New group sets out to find more businesses for Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com
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New group sets out to find more businesses for Carson City

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

A new economic development group will bring businesses to Carson City and surrounding rural counties in a way the area hasn’t seen in years, according to officials of the private group.

The membership-based Nevada Business Connections plans to bring in new manufacturers, retail stores and other businesses that will love the Carson City area once they learn more about it, said Executive Director Kris Holt.

Holt was the director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) from 1988 to 2002, but said the development authority doesn’t seem to be as interested in business recruitment anymore.

“They’re a whole different animal,” he said. “They’re doing their thing and doing a great job.”

NNDA has been the major regional economic development group for Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. It gets a little less than 40 percent of its funding from state and local governments.

But NNDA does recruit new businesses, said Executive Director Ron Weisinger, though it also works to get businesses to stay and expand.

Weisinger, who has been director for six years, said dynamics in the region have changed in the past few years, too, as land has gotten more expensive and the number of available workers has shrunk.

NNDA has also helped the region get ready for future industries, such as alternative energy, he said.

But Dick Silvera, president of the privately-funded Nevada Business Connections, said NNDA hasn’t been doing its job and that’s why a new group was necessary to promote business.

“It’s what I’m not seeing is the reason we’re doing this,” he said.

Nevada Business Connections offers annual memberships ranging from $300 to $1,200. According to the group’s Web site, three levels of membership offer businesses the chance to be showcased on television, to be included in a membership directory and a platform to schedule business recruiting trips with the new nonprofit organization.

The Carson City area is a great place to move for businesses, especially those from California, he said, and that’s why he and others talked to Holt about getting back into economic development.

Manufacturers that have between two and 80 employees will be one of the main types of businesses the group will try to attract, Holt said.

He listed Chromalloy, Sierra Mold Corp. and Harley-Davidson Credit as businesses he was proud to help lure to the area.

It’s time for this to start happening again, he said.

“I’ve had about a dozen businesses say, ‘Hey, we need something to happen,'” he said.

Nevada Business Connections will have its first meeting in July, and has had about 50 business join as members in the past few weeks.

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