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EDAWN builds data base on company needs

John Seelmeyer

The Economic Development

Authority of Western Nevada more

commonly known as EDAWN next

week will begin a lengthy process of

interviewing local companies to build a

data base about the needs of existing

businesses.

The data collected by EDAWN staff

and volunteers through interviews with

about 1,000 volunteers will be a keystone

in the agency’s effort to assist the

growth of companies in the

Reno/Sparks area.

Chuck Alvey, EDAWN’s president

and chief executive, said last week that

studies find that about 80 percent of

the new jobs in a community are created

by firms that already are in operation.

The other 20 percent are created

by companies that move in.

“We’re going to continue working

very hard to attract new industries to

the area,” Alvey said. “But at the same

time, we need to take care of the businesses

we have.”

Enter EDAWN’s Business Builders

program.

Chris Vargas, who chairs EDAWN’s

business support services committee,

said the data collected in the Business

Builders program will produce specialized

reports such as:

* The barriers to expansion identified

by local businesses.

* Investment forecasts as indicated

by businesses’ expansion plans.

* Changes in the local business climate.

The information will be available to

the entire business community, not just

EDAWN members, Vargas said.

“You have to take care of people in

your own backyard,” he said.

The data will be managed by a software

system called Synchronist which

is designed specifically to gather data

in economically focused community

and produce a variety of reports.

Mary Willett, EDAWN’s director of

business services, will manage the program

and ensure the integrity of the data.

While EDAWN staff and volunteers

will be making calls to gather data, Alvey

said the agency also welcomes calls from

businesses that want to provide information

before they’re called. EDAWN’s phone

number is 829-3737. The interviewing

process is expected to take several months.