN” section at http://www.edawn.org.

Praising itself, however, is not what the organization wants to do with this year’s report, Alvey said.

“What we’re trying to do with the press release and with the information is to let people know that there’s positive stuff going on here, that this is worthwhile place for companies to locate, to invest and put their businesses.”

NNDA, for instance, was the organization that did most of the work to help Veltec Sports Inc. move, hire and learn about Carson City, said Josh Greenberg, managing director for the bicycle parts distributor.

EDAWN did meet with the company, show them around Reno and introduce them to NNDA, Greenberg said, but it wasn’t the organization that his company worked with for things it needed in Carson City, such as subsidies.

According to the annual report, Veltec has 30 employees and has had about a $4 million economic impact. EDAWN calculates this impact by considering criteria including jobs, sales, investments and the relationship these manufactures have with their vendors.

Real estate agents and EDAWN provided Aloha Medicinals Inc., the other Carson City business listed in the report, with statistical information about the region. But the company found the city and decided to move on its own, said Dr. John Holliday, company president.

He said the main reason the business moved to Nevada was because of the tax structure. Nevada has no personal or corporate income tax.

Dr. Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said he has a few questions about the report but, overall, the numbers are accurate. However, calculating how much one organization can be responsible for a business’ decision to relocate, expand or stay is difficult, he said.

“I’m worried about the interpretation. They may have counted everything and it’s fine, but the interpretation that this is all of their work, I’m not so sure it is. I don’t know.”

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.