Editor Column: Alliance a reminder that meaningful talks happen in person

RENO, Nev. — It's hard to believe we're already past the middle of February. As cliché as it sounds, it seems like yesterday we were still savoring the last bits of summery weather in the fall, waiting for the return of winter and the start of a new decade.

Winter did return in December, but it sure hasn't stuck around. January was nearly bone-dry, and so far, February's weather patterns aren't challenging that stature.

Considering we live amid the Sierra Nevada and are surrounded by world-class ski resorts that rely on snow to help bolster the region's economy, it's my hope winter makes a valiant return (dare we say, a Miracle March?) so those important businesses continue to operate well into the spring.

Speaking of business, one of the highlights for me this month was attending the third annual Alliance business expo on Feb. 12 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

This year's event — an important collaboration among The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority — was the biggest one yet with hundreds in attendance. Of course, something tells me the switch to an afternoon/evening schedule with appetizers and alcohol helped nudge better attendance this year.

It's always wonderful to see so many businesses and nonprofits gathered under one roof to network and talk about opportunities for the region in a forward-thinking mindset.

Equally wonderful is the actual face-to-face conversations events like these allow us to have. In an era where social media dominates and text messaging continually becomes the preferred method of communication, it's refreshing to engage in meaningful conversation in person. It's something I don't take for granted.

Kudos to Ann Silver at The Chamber and everyone else involved in putting together this year's Alliance.

One of the great things about Alliance was I had the opportunity to get some great feedback from other business owners and residents in the community, especially from the several who came up to me to ask, “so, what do you do?”

Here's the answer, which essentially is our mission statement: “The Northern Nevada Business Weekly is the only business-to-business media organization in Northern Nevada providing business news, special events and digital solutions to business leaders.”

Let's break that down. First, there's business news — that's the obvious one. We do our best each week (and each day online) to publish compelling stories about new businesses in the region, major accomplishments by companies and a variety of other news updates, such as people on the move, trends and opportunities, the intersection of philanthropy and business, and much more.

For example, go here to read a story from reporter Kaleb M. Roedel about a newer business in Reno-Sparks that's experiencing great growth after humble beginnings. Sierra Miles group started from a kitchen table, basically, in 2015. Now, five years later, the business is projecting $1 million in revenue next year, on the heels of $500,000 last year.

Anytime we can share a story about a company projecting a 100 percent increase in profit, I feel that's a win-win-win — for the company, for us as a media company and for you, the community.

And, there's plenty of other positive business news you can find on our website and in this week's print edition, such as the resurrection of a mysteriously shuttered hemp farm business in Lovelock, an engaging interview with Amber Sallaberry, co-founder of the Great Basin Community Food Co-op, an in-depth feature on how local company PKL Homes is working to fill short-term housing gaps in Northern Nevada — and much, much more.

What about events? As I've written before, this year we are hosting quarterly Breakfast & Business panel discussions about key topics facing our burgeoning business community in Northern Nevada. The very first one took place last week, Feb. 13, the next morning after Alliance. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to a pre-planned trip to Las Vegas, but Kaleb (he sure is a Jack of all trades) was there, and if you go here, you'll see several images from our well-attended and engaging event.

Looking ahead, be sure to mark your calendar for May 7 — our next B&B event, featuring a panel on the current state of Construction & Development in Northern Nevada at the Atlantis. Go here to learn more.

Lastly, when discussing digital solutions, as I continually tell folks, we're much more than “just a newspaper.” We publish content every day online, we post a bunch on social media, and we offer a daily email newsletter that delivers news directly to your inbox (rather than relying on the archaic media business model of hoping you'll come to us for information).

But what's more than just news and content — and something I feel like many of our readers and subscribers don't realize — is we offer an array of digital solutions and marketing tools that can directly lead to more customers for your business and more exposure.

Whether by way of targeted digital display ads, search engine and social media marketing, and even website design services, the opportunities — and, solutions — are vast.

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we indeed are much more than a newspaper. What's more, we're beyond proud to be a member of the business community here in Northern Nevada.

Kevin MacMillan is managing editor of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Reach him for comment at kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com.


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