Thought Leaders: Benefits of doing business in Nevada
First Independent Bank sponsors this content
Most would agree that before state, county and local officials can begin to enhance efforts to improve Nevada’s business climate, they must have a full understanding of the issues facing local businesses.
Shining a spotlight on these important issues is the purpose of the First Independent Bank Leaders in Business Survey. This is our second year reaching out to Nevada’s business leaders in hopes of understanding Nevada’s business environment. As the go-to business banking resource in Northern Nevada, First Independent Bank wants to encourage the discussion of these issues among Nevada businesses, educators, elected officials and the community-at-large.
The 2018 Leaders in Business Survey was conducted by WestGroup Research between February 6 and March 2, 2018. More than120 business leaders took part representing Nevada companies of all revenue and employee sizes.
Highlights from the Nevada Leaders in Business Survey include:
Doing Business In Nevada
Statewide, leaders see many benefits of doing business in Nevada including a favorable tax structure (65%), attractive climate (51%), quality of life (42%) and low cost of doing business (41%). Those who cited favorable tax structure increased substantially from the 2017 survey when 51 percent cited it as a business benefit.
Looking only at results from Northern Nevada respondents, the ranking of business benefits changed. Nearly seven in 10 (71%) Northern Nevada business leaders chose quality of life as the number one benefit, followed by favorable tax structure (55%), and then a tie between attractive climate (36%) and low cost of doing business (36%).
Most Positive Impact
Our survey asked business leaders to identify an action or condition that would have the most positive impact on Nevada. Statewide, nearly two-thirds (62%) said increasing the pool of STEM graduates, followed by enhancing Nevada’s image (59%) and increasing access to capital (33%).
Northern Nevada respondents felt differently. Half (52%) said enhancing Nevada’s image would have the greatest positive impact, followed by 48 percent who believe an increase the pool of STEM graduates would be most beneficial, and one quarter (23%) who cited increasing access to capital. Last year, enhancing Nevada’s image drew a much higher response when two-thirds (69%) of Northerners identified this action as the one that would have the most positive impact.
Challenges of Doing Business in Nevada
Across the state, business leaders are concerned about the workforce. Nearly six in 10 (62%) say quality and availability of workforce is their biggest challenge. This is up from 51 percent in last year’s survey. The education system maintained its spot again this year as the second (50%) most cited challenge.
Nearly four in 10 (39%) leaders cited concerns about healthcare costs, followed by employee recruitment (27%), business taxes (12%) and business regulations (12%). Tax and regulation concerns dropped significantly from last year which may be due in part to Congress’ passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and the current administration’s regulatory pullback.
Healthcare costs are a growing concern for business leaders in Northern Nevada. While the majority of those surveyed (68%) cited quality and availability of workforce as the biggest challenge, almost six in 10 (58%) cited healthcare costs. Northern Nevada respondents ranked healthcare costs nearly 20 points higher than statewide results. Northerners were also more likely to rank employee recruitment as a challenge (39%) and less likely (26%) to cite the education system as a challenge compared to statewide results.
Given the increase in employers to the area, affordable housing seems to be more of a concern than the education system among Northern Nevada respondents:
How Can Local Government Improve Business Climate?
Approve more affordable housing – 55%
Improve K-12 education – 52%
How Can State Government Improve Business Climate?
Create more affordable housing 58%
Increase K- 12 funding 48%
This content is sponsored by First Independent Bank, which is a division of Western Alliance Bank. Member FDIC.
“The thing that I like most about entrepreneurship is I can work toward something that I’m passionate about and be at the forefront of the change that I want to see happen,” said Priyanka Senthil, a senior at Davidson Academy in Reno and co-founder of startup company AUesome.