Thursday, April 1, 2021 / by Ken Couture
Nine companies that are considering building or expanding operations in Nevada were awarded $4.7 million in tax abatements from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development on Wednesday.
The incentives will help create an estimated 1,325 high-paying jobs over the next five years in the state. Some of the companies already have roots in Nevada and are looking to expand their footprints in the Silver State, while others are eyeing to build offices and facilities in the state.
The tax abatements, designed to spur economic growth, come at a crucial time when public health and economic trends are shaping up: U.S. companies are looking to expand their operations or relocate entirely. Michael Brown, executive director of GOED, said that since Inauguration Day, his office has received formal requests for information from companies looking to relocate in Nevada.
“I think if we continue to be agile and move with urgency, there’s some great opportunities coming together with what we have programmed out in the governor’s State of the State post-COVID economy,” he said. “I’m hoping that as we respond to these requests for information that that will lead to applications that will come to the board later this year.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak said Wednesday that as the state starts to hand over the reins to local jurisdictions related to COVID-19 restrictions, his office will focus more into economic development and creating jobs.
“We need to create more jobs — a lot of the jobs that we lost are not coming back, especially in Southern Nevada and the casino industry,” Sisolak said. “We now have to do as much as we can to find new applications, new jobs, and training for this workforce. So any help we can get in that regard is certainly appreciated from all of our development partners.”
Four of the companies, helped by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, will relocate or expand in Southern Nevada.
“We’re thrilled to welcome these innovative companies to Southern Nevada,” Jonas Peterson, president and CEO of LVGEA, said in a statement. “After a challenging year for our region, these companies will create jobs for many and help diversify the Southern Nevada economy.”
Abatement approvals for Southern Nevada companies:
Awarded tax abatements: $319,578
Average hourly wage: $29.97
Nevada-based Boxabl is a modular construction company that manufactures Accessory Dwelling Units across the U.S. The units aim to provide more affordable housing solutions by reducing build time and construction costs. The units are portable and can connect and stack to build different styles of homes, which range from 400 to 800 square feet.
Greg Ehlers, chief operating officer at Boxabl, told the board Wednesday that the North Las Vegas company sees a large demand from a variety of demographics, like baby boomers. The company’s modular homes are seeing interests from public and private groups, he said.
“Fully operational, Boxabl, will be able to produce one unit, full-assembled, ready for delivery, every two hours, and this cost well below the current solutions by a significant margin,” said Ehlers.
Merastar Insurance Company
Awarded tax abatements: $509,795
Average hourly wage: $32.34
Merastar, a subsidiary of the Kemper Corporation, provides employer-sponsored personal property and casualty insurance. Merastar will establish a customer service center in Henderson.
Awarded tax abatements: $170,519
Average hourly wage: $28.80
Nuro is a robotics company that develops self-driving vehicles made for delivering local goods of all kinds. The company was founded in 2016 and made its first driverless delivery to the public in 2018. The company will establish a new autonomous vehicle testing site in Las Vegas.
“Through strategic planning, our company has decided to find the best site to open a new autonomous vehicle research and development testing site,” Andrew Clare, of Nuro, told the board. The site would be used to conduct closed course testing of its autonomous vehicle technology in realistic environments, to train employees, conduct demonstrations and to store and maintain its fleet of vehicles.
“If the Nevada site is ultimately selected as Nuro’s future home, this choice might also influence future decisions around opening a teleoperation facility, additional testing and final assembly and manufacturing facilities in the state. It may also influence our decisions around the deployment of Nuro autonomous vehicle delivery service,” Clare added.
Advanced Hemp, Inc.
Awarded tax abatements: $883,501
Average hourly wage: $26.51
Advanced Hemp is a new company in Clark County that will manufacture plant fertilizer from hemp. The company’s products will help farmers improve crop yields in the U.S. and in developing countries. The company will establish a facility in North Las Vegas.
Other companies awarded abatements across Nevada:
Awarded tax abatements: $297,205
Average hourly wage: $29.31
PayCertify, a new fintech company, is moving to Washoe County. CEO Chase Harmer said the company had done a lot of research before relocating their headquarters in Nevada.
“Mainly the people that we’re looking to grow our organization is our customer growth team … a service team that helps educate our merchants,” he said. “We believe that the right people, the right candidates to help us grow our organization are here.
Plant Prefab, Inc.
Awarded tax abatements: $1.6 million
Average hourly wage: $26.50
Plant Prefab, Inc., is a new prefabricated building and a building component manufacturing company in Storey County. The company said it focuses on sustainable, single- and multi-family units.
Redwood Materials, Inc.
Awarded tax abatements: $411,599
Average hourly wage: $30.77 per hour
Redwood Materials, Inc., is an expansion of a recycling technology manufacturing and processing company in Carson City. The company recycles lithium ion batteries that have attracted national and international attention, and aims to create a closed-loop supply chain for electric vehicles and energy products.
The company – founded by former Tesla co-founder and chief technology officer J.B. Straubel – has facilities in Carson City that receive 20,000 tons of battery material annually.
“This material is made up of production scrap and battery cells and modules that don’t pass validation and need to be recycled or otherwise they would be landfilled. We’re already able to receive those batteries, recycle them and return raw material to local partners like Panasonic,” a company representative told the board.
Silver Lion Farms, LLC
Awarded tax abatements: $291,767
Average hourly wage: $27.30
Silver Lion Farms is the expansion of an existing hemp growth and processing manufacturing company in White Pine County.
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions, Inc
Awarded tax abatements: $266,757
Average hourly wage: $37.34
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions is a service and installation manufacturing center in Storey County.
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