Business + Economy

Regional Transportation Commission

The controversial Southeast Connector roadway project received final federal approval this week. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the thoroughfare will eventually connect South Reno to Sparks, easing congestion on Interstate 580 by offering an alternate route to many job sites, including Tesla's gigafactory.

At a press conference held by the Regional Transportation Commission Thursday in Reno, RTC Chair Neoma Jardon said this is more than just a new road, it's a job creator.

Nevada has the fewest wineries of any state, with just four filling our glasses today. While advocates want to grow the industry, there’s fear that the state could become a mere “suburb” of California wine with few bottles bearing a homegrown stamp. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports.

There are no commercial wineries in Washoe County, but UNR Professor Grant Cramer has been making wine in Reno for a decade.

Governor Brian Sandoval delivered testimony during a joint committee hearing Wednesday for his plan to increase business license fees in order to raise money for K-12 education. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Despite wide support for improving the state's lagging education system, Sandoval is charged with convincing a Republican-controlled legislature to raise taxes for the cause.

In a rousing speech, Sandoval made his case, saying economic development will suffer if the state can't create more revenue and devote it to students.

Alexa Ard

In the past, innovation often took place in isolated, suburban office parks where businesses could keep their "secrets secret." That's according to Jennifer Vey, a fellow for the Brookings Institution who studies the revitalization of urban areas and metropolitan economies.

Yevo International, the sister company to Nutrient Foods

A research and manufacturing company called Nutrient Foods is moving its headquarters to Reno, adding 300 jobs to the region. The company, based in New Jersey now, makes nutrient-dense meals as an alternative to processed foods, which can contain empty calories with little nutritional value.

Bryan McArdle is with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, or EDAWN.

SolarCity

Nevada is leading the nation in solar industry job growth. A new report from a nonprofit called the Solar Foundation says Nevada has the most solar jobs per-capita nationwide.

Just last year, the state added 3,500 jobs in that field, and a lot of those employees work for SolarCity in Southern Nevada. They've hired a thousand new workers since last spring.

Alexa Ard

When KJ Flippen took over as the owner of the Zephyr Bar in 2011, it was in his words, "a dive." Today, it's a thriving lounge located in the heart of MidTown. Flippen talks with Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli about the Z-Bar's transformation and what it's like to be a young entrepreneur.
 

Alexa Ard

Tech entrepreneurs are calling a stretch of First Street in downtown Reno Startup Row. Nate Pearson is one of them. His company TrainerRoad makes an app to help cyclists train for races. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss caught up with him for our series on local small business leaders.

Neal Cobb

As Reno has changed over the decades, so have the small businesses that set up shop here. No one knows this better than local historian Alicia Barber. 

Photo by Alexa Ard

Women-owned businesses in Nevada are growing faster in number and employment than other companies, according to a  2013 American Express studyJimmy Beans Wool started as a small yarn business in 2002 by knitting enthusiast Laura Zander. Last year, the company’s revenue exceeded $8 million.  Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray talks with Zander.

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