The Reno Rebuild Project celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is wasting no time getting off to a fast funding start. This month, the project will provide a $28,000 loan to Sierra Mobile Storage, a local company that offers storage solutions across Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and greater Northern Nevada. Owners Luke and Staci Stevenson established the company in January 2020 after studying self-storage for several years and seeing the expanding demand across the region, according to a Jan. 4 press release from the Reno Rebuild Project. Two months after opening, the COVID-19 pandemic led to swift restrictions in businesses across the Silver State. “In the shadow of the pandemic, the owners’ most significant challenge is finding the money to buy containers fast enough to meet demand,” according to the release. “Traditional funding has been difficult since banks have specific and strict guidelines for lending to new businesses.”
A row of the company’s mobile storage containers, offered in 16-foot by 8-foot (1,024 square feet) and 20x8 (1,280 square feet) options. Courtesy Photo
Enter the Reno Rebuild Project. The program launched in 2012 and is administered by the owners of Brewer’s Cabinet, Sierra Tap House, Ole Bridge Pub and Shim’s Surplus in downtown Reno — Michael Connolly, Chris Kahl and Zachary Cage. The way the fund works, a nickel per item sold at Sierra Tap House, Ole Bridge Pub and Brewer’s Cabinet goes into the Reno Rebuild Fund at the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada. The owners periodically review applications from area businesses and choose which ones they feel are worthy of a loan. The project provides loans from $5,000 to $50,000 for 3-5 years at 4 percent interest. All interest and repayments of the loans go back directly to the Reno Rebuild Fund for future projects and investments. “With (Sierra Mobile Storage) already growing community support, it made sense to support the continued growth of this company through the Reno Rebuild Project,” Cage said in a statement. According to the press release, Sierra Mobile Storage will use the financial support to increase storage inventory and support services to handle the rapid influx of new residents in the Reno-Tahoe region due to the pandemic. “Reno Rebuild is such a rare and valuable program,” Luke Stevenson said. “They’ve been where we are, struggling to get funding to grow and thrive.” The $28,000 loan comes after the Reno Rebuild Project awarded $50,000 this past September to the Bar Down Hockey Shop located inside the Reno Ice: Jennifer M. O’Neal Community Ice Arena in South Reno. Bar Down Hockey Shop qualified as 2021’s largest Reno Rebuild Project loan recipient. “The Reno Rebuild Project is such a special part of the community,” Austin Schoen, co-owner of Bar Down Hockey Shop, said previously. “It shows how much support entrepreneurs and local business owners have in Reno. This project has made it possible for our new store to become a full picture reality.” Aside from patronizing the project’s downtown establishments, individuals and businesses can also donate to the fund. Visit renorebuild.com to learn more and to apply for a loan.