Stories for August 2020


Monday, August 31

Movie to start filming in Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville

Northern Nevada Development Authority and Visit Carson Valley’s cooperative partnership to promote Carson Valley as a film location is not only creating awareness, it is driving results. Filming begins in early September in Carson City (Telegraph Square), Minden, and Gardnerville for “Once Upon a Main Street,” a new Hartbreak Films Christmas movie to air on the Lifetime Channel this winter. The film company was also in Carson City earlier this month filming scenes for another Christmas movie titled “Feliz NaviDad.”

RSVP director retiring after 13 years

A leader in Carson City’s nonprofit community is retiring. Susan Haas, longtime executive director of Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc., is leaving the organization on Sept. 17 after 13 years.

Reno tech startup aims to revolutionize data security – all from inside an 18-server garage

Crytica Security’s patent-pending detection software is designed to shrink cybercrime dwell times from months to minutes. And the work is happening from inside company founder Kerry Nemovicher's garage.

Financial burden grows for mom-and-pop landlords months into pandemic

In Nevada, some mom-and-pop landlords say they’re being unfairly harmed by policies protecting tenants while leaving owners on a financial cliff. The state's eviction moratorium lifts Tuesday, and all indications point toward no easy solution, reports The Nevada Independent.

Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

A man walks dogs on a vacant lot in The Paseos village in Summerlin in Southern Nevada in 2017.

Weekly jobless claims in Nevada fall to lowest level since pandemic began

According to Nevada DETR, for the week ending Aug. 22, 10,938 new claims were filed with the state, all but 1,497 of which were in Clark and Washoe counties.

City of Reno offering $2.5 million in small business assistance (Voices)

The city of Reno is doling out $2.5 million in grants to assist small businesses that are economically distressed as a result of COVID-19, writes Aric A. Jensen.

1 year after first tenant, Village on Sage Street reaches 100% occupancy

According to the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, the average monthly income for the 216 Village on Sage Street tenants is $1,658.

People: Angela Bradley returns to Nevada State Bank as Small Business Relationship Manager

Angela Bradley, a third-generation Nevadan, recently returned to Nevada State Bank in the role of Small Business Relationship Manager for the Northern Nevada business team.

Sunday, August 30

Pro Group earns U.S. company of the year Alternative Risk Transfer Solutions award

Pro Group Captive Management Services, Inc. has been named the winner of the U.S. company of the year Alternative Risk Transfer Solutions award for the second year in a row. Since 2006, the ACQ Global Awards has recognized achievement, innovation, and brilliance in their annual award programs. Annually, surveys are conducted with more than 210,000 voters to identify the companies and individuals that are responding most successfully and intelligently to the issues, challenges and needs that face business. Those companies that bring expertise, world class solutions and contributions to their industry are among the elite award winners for 2020.

Kelly Bullis: Having trouble paying the IRS?

You know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so mad that I want to just fill my gas tank up with water and call it quits! (I had to borrow the above from one of my favorite sarcastic commentators, Earl Pitts.) When I hear one more radio commercial promising to get you out of trouble with the IRS… Folks! They are usually just Offer In Compromise (OIC) mills. They charge high fees to fill out the official IRS OIC forms, many are automatically disqualified 6 months later, but the poor, desperate taxpayer doesn’t know they’re being ripped off until it’s too late and now they have bigger troubles with the IRS than they did before.

Saturday, August 29

Carson City student receives martial arts academy from owner

Black belt Maddox Sweet, 14, helped purple belt Julian Romero, 10, with his punches and kicks last week. The repetitive exercises were essential for both to make sure they’re developing self-defense techniques and focusing on strategies for attack only if necessary. Maddox Sweet already has demonstrated his expertise in the martial arts and held this ranking for more than a year. Now, the Carson High School student has been given the No Limits Martial Arts Academy by retiring owner Shawn Goodner, and the young man is taking up the business with the help of his mother, Brenda Sweet, who is also a full-time real estate agent, in the studio’s location at 444 E. William St., suite 1.

Jim Valentine: Buying a rental property during COVID-19

The COVID-19 protections for tenants have caused changes in how income properties are bought and sold. Buyers aren’t allowed to enter the property to look at it so they have to rely on old pictures, pictures the tenant may have taken, or old pictures that the seller may have to share. Offers are made after the potential buyer does a drive by of the property to assess the neighborhood and outside condition of the property.

Nevada unemployment claims fall to lowest level since pandemic began

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic last week. For the week ending Aug. 22, just 10,938 new claims were filed with the state. On top of that, continued claims fell by 12,143 to 228,203. That is the fewest continued claims since the week ending April 11.

Friday, August 28

Tesla targeted in failed ransomware extortion scheme

BOSTON — In a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk solved a mystery involving a 27-year-old Russian, an insider at an unnamed corporation and an alleged million-dollar payment offered to help trigger a ransomware extortion attack on the firm. Prosecutors declined to name the target, but Musk was happy to oblige. According to the billionaire, the scheme took aim at the electric car company's 1.9 million-square-foot factory in Northern Nevada, which makes batteries for Tesla vehicles and energy storage units.

In a week of layoffs, MGM Resorts adds 18,000 more

MGM Resorts is laying off 18,000 people as an unchecked pandemic leaves economic scars across numerous U.S. industries, particularly those that really on healthy crowds of people. Casinos in Nevada closed March 17. Unemployment in the state reached 28.2%, topping levels last seen during the Great Depression. Casinos reopened in early June, but the climb back has been long and slow.

Over a month in, Nevada's rental assistance program has paid out about $2 million of its $60 million allotment

"A little frustrated that we're experiencing those challenges, but we're continuing to work through it,” said Amy Jones, head of the Reno Housing Authority, which is administering a $5 million pot of the money.

Biz & Books review: ‘Blue Collar Cash’ eschews white-collar tradition

Depending on your path in life and work, “Blue Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life” may be the right book for you.

Lawyers launch new Nevada law firm, Black & Wadhams Attorneys at Law

Attorneys Tisha R. Black and James L. Wadhams launched the Las Vegas-based firm — with offices in Carson City and Reno — earlier this month.

People: Marie Cove, Thaaron Kalt, Haley Munns earn promotions at Casey Neilon

Marie Cove, CPA, and Thaaron Kalt, CPA, were promoted to managers, and Haley Munns was promoted to senior accountant.

Nevada's COVID-19 task force denies request by Elko County to reopen bars

According to the state, Elko County meets all three of the state’s risk factors for elevated spread of COVID-19, including a state-high 16.8% test positivity rate. Bars, wineries and breweries in Washoe and Clark counties also remain closed.

Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Evening rush hour traffic streak on Idaho Street in Elko on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

Vail Resorts announces COVID-impacted operating plan for 2020-21 ski season

"We believe this approach will help ensure a safe experience for everyone, while prioritizing access for our pass holders," says Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz.

Thursday, August 27

Courtesy state of Nevada

Nevada's CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) launched in mid-July.

The Mirage joins Las Vegas hotels open after coronavirus hiatus

LAS VEGAS — Another iconic Las Vegas Strip resort has joined casinos that have reopened since being closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Mirage reopened Thursday in what MGM Resorts International chief executive Bill Hornbuckle called a step toward economic recovery for employees and the community.

Buzz Harris: Buying a business? Have a good ‘entrance strategy’ (Voices)

"A well-written offer to purchase will contain all the language necessary to successfully transfer a business while offering a number of contingencies that will give both the buyer and seller the required safeguards," writes Buzz Harris.

Casinos win $756.8M in July, 'exceeding expectations,' still down 26% from last year

Smaller markets outside of Vegas and those that get the majority of their win from slots are recovering much faster than those depending more heavily on game and table win.

Northern Nevada tech startups growing fast thanks to UNR incubator

“In our industry, biotech, first and foremost you need lab space,” Jonathan Hull told the NNBW. “In the Bay Area, typically what you’re faced with is an incubator where you don’t get your own space. In that scenario, how are you supposed to develop intellectual property or keep something secret from another company?"

Northern Nevada's jobless rate continues to trend far better than the south

Updated stats released Wednesday from Nevada DETR confirmed a continuing trend — Reno-Sparks and Carson City jobless rates in July were roughly 8%, compared to more than 16% in Southern Nevada.

Largest class yet graduates from UNR's Online Executive MBA program

The 34 graduates have an average of 14 years of work experience and their employers include General Electric, Walmart, Caesar's Entertainment, United Parcel Service, Barrick Nevada Cortez Mine, Affinity Gaming, Washoe County School District and IGT, among many more.

Courtesy: UNR

The College of Business celebrated the largest cohort of graduates yet during its virtual Online Executive MBA celebration. on Aug. 15.

People: Sam Crano, Don Lomoljo promoted to new officer roles at Public Utilities Commission of Nevada

Sam Crano first joined the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada in 2007; Don Lomoljo first joined back in 2001.

Wednesday, August 26

Nevada job gains continue but slowly

Carson City has added 800 jobs since June, cutting its jobless rate to 8 percent. The Reno/Sparks metropolitan area was in similar shape with 1,500 more jobs and a jobless rate of 8.1 percent since June. But since Las Vegas still has an unemployment rate double that in western Nevada, the statewide rate remains 14.2 percent.

Nevada gaming win makes major improvement in July but still down from 2019

Nevada casinos rebounded in July, winning $756.8 million. “This month’s numbers, I think, exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Gaming Control Board analyst Mike Lawton. That’s a major improvement over the $566.8 million casinos won in June but still 26.2 percent or $268 million less than they won in July 2019.

Sierra Nevada Realtors elects 2021 board

For Sierra Nevada Realtors, election season is over. The association, whose members serve rural Northern Nevada areas including Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, Dayton, and Fallon, just held elections for its 2021 Board of Directors. Next year’s board members include:

‘Femtech’ startup Lily Bird spreading its wings in Reno

Lily Bird’s founders, Sydney Larson and Jason Holloway, were living in San Francisco when they initially formed the company. They relocated to Reno in 2018 — and then things took off, writes the NNBW's Kaleb M. Roedel.

Nevada cannabis board cracking down on pot companies late on taxes, license fees

Board Executive Director Tyler Klimas told The Nevada Independent on Tuesday 18 Nevada cannabis licensees — who hold a collective 48 licenses across the state — had outstanding tax debts ranging from $500 to $4 million that dated back as far as March 2019.

Photo: Jeff Scheid / the Nevada Independent

Cannabis on display at Reef Dispensaries on Feb. 15, 2017.

Nonprofit Spotlight: What COVID Life is teaching us about inclusion

"Our greatest lesson learned and biggest secret … people are people first; we ALL have different abilities," writes LaVonne Brooks of High Sierra Industries / iCelerate.

People: Alan Cunningham new Chief Information Officer for state of Nevada

Cunningham has served as the Washoe County School District’s Information Security Officer since 2016, following a 14-year IT career in the private sector.

Northern NV businesses help raise over $25,000 for Operation Backpack

Operation Backpack, Volunteer of America’s (VOA-NCNN) annual drive for students in need, collected over $85,000 in a recent virtual drive, thanks to a collaborative effort among 19 businesses, 9 corporate sponsors and over 900 donors.

People: John Lilley joins Donor Network West as VP of Organ Operations

John Lilley, who returned to Donor Network West in 2018 as Regional Director for Nevada, is a UNR alum and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Tuesday, August 25

Photo: Lily Bird

Sydney Larson, co-founder of Lily Bird, uses a forklift to move pallets of products at the company’s headquarters in Reno.

After COVID halts business and black-tie fundraiser, Reno entrepreneur pivots to launch Bio Sealed

Over the last six months, many entrepreneurs big and small have been forced to pivot amid the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps no one epitomizes the importance of the pivot that more than Reno's Chad Grayot.

As online gambling expands in the U.S., experts worry Nevada could be left behind

The second quarter of 2020 was the first time that online gambling recorded higher revenues than sports betting across America, which was legalized in May 2018. So why is Nevada so far behind the curve? Read the full story from Howard Stutz and The Nevada Independent.

Courtesy iStock

Online gambling has led to solid revenues in some states, but not Nevada.

Covering Your Assets: Pending legislation could create serious cash flow for businesses (Voices)

"I am generally not a fan of tracking legislation through the process. This is one time, however, that a business owner will want to be aware of a very timely infusion of cash, albeit through a credit, to keep the business afloat," writes Mike Bosma regarding the federal HEALS and HEROES acts.

Nevada State Bank hosting pair of food drives to benefit local food bank

“Giving back to the community is one of our core values at Nevada State Bank,” says Nevada State Bank Northern Nevada Region Manager Debby Herman.

People: Barnard Vogler's Teela McCullar earns Professional Achievement Award from UNR alumni

Teela McCullar joined Barnard Vogler & Co. in 2005 and became a director in 2014 and shareholder in 2016.

City of Reno adopts law banning sales of dogs, cats in pet stores

The prohibition impacts all existing and future pet stores; the law does not limit stores from providing space to an animal rescue organization to offer adoption of dogs and cats.

Monday, August 24

1-week window opens for Nevada businesses to apply for up to $10K in commercial rent assistance

The program is using $20 million of Coronavirus Relief Funds to assist businesses and nonprofits that have experienced significant revenue declines; 2,000-3,000 businesses are expected to receive grants of up to $10,000 in commercial rent assistance.

Courtesy: Nevada GOED

Eligible entities can receive up to $10,000, or up to three months in rent, whichever is less.

Nevada jobless rate improves slightly to 14% as slow recovery continues

Nevada finished the month with an unemployment rate of 14 percent after adding 14,800 jobs in July. Total employment in the state is now at 1.28 million.

Courtesy Graphs: DETR

Nevada's July jobless rate of 14 percent is well below the U.S. rate, which stood at 10.2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Reno+Sparks Chamber, Eide Bailly partner to donate $3K to three entities

Bella Grey Medical Spa, For Kids Foundation and Ferino Distillery each received $1,000 thanks to the partnership between Eide Bailly and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

A look inside Northern NV's first-ever freestanding emergency department

Roughly 30 board-certified physicians and emergency-trained nurses, as well as diagnostic imaging and lab technicians, will staff the new ER at McCarran NW, an extension of Northern Nevada Medical Center.

Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel / NNBW

A look inside the ER at McCarran NW, which will operate 24/7, seven days a week once opened, on Aug. 17.

Reno-area businesses sought to support SOS Washoe laptop donation efforts

Businesses are being asked to sponsor computers for individual schools — or classrooms in individual schools, including the public charter schools overseen by the Washoe County School District.

People: Tami Eifert earns RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award

During her years as a RE/MAX agent, Eifert, a third-generation Nevada, has earned the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and the e-PRO designations.

Sunday, August 23

Nevada jobless rate drops a percent in July as slow recovery continues

Nevada’s unemployment rate fell 1.2 percent in July as the state’s slow recovery continued. The state finished the money at 14 percent after adding 14,800 jobs during the month. Total employment in the state is now at 1.28 million. Employment, Training and Rehabilitation director Elisa Cafferata said she is encouraged that more people are going back to work but that, “we still have a long way to go.

Friday, August 21

Governor appoints new state information technology officer

Gov. Steve Sisolak has named Alan Cunningham as the new state Chief Information Officer to direct the state’s information technology operations. He has been the Washoe School District’s information security officer since 2016 after a 14-year IT career in the private sector.

In Plain Sight Marketing welcomes three new team members

In Plain Sight Marketing LLC announces the addition of three new members to the Carson City based marketing and public relations agency. Sierra Davies, MBA, was added as a new an account manager, Pierce Baker as a public relations specialist and Elizabeth Pearson as a public relations coordinator. Davies will manage the day-to-day accounts of several IPSM clients while Baker and Pearson will assist various clients with social media managing, writing and content creation.

Jim Valentine: Still more questions for your agent

Showing feedback is important for Listing Agents and Sellers alike. It is a peek into the perception of a Buyer that has looked at your home. They are asked to give their opinion on price. Are they interested in the property after seeing it? Additional comments they may have. After a showing Sellers want to ask their Agent what the people thought that went through their home. Ideally you will get the opinion of the Buyer and their Agent. It is amazing how few Agents are providing feedback these days. You can ask your Agent what the feedback was, but if they aren’t getting it there isn’t much they can do without the cooperation of the other Agent.

Kelly Bullis: Early distribution from retirement if NOT in 2020

Come on? Haven’t we already heard enough from you about retirement plans Kelly? Well, a lot of folks want to know more than just the special rules for 2020 only. When you are under 59 ½ and take an early distribution from your qualified retirement account, normally there is a 10% penalty along with paying regular income tax on that distribution. (Except in 2020, read two week’s prior article for more on that.) There are exceptions. Let’s take a little detour. Can you imagine a GPS navigator talking like an IRS instruction publication? “Turn right on Main Street, unless you are driving a red car, in which case, you could turn left, but then you would need to turn left again immediately, at which point you can choose if you want to go one or two blocks before turning left again…”

Report details continued problems with Nevada's bifurcated unemployment system, hurdles to appealing PUA denials

"We're going downhill. I can't understand why we're saying we're doing such a great job. We're losing ground," said plaintiff attorney Mark Thierman regarding the state's response to unemployment claims.

Shipping company to fill 200 jobs at 900,000 sq. ft. North Valleys distribution center

A combined warehouse and office space, Uline’s project is expected to bring 200 jobs to the area; many of which will be warehouse associate positions that range from $19 to $25 per hour.

Bars remain closed in Clark, Washoe counties as COVID-19 task force approves minor mitigation measures

“I’m not yet convinced opening bars (in Washoe County) is the best solution to stop the spread of disease,” Caleb Cage, chair of the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, said Thursday.

Photo: Kevin MacMillan

Sierra Tap House in downtown Reno is seen March 21, boarded up and closed during the first round of mandatory closures this spring. After reopening in June, the bar is among hundreds in the state that re-closed July 10 due to state orders.

People: Fatih Ozmen gets second term on National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group

Fatih Ozmen, CEO and co-owner of Sierra Nevada Corporation in Sparks, was recently nominated by Vice President Mike Pence and appointed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

$1 million in grants available for Nevada breweries, food, ag businesses

Eligible applicants include agriculture employers or producers; farmers markets and food hubs; USDA-approved meat processing facilities; or breweries, wineries, and distilleries that use at least 51 percent Nevada grown product.

People: Bronagh M. Kelly earns State Bar of Nevada's Young Leader of the Year Award

Kelly, a native of Ireland, has been practicing law in the U.S. since 2012. In 2016, she relocated to Reno and joined Woodburn and Wedge, transitioning her practice from commercial defense litigation to family law.

Thursday, August 20

Q-and-A: Barbara Buckley on progress of Nevada ‘strike force’ tackling backlogged jobless claims

Two weeks after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a “strike force” to help resolve a backlog of unemployment claims, the head of the effort — former Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley — told The Nevada Independent several key initiatives are getting off the ground this week.

Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Barbara E. Buckley, executive director of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, during an interview on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Company looks to hire 500 security jobs in Reno area due to 'high demand'

According to Allied Universal, the security services industry in Reno-Sparks has grown “approximately 100%” over the last five years due to the city’s economic boom.

Four companies relocating, expanding to Reno-Sparks to fill 600 jobs

“I really have come to love this city over the past year,” says Matthew Gould, CEO of Unstoppable Domains, one of four new companies recently announced to have relocation/expansion plans for Reno-Sparks.

Meadows Bank total assets surpass $1 billion for first time

A little more than 10 years into existence, Meadows Bank reached $1.1 billion in Total Assets as of June 30, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time.

People: Melissa Molyneaux promoted to EVP at Colliers International

The job title is awarded to Colliers International brokers with 15 years of commercial real estate experience and consistently high transaction volume.

Wednesday, August 19

Connecting the dots: new-to-Reno fintech company gaining steam

Red Dot Management, a fintech firm specializing in acquiring and resolving third-party liability claims from motor vehicle accidents, launched in 2015. Five years later, after secured more than $50 million in debt financing, the firm now calls Reno home.

Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

Michael Bumann2 Michael Bumann sits at his desk inside Red Dot Management’s 3,385-square-foot office space in Reno. The company relocated to Northern Nevada from Colorado in the fall of 2019.

Ann Silver: Focus on clean energy will aid economic rebound (Voices)

"As our communities recognize the need for clean air, clean water and clean energy, we can realize the development benefits that come from expanding beyond our significant tourism and gaming industry," writes Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

People: Mary Powell new leader of American Red Cross of Northern Nevada

Mary Powell, who grew up in Gardnerville and attended Douglas High, is the new executive director of the American Red Cross of Northern Nevada.

Storey County Commission OKs permit for medical incinerator at TRIC

The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center's largest landowner, Blockchains LLC, remains concerned with Stericycle’s track record on environmental compliance issues and believes the presence of the facility could adversely affect future development.

Photo: David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Wild horses at the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

Mangia Tutto owner takes lease for Bank Saloon in Carson City

The Nevada Builders Alliance, owner of the soon-to-be reopened Bank Saloon, has leased the space to Richard Braigel, owner of the Mangia Tutto restaurant.

People: Dan Westman joins Agate Construction as field operations manager

Dan Westman’s extensive experience includes more than 25 years of high density multifamily projects and more than 40 years of commercial construction.

Tuesday, August 18

Judge won't force Sisolak to open Nevada bars

LAS VEGAS — A Nevada judge has rejected a bid to force Gov. Steve Sisolak to lift a bar closure order he re-imposed July 27 to prevent people from gathering and spreading COVID-19. An attorney for 62 area bars didn't immediately respond Tuesday to messages about whether he'll appeal Judge Kerry Earley's order late Monday endorsing the governor's decision to close bars as within his power and "rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose."

Nevada Dental Association VP: ‘We’re hoping there’s not another resurgence’ of COVID

“In any business, sometimes if you have a bad month or two, depending on how large the percentage is, that can be a half a year or more to recover from that," Nevada Dental Association VP Dr. Jason Doucette said in a Q-and-A with the NNBW.

With commercial eviction moratorium lifted, Nevada's small businesses bank on landlord communication, creative ways to pay rent

New Reno business Black Rabbit Mead is just one of Nevada's 254,337 small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, 25 percent of which are having difficulties meeting rent obligations, according to The Nevada Independent.

Photo: Tabitha Mueller / The Nevada Independent

Will Truce and Jake Conway pose for a photo at Black Rabbit Mead in Reno on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020.

Michael Bosma: Analysis of President Trump’s executive order (Voices)

Perhaps the biggest unintended consequence to the executive orders is the impact on valuations of multi-family residential projects, as landlords will have limited ability to evict under the order, which limits cash flow and, consequently, valuations. As a result, investors should approach residential real estate cautiously," writes Mike Bosma.

RE/MAX Realty Affiliates’ Reno is first Nevada branch sold to RE/MAX Gold

As part of the sale, the entire 57-person RE/MAX Realty Affiliates Reno team will transition to the RE/MAXGold brand; further, broker Amy Lessinger now joins RE/MAX World Headquarters as Vice President of Business Growth and Development for the Western States Region.

Reno Fire Dept. supports businesses through sale of Battle Born gear

A list of 22 businesses has been compiled for the Reno Fire Department to distribute money raised from the sale of Battle Born-themed gear.

People: Dr. Jeff Murawsky new Chief Medical Director at SilverSummit Healthplan

Most recently, Dr. Murawsky served as CMO for Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.

Monday, August 17

NNBW Editor: 2020 Best In Business contest underway with nomination period

We at the NNBW couldn’t be more pleased to wrap up the summer with some celebration for all the hard-working people and businesses that make Northern Nevada such a special place to live and work.

First week of August sees rise in Nevada jobless claims, fall in PUA claims

Initial claims for unemployment insurance in Nevada rose by 4,000 from the previous week, totaling over 17,700 claims in the first week of August. Continued claims also increased to almost 336,000 claims, up 8,000 claims from last week.

Reno SERVPRO franchise earns ‘Outstanding Performance’ award

Michael and Kimberley Grashuis, franchisees of the Ren-area SERVPRO branch, were honored during the company's 51st annual convention last month.

Nevada delays rolling out mitigation measures for Nevada's 'elevated risk' COVID counties

While Carson City and Lincoln counties were removed from the state's watch list last week, all existing restrictions remain in effect — including the closure of bars, pubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries and wineries — in Clark, Washoe, Nye and Elko counties.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Governor Steve Sisolak during a press conference on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in the former Assembly chambers inside the Capital in Carson City.

'Hooked' on the outdoors: Sporting goods, gear shops seeing strong summer sales

NDOW reports that fishing license sales in Nevada are up a whopping 46%, with 55,204 licenses purchased this year as of mid-August. It's the biggest YOY increase ever and part of the reason why local outdoor rec/gear shops are seeing an influx in sales.

Photo: Kimera Collective

Jim Litchfield, owner of Reno Fly Shop in downtown, unfurls a line while fly-fishing in Northern Nevada. Litchfield says his shop has seen an influx of beginner and novice anglers this year.

Virginia Street Project nearly done through Midtown; 2-way traffic returns

Opening back up to two-way traffic was achieved three months early due to modified business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed Sierra Nevada Construction crews to work faster.

Sunday, August 16

Kelly Bullis: Trump’s payroll tax holiday

Well, somebody once said, “The only constant in the universe is change.” When it comes to taxes, in 2020, that is sooo true! We’ve had several acts by Congress and even the president through executive order. Now we get another one. I think it is interesting that another Trump executive order at the same time was to increase the unemployment benefits by $400 a week and then his critics complain that this executive order only benefits folks who work. Do they realize that the extended unemployment benefits only help those who DON’T work? Well, I’m glad there is something out there for working folks, not just unemployed folks.

Jim Valentine: Questions for your agent

Communication is important when you are buying and selling real estate. In a dynamic market it is critical that you are in steady contact with your agent. There are four primary means by which you can communicate with your agent and we recommend that you identify with your agent which will be the most effective between you in assorted circumstances.

Saturday, August 15

Cheryl Evans sells property management business

Cheryl Evans with NAI Alliance Carson City is retiring and has sold her property management business to Kevin Sigstad, RE/MAX Premier Properties. “RE/MAX Premier Properties is a great fit,” said Evans. “They have extensive property management experience and a stellar reputation in both the Carson City and Reno markets. I am ready to spend more time with my grandchildren, but I will stay on as long as necessary to be sure the transition is seamless.”

Casey Neilon promotes three team members

Casey Neilon, an accounting consultancy with offices in Reno and Carson City, announced the promotion of three employees in August. Senior Accountants Marie Cove, CPA and Thaaron Kalt, CPA were promoted to Managers and Haley Munns was promoted from Staff Accountant to Senior Accountant.

Friday, August 14

Record high in July: Reno's median home price tops $459K as demand soars

The news comes on the heels of a luxury home report from Nevada State Bank that showed in 2019, Northern Nevada's high-value real estate market accounted for 418 home sales in 2019, an increase of 4.8 percent over 2018. The average luxury home price was over $1.8 million in 2019.

Photo: Getty Images

The median home sales price in Reno set a new record of $459,900 in July, representing a 9.5% increase from July 2019 and a 10.8% uptick from June 2020.

Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce expands to Northern Nevada

Over the past several months, chamber membership has skyrocketed from seven to more than 60 members, prompting the expansion to Northern Nevada.


The Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada logo.

People: Keely Chevallier joins Nevada ENT and Hearing Associates

Dr. Chevallier comes to Nevada ENT from David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, where she served for four years, most recently as the Officer in Charge of the combined ENT, Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Clinic.

Troon to manage Red Hawk Golf and Resort in Sparks

“Red Hawk is a fantastic property that we welcome the opportunity to manage and improve upon,” said Mitch Harrell, president of Troon Golf.

People: Nicole Bishop promoted to regional director at Donor Network West

Nicole Bishop, who joined Donor Network West in 2015, holds a B.S. from the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno.

People: Joren Knockaert new CEO of Deceuninck North America

Joren Knockaert became the new CEO of Deceuninck North America — which operates a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Fernley — effective Aug. 1.

Thursday, August 13

Q-and-A: Nevada study author identifies Black entrepreneurship as a way to bridge racial wealth gap

Tiffiany Howard, a UNLV professor and recent Congressional Black Caucus Foundation senior research fellow, is the lead author of the study aimed at identifying ways banks can help support and invest in Black entrepreneurs.

Photo: Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services

UNLV Political Science Professor Tiffany Howard.

Bently Ranch closes butcher shop; COVID economy 'forced our hand'

“This is a decision we have been considering for some time ... but the recent decline in economic conditions has forced our hand.”

People: Alexia Jobson elected as president of WIN Nevada for 2020-21

Alexia Jobson, public affairs manager of REMSA/Care Flight, was recently elected president of Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) for the 2020-21 term.

Several Carson City development projects moving ahead, if slowly

“Lenders are a little more spooked in this market,” said Roger Rempfer, the developer working on Silver Crest Condominiums, a 51-unit condo project on Roland Street in Carson City.

Photo: Anne Knowles

Jackson Village is a long-planned single family development now under construction on Eagle Station Lane.

One Nevada Credit Union opens new Lemmon Valley branch

The new Lemmon Valley location marks the third branch for One Nevada in Northern Nevada and the 15th branch in the state.

People: George Pickard new CEO of Northern Nevada Regional MLS

George Pickard previously served NNRMLS as Chief Technology Officer, working in concert with two previous CEOs to develop, communicate and implement the company vision.

Wednesday, August 12

Smith’s recalls cheese dips because of possible health risk

Smith’s is recalling cheese dips sold at their stores because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Sisolak signs business liability and worker protection bill

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation Tuesday expanding workplace safety protections for hotel and casino employees and shielding businesses that follow health directives from coronavirus-related lawsuits. "It's about acknowledging that Nevada relies heavily on the single industry — the hospitality industry. In order to make it through this historic storm," he said. "We must ensure that that industry survives."

Financial analyst bullish on Reno-Sparks being a post-COVID winner

Months into the pandemic, many states and regions are in stages of recovery, some slower than others — and Reno-Sparks is in a much better position than most, says Sacramento financial analyst Sanjay Varshney.

Carson Tahoe Health, Renown South Meadows tie for top hospital in Nevada

In separate press releases, Alan Garrett, CEO of Carson Tahoe Health (left), and Tony Slonim, CEO of Renown Health, lauded the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Gay, Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada expands to Carson City

The Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada is announcing its expansion to the Northern Nevada LGBTQ+ business community. The advocacy nonprofit provides business development opportunities, financial access, educational resources, supplier diversity and procurement opportunities to LGBTQ+ and allied business professionals statewide.

Working Together: Accessing talent in the COVID-era job market (Voices)

With everything going on related to COVID-19 and Northern Nevada's workforce, "how can businesses think creatively about accessing the talent that’s out there and help reduce the fear or burden of returning to work?"

People: Letitia Anderson, Abhinaya Rao new physicians for Northern Nevada Medical Group

Dr. Anderson will join Northern Nevada Medical Group's cardiology practice at 2385 E. Prater Way in Sparks, while Dr. Rao is located at 5265 Vista Blvd. in Sparks.

Sisolak signs COVID liability bill granting protections to many Nevada businesses

“This bill isn’t about economic expansion, it’s about our state’s economic survival. It’s about acknowledging that Nevada relies heavily on a single industry — the hospitality industry,” Sisolak said Tuesday.

Zoom screenshot

Gov. Steve Sisolak holds up newly-signed SB4 over Zoom on August 11, 2020.

People: Nissa Rundberg elected as chair of Nevada Society of CPAs

Nissa Rundberg, who has served on the Nevada Society of Certified Public Accountants for several years, is a Tax Manager with CliftonLarsenAllen in Reno.

Tuesday, August 11

Carson High Class of 2020 proudly featured on downtown banners

Those who have been traveling along the downtown section of Carson Street since July 22 will have noticed the many young faces on the colorful banners now gracing our light poles. Those faces belong to graduates of Carson High whose parents elected to honor their 2020 graduate in this most public and unusual manner allowing the citizens of Carson to honor them as well.

Michael Bosma: 8 mistakes to avoid when selling your business (Voices)

"The best transactions are defined by sellers being willing to set their ego aside for the benefit of their customers and employees," writes Mike Bosma.

Spare some change? Retail slowdown fuels nationwide coin shortage

BJ North, chief banking officer for Plumas Bank, says that throughout the pandemic, Plumas has seen “wide variation” in the business impact of coin availability across the region.

People: Stormie Ortez joins Nevada housing authority's 'Home At Last' team

Stormie Ortez previously worked in support services at the Public Employees Retirement System. Prior to PERS, she worked in loss mitigation at Greater Nevada Credit Union.

Nevada Gold Mines settles unfair labor practice complaint, recognizes union

After declining to recognize a union that represented a portion of its employees for more than 50 years, Nevada Gold Mines is reversing course as part of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board, The Nevada Independent reports.

Black businesses leaders in Nevada discuss challenges to entrepreneurial growth

In 2018, Black people accounted for only 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large corporations; further, there are only three Black CEOs in the Fortune 500. “When you have a situation like that, you have a mentality at the top of the company that trickles down through the rest of the organization,” says Jon James, a Reno-based entrepreneur.

Courtesy Zoom

Myisha Williams, cofounder and managing partner of MYS, a Las Vegas-based professional services firm, speaks during the virtual Black Business Forum hosted by the UNR Innevation Center on Aug. 5.

People: Adam Heuer elected chair of Nevada Independent Insurance Agents

Adam Heuer of Heuer Insurance has served on the NIIA board for more than 10 years and also serves on the board of Nevada Young Agents.

Monday, August 10

Mangia Tutto owner takes lease for Bank Saloon in Carson City

The Bank Saloon has a barkeep. The Nevada Builders Alliance, the historic property’s owner, has leased the space to Richard Braigel, owner of the Mangia Tutto restaurant on Stewart Street.

Coworking spaces see uptick in inquiries as pandemic keeps entrepreneurs, startups stuck at home

"I hate (office) leases. They’re terrible. Imagine having a lease for three years during COVID? You’d just be spewing money," says Stuart McLeod, CEP of Karbon, a Bay Area-based computer software company with an office inside Reno Hive.

Kelly Bullis: Early 2020 retirement distribution? Check this out

Forget what you’ve heard or read prior to 2020. Much of that went out the window, but just for 2020, then it all goes back to the old rules in 2021. What am I talking about? Normally, if you take a distribution from a retirement account prior to turning 59 ½, there is a 10% tax penalty on top of the regular tax. (Sure there are some exceptions such as Disability, Medical Emergency, Paying Medical Insurance Premiums, Paying for Higher Education, and 1st Time Home Purchase. I won’t get into those at this time. Maybe another day soon.)

Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

Jon James, a Reno-based entrepreneur, is pictured last week at the Reno Hive coworking space in downtown Reno.

Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

Jay Ridgeway, right, and Stuart McLeod, of computer software company Karbon, work inside their shared private office inside Reno Hive, which has 11,000 square feet of space.

PA-based fulfillment, logistics company expands to Reno; 50-70 jobs on tap

Jay Group is leasing 126,916 square feet of industrial space near the airport. The company expects to have 35 employees hired in Reno by Dec. 1; staff should grow to 50-70 over the next year.

NNBW Editor: Top 15 stories of the last 3 months (Voices)

Much like quarterly finance reports serve as an appropriate benchmark to evaluate success on the business side of the operation, it’s important for us in the news industry to take stock every 12 weeks or so and review our top-performing stories.

UNR, Ormat Technologies receive $15.3M grant for geothermal energy efforts

“Nevada’s work to support geothermal energy plays a critical part in the development of viable, renewable sources of energy to power our state while protecting our environment,” said U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.

Aug. 14 deadline to apply for Northern Nevada United Way microgrants

Eligible organizations must have an annual budget of less than $1 million and work within education or human services.

People: Brian Cassidy of Junk King appointed as STEP2 president for 2020-21

Brian Cassidy, owner of Junk King Reno, and his family moved to Reno in 2014; he was recently named 2020-21 president of the STEP2 board.

Sunday, August 9

Jim Valentine: COVID-19 continues, but market is busy

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives in ways we don’t necessarily totally understand yet. When things were shut down plans to protect tenants from eviction and landlords from foreclosure were put in place immediately. Time goes on and many of those protection policies have been extended, but the consequences aren’t really clear.

Saturday, August 8

Five tips for buying or selling a home mid-COVID

In these unprecedented times, there are some important steps to take to ensure a smooth real estate transaction. Members of Sierra Nevada Realtors from rural Northern Nevada shared their insights about this new world and recommend the following five tips to help navigate the process of buying or selling a home a little more easily. Buyers should take extra time to prepare for showings

Friday, August 7

Reno named a top U.S. city for corporate relocations, expansions in next year

According to the Site Selectors Guild, the pandemic is shifting corporations’ radar away from big cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago and toward mid-size cities like Reno.

Photo: Getty Images

The pandemic has brought mid-size cities like Reno into the forefront for future corporate expansion projects, according to the Site Selectors Guild.

Western Title: 5 tips to prevent wire fraud when buying a home

Cybercrime and hacking have been around since the first phone in the 1870s. While the criminals are growing more persistent and clever, the escrow industry evolves with it.

Photo: Getty Images

Be sure to check all the safety boxes, especially from a cybersecurity standpoint, en route to buying the home of your dreams.

Nevada Gold Mines suspends Long Canyon Mine plan to conduct more environmental studies

Nevada Gold Mines "intends to complete additional studies and planning to reduce the impacts of the project" at Long Canyon Mine, The Nevada Independent reports.

Former Nevada Assembly speaker Buckley to head 'strike force' to fix unemployment woes

“We need the backlog reduced. People are barely hanging on," Barbara Buckely said Thursday about continuing issues with Nevada's jobless claims system.

Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Barbara E. Buckley, executive director of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, during an interview on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Northern NV companies donate drive-in movie event for children’s cancer foundation

Peterbilt Truck Parts and Equipment, Silver State International, Quick Space, Granite Construction Supply, Camelot Party Rentals and Cumulus Media Group all partnered on the red event for the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation.

People: Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve voted as new chair of RSCVA board

It marks the first time since 2010 a female will chair the board. Other new officers include Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce CEO Ann Silver and Nugget Casino Resort General Manager Mark Sterbens.

Thursday, August 6

UNR, Wolf Pack Meats step up to help Nevada ranchers stay in business

With the food industry suffering from decreased supply and increased demand due to COVID-19, UNR and Wolf Pack Meats have increased production to help local producers and ranchers stay in business.

Online retail success leads to taxable sales increases in Douglas County

Despite concerns about tax revenues due to the coronavirus closures, Douglas County merchants reported taxable sales were actually up one-half point in May.

Photo: Kurt Hildebrand

Pier 1 Imports at Carson Valley Plaza was one of the victims of the coronavirus shutdowns, with the national retailer recently filing for bankruptcy.

New apartments in Sparks open Aug. 15; rents range from $1,100 to $1,500

“Parq Crossing fills a critical need for high-end, yet reasonably priced housing in the Reno/Sparks market," said Chris McCoy of Guardian Capital.

People: Alan Tom new executive director of Hot August Nights

Alan Tom replaces Mike Whan as leader of Hot August Nights; Whan will mentor Tom through the 2021 event, considering this year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Nevada lawmakers adopt COVID liability bill for businesses; hospitals, schools exempted

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities bemoaned their exclusion from the bill, schools argued against a last-minute amendment excluding them from liability protections and local health districts questioned why they weren’t consulted over new provisions that give them an enhanced oversight role over hotels.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Assembly members Sandra Jauregui, left, and and Steve Yeager and on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 during the sixth day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City.

Nevada State Bank named top SBA lender for 2019

The U.S. SBA's Nevada office recently named Nevada State Bank the No. 1 state lender “for its commitment to providing critical capital to Nevada’s small businesses in 2019."

Wednesday, August 5

While navigating new way of doing business, Reno-Carson salons and barbers prep for another potential shutdown

For businesses like East 50 Barbershop in Carson City and TresImage in Reno, revenue is slowly returning after the spring shutdown — but "we have to be prepared" for possible additional restrictions if the COVID situation worsens in the fall.

What's Up Downtown: It takes all the little things to make a whole lot of good (Voices)

"It’s important that our downtown continue to remain clean and become more beautiful with street art, landscaping and lighting," writes Alex Stettinski of the Downtown Reno Partnership.

People: EDAWN's Amy Fleming promoted to Director of Workforce Development

In the new full-time role with EDAWN, Fleming will be focused on aligning the regional workforce development system to meet employer needs.

Chase opens new Sparks branch, bank's 10th in Northern Nevada

The new Chase branch opened July 28 at the corner of Pyramid and Los Altos parkways.

Amid new protocols, Lake Tahoe's lodging industry slowly recovering

At Lake Tahoe, as hotels and casino resorts reopen amid new sanitization and cleaning protocols, concerns abound that the region's lucrative vacation home rental industry doesn't have not have the same standards and is not being regulated.

Contentious COVID business liability, worker protection bill advances in Nevada Senate

The legislation has dominated the behind-the-scenes conversations during the session and is the culmination of a deal between some of the state’s most powerful political interests, including casinos, business groups and the Culinary Union.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

The view outside the Nevada Legislature on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020.

Tuesday, August 4

Pot's big pivot: After rolling out delivery and curbside, cannabis sales see comeback in Nevada

Thanks to the implementation of curbside pick-up and delivery, the Silver State’s cannabis companies are rebounding well from the pandemic, so much so that 2020 sales may even exceed 2019 year-over-year, despite the shut-down of storefronts this spring.

NASA's Perseverance is 14th Mars mission supported by Sierra Nevada Corporation

The Perseverance mission, which launched July 30, marks the 14th Mars mission that Sierra Nevada Corporation in Sparks has supported through the company's various parts and components.

Courtesy: Sierra Nevada Corporation

An artist’s rendering of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on Mars.

Michael Bosma: Comparing the economic crisis of 2008 to now (Voices)

One of the big differences between now and 2008 is the economy’s strength at the beginning of 2020 — and the banking system’s ability to lend during this pandemic — has helped us avoid a full-blown financial crisis, writes Mike Bosma in his latest Covering Your Assets column.

30 Nevada businesses get $150K in SBA funding for international trade

Since introduction of the GOED STEP program in 2011, nearly $1.6 million has been awarded to Nevada small businesses, leading to generation of $4.6 million in export sales.

Sisolak: Shutting down Nevada's economy 'not sustainable in the long term'

"Shutting down public and economic activity throughout the state is not sustainable in the long term. Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans lost their jobs. Businesses suffered and our fragile economy took a massive hit," Sisolak said Monday night.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Governor Steve Sisolak during a press conference on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020 in the former Assembly chambers inside the Capital in Carson City.

People: Reno attorney Margaret M. Crowley earns Impact of the Year Award

Margaret M. Crowley was recognized for her work and efforts to "innovatively rethink, reimagine and redefine justice for children and families," thus advancing the vision of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Monday, August 3

Despite COVID-impacted increase in demand, area housing permits ‘way behind where we should be’

New-build home sales across America are seeing their strongest sales pace since the epic housing crash more than a decade ago — but when it comes to supply in Washoe County, housing permits are severely lagging.

Photo: Getty Images

In May, sales of new-build single-family homes in America jumped nearly 13% compared to May of last year; in June, the trend continued, with new-home sales rising nearly 13.8%.

Fennemore Craig merger gives Reno branch a ‘deeper bench’

Fennemore Craig's merger with Fresno-based Dowling Aaron "will allow both firms to be stronger and provide better service," Craig Etem, director at Fennemore Craig in Reno, told the NNBW.

3 mining tax hike proposals pass out of Nevada special session; first step to amend Constitution

The three resolutions passed largely along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans nearly universally against.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Senate chambers on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 during the third day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City.

NNBW Editor: Never too late to support local journalism (Voices)

It’s been a difficult spring and summer for the news industry across Northern Nevada, leading many news professionals across the region to issue calls for subscriptions and donations.

Proposal would grant Nevada businesses legal immunity from COVID lawsuits

The proposal is the culmination of a weeks-long effort by some of the state’s largest industries to enshrine liability protections in law amid lessened business demand and declining profits for the state’s tourism-driven economy, reports The Nevada Independent.

Photo: David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Assembly members Alexis Hansen, Lisa Krasner, Tom Roberts and Jill Tolles on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 during the second day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City.

People: George Hansen joins Chase International's Reno office

George Hansen has achieved some of the industry’s highest awards over the years, including a three-time selection as the “Best of the Best San Francisco Real Estate.”

Saturday, August 1

Reno-Sparks industrial developers, landlords seeing healthy market conditions

Businesses across the region are experiencing financial hardship under COVID-19 restrictions, but one sector of the regional economy continues to thrive despite the coronavirus. Northern Nevada’s core strengths in logistics, coupled with the emergence of newer industries such as advanced manufacturing and technology, along with constant consumer demand for goods, is helping Nevada’s industrial market weather the COVID-19 storm.

Team DeBug: DeBugging the dreaded blue screen of death

These blue screens are never fun. And a blue screen with a frowning face doesn’t really explain the cause of your computer crash, either. But don’t panic. The Blue Screen of Death is usually caused by issues with hardware or hardware driver software (a group of files that communicates between the computer’s hardware devices and the operating system).

Kelly J. Bullis: Senior tax help

As I get older, I appreciate any help I can get. For our senior citizens, it only makes sense that we do everything we can to make life as easy and comfortable as possible. They took care of us while we were growing up and getting started in life; now it’s their turn. Here are some thoughts for those of you who might be new to the “senior citizen” world.

Jim Valentine:  Outside influences in real estate

As big as the real estate industry is, there are influential factors that occur once in a while that are beyond our immediate control. These can be wide ranging and their influence varied, impacting some but not all, or impacting everybody. Once identified, quantified, and qualified, the true impact can be assessed and a perspective developed for the specific buyer/seller and situation.