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Buying Local for an Economic Recovery ....News 2

Posted: Nov 09, 2012 3:42 PM PST Updated: Nov 16, 2012 12:22 PM PST
It may only be early November, but local retailers are ready for Christmas! And they have high hopes for this year's holiday business. "I'm expecting people to come out and shop with the election over now," says Laura Romero, who owns Paper Moon in Reno. "I think people were handing onto their money but now that the election is over, I think they are ready to go." And Romero has been in retail long enough to be able to read trends. "I think people are after smaller gifts this year. Ornaments are big. They are looking for smaller items but things that actually mean something."
So Romero has stocked up on unique items, and things that are locally made.
In fact, a lot of local retailers are banking on buying local. Not only for the store owners but for the individual artists and vendors. Dave Asher knows how important that kind of investment is. He runs the Reno Sparks Local Business Co-op. And he says buying local is the key to our economic recovery.
"It's the number one way to create jobs," Asher says. "All the economists say so. It puts people to work and keeps money here supporting others."
Asher says last weekend's Buy Local Marketplace at the National Automobile Museum was a huge hit. He says it gave local artists and vendors a place to sell and the public was very supportive. And he says that has a trickle-down effect.
"Money spent here stays here locally and local are homeowners which means property tax and that means libraries and schools." So local retailers will be putting their locally-made items out front this season...and Asher says he's already working on a second Buy Local Marketplace in Reno before Christmas.
Of course, We'll keep you posted. Written by Erin Breen

Buying Local: Where Your Money Goes

RENO, NV - "Made in America" is a luxury label that will cost you more. So where does that extra money go?
Some people buy local for ethical reasons, while others do it to feel healthier. However, many people don't want to pay the price so what's the incentive to buy local?
"Local eggs that are produced one dozen at a time, hand packed, yeah you're gonna pay 4 bucks for a dozen but they're three times more healthy, they taste 10 times better, and you're keeping that money here locally and you know mass produced eggs aren't that healthy," Dave Asher, Buy Local Reno-Sparks leader said.
When people buy local, they invest in their health and the local economy.
"By spending money on a locally owned business the profits are then reinvested in the community. That local business owner lives here, he owns a home, he pays property taxes that support our schools and our libraries. The profits he spends in hopefully locally owned businesses creates more jobs," Asher said. "If you're doing business with corporate america, the profit leaves the area, goes to the company headquarters and the money is spent there." According to Time Magazine, the difference in your savings falls away when you consider employment increases and lower transportation costs.
"It's all about keeping all the profits here. why spend our hard earned money across seas and not have anything benefit locally? That's where all the jobs are coming from is from supporting local businesses that support other local businesses," Asher said. In a recent study done by the local business Co-Op, 68 percent of your money is goes back into the community when you buy from local businesses while only 43 percent goes back when you buy from national chains like Walmart or Target. "You may save money with that mass produced stuff now but in the long run, you won't be as healthy, and you won't feel as good about this community," Asher said.

Is There a Commitment to Buy Local?

KTVN News 2 Reno
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 5:30 PM PDT Updated: Jun 27, 2012 5:46 PM PDT

As the Reno City Council works toward ushering in new business with Apple there is local concern about a plan by the City of Reno to outsource jobs currently here.
Earlier this week Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger said that the city is slowing recovering. In fact, he said this is the first time in five years that the city's budget has been balanced without layoffs and without dipping into reserves. And now some of his plans for saving money are being questioned by local businesses.
Clinger says the city can save $250,000 a year by outsourcing payroll.

Dave Asher with the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-op says that job is slated to go to Sacramento and instead it should go to local businesses here in Reno.
"There are number of local businesses that could do that job. We're watching them! They signed a pledge with EDAWN's Buy Local campaign. It's time for this to stop. We need to take care of ourselves first," Asher said.
Asher also says that memos from Reno City Hall show that the city also plans to outsource $250,000 in printing. And he says that could easily be done here in Reno as well.
Officials with local companies like Dynagraphic Printing say they could easily handle any printing jobs the city has. Demographic Printing bills $5-million a year, supports 35 local families with printing and says keeping business in town is critical.

"It's very important," says owner Cindy Mason. "Every dollar we spend here trickles down through the local economy. It goes to other businesses and residents. We need to keep money here."

In addition to supporting local families, local businesses invest in local charities and invest volunteer time and resources into local events. And Asher says it all adds up to a brighter future for Reno.

Written by Erin Breen

Community Partners Launch "We Think Local" Campaign

KTVN News 2 Reno
Posted: Jun 19, 2012 4:46 PM PDT Updated: Jun 26, 2012 12:02 PM PDT

Q&D Construction is a locally-owned business that has been in operation for 48 years. The company's president, Norm Dianda says they buy most of their materials from other local businesses.

"I firmly believe that everything that's done locally, multiplies 2-3 times from the time it's done," Dianda said. The $27 million project, at the Reno Tahoe International Airport, is being done by Dianda's company. It's a local project done by a local company, creating 275 jobs. "When they work steady and full-time, they're out buying an RV, they're out buying a boat, they're going camping, they're doing something where they're putting dollars back into the community," Dianda said.

At today's event, organizers told us they believe a 10% shift to local business, would create 2,500 jobs and generate $350 million for our local economy, every year.
"We don't need any lawyers," Dave Asher said. "We don't need any politicians. We don't need any new laws. This is just you and I, my neighbors, in Northern Nevada, addressing this issue and shifting, when possible, to the locally owned independent business."
Asher is part of the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op and says, in the age of online shopping, it's even more more important for consumers to think local, first.
"Everything that relies on taxes is hurting, the schools, the parks, the libraries, the police and fire," Asher said. "We need to support those and when you shop online, out of state, none of that money stays local and none of that tax money stays local."

Via Seating is a 25-year-old Sparks business, manufacturing office chairs and shipping them around the world, including the U.S. Senate. "This is the only location we have in the country," Via Seating President & CEO Trenton Harris said. "So, every chair and every project that we can have, in our local area, benefits us just as much as any other business." Via Seating also tries to keep their money local, buying things from metal components to shipping boxes from other local businesses. "You add more employees," Harris said. "They spend. It's just a circle. It goes around and around and that's what local growth is all about."
20 years ago, 11 people worked for Via Seating. Now, they are up to 80 employees and they make it a point to hire military veterans. The factory has also tripled in size since 1991.

Money Trees..... Green Business Chamber of Commerce Ashley Hennefer 5/24/2012

Dave Asher is a business man, and his niche is in the “buy local” movement (“Home for the holidays, Dec. 23, 2010).

“I basically created the Google of locally owned businesses,” he says, referring to the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op database—a free listing of all local businesses, organized by category. The co-op also plans community campaigns, such as switching to a credit union and hosting a series of classes on networking.
And now he’s also found a niche in the green movement. Asher talks enthusiastically about the benefits of buying local—cycling money within a community, rather than outsourcing products and services, and sparking job creation.

“Much of that also has to do with this very ‘eco’ way of thinking,” he says. “Our economy is a bucket. If you buy eggs in California, rather than in Nevada, there’s a hole in the bucket. Money and resources drain from that. But if we can look to what we already have here, we can start to fill those holes.”
Asher and fellow co-op member John Toth created the Green Business Chamber of Commerce, a new part of the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op aimed at promoting sustainable businesses and organizations. Asher makes it clear that it is not a part of the national U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the conservative lobbying organization.

“Our color is purple—red and blue,” he says. “We’re not a partisan project.”

The Green Business Chamber of Commerce is one of the first of its kind in the country. Asher plans to head up the national chapter, while Toth will maintain the local. Asher says that organizing the green aspects of the co-op was difficult, especially with other chambers of commerce well-established in the area.
“It was very aggressive of me to go up against the other chambers of commerce in town—the ones that are well-funded, well-staffed,” he said. “I would attend their meetings to recruit people.”
The co-op is recruiting businesses to participate in its “going green program,” in which a business can take a pledge to be a more sustainable operation. To ensure that businesses don’t get away with greenwashing—making empty claims about sustainable efforts—participants must make green efforts public to allow for accountability.
“Businesses will get an energy audit,” says Toth. “And they’ll have to implement some procedures, such as invest in solar power.”
“Basically, we want businesses to show how they are being good stewards of our eco-system,” Asher says. “By posting their actions on their websites, the public can follow up with them to make sure they’ve done what they said they were going to do.
But the chamber of commerce will have more than just an online presence—the top floor of the Vassar-Cordone building is being transformed into a coworking space where independent entrepreneurs or startup organizations can rent out a workspace. Asher plans to set up a rooftop community garden and a co-op coffee shop, and the co-op recently started the Films for Action green movie series, which is part of a national program. Film viewings will be held every fourth Friday of the month, including climate change documentary What a Way to Go on May 25. A discussion will be held afterward with a panel of local experts.
“We’re just one of many green hubs in Reno,” Asher says. “But we hope to help link them together.”

Demand for co working grows in Reno market
Yun Long 5/11/2012

John Toth needed something more than his home office, but not the expense of a professional, standalone location for his business, TEAM Consulting.
What he found was a collaborative work space that let him have a commercial address shared with a community of fellow tenants dedicated to each others successes.
“The biggest benefit has been the entreprenuerial community that we have created here,” he said.
Toth’s business focuses on technology, energy and marketing services, and several of his clients also are tenants at the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-op at the Vassar Cordone Nonprofit Center. An evolving office concept of a collaborative work environment, or coworking space, has taken a foothold in Reno and Sparks.
Several business buildings, including the Reno Collective, Local Business Co-op and Bosma Business Center, are geared toward promoting a cooperative working relationship among tenants to help each other succeed.
Dave Asher, business co-op executive director and buy-local advocate, opened his space a year ago. Now, eight of 10 spots are filled on his floor at center near the airport, and he is looking to expand.

“The environment is what is really special about coworking,” he said. “You can collaborate with different people.”
Demand for coworking space, which is popular in European countries, has grown as the economy sank in recession and people look to work for themselves. More people are seeking alternatives to the traditional office environment or work-from-home options, experts said.
The concept usually involves an open-floor plan where independent tenants share the space and the costs. It usually attracts people who travel a lot for business, independent consultants or contractors and telecommuters seeking a community work environment.
Asher calls his space as an entrepreneurial startup support system, where business plan, marketing and funding help can be found with other tenants.
Co-op participants also have access to meeting rooms and classrooms in the building.
Coworking offices lend themselves to businesses that are downsizing or growing home-based operations, Asher said. The cost to lease an area in the business co-op is $200 a month, which includes an executive desk and computer.
“It’s a way to get a commercial location without taking on all the expenses,” he said. “So, we share cost of printers, copiers, Wi-Fi and the commercial location.”
He has saved about 80 percent in overhead costs but the networking and collaboration is priceless, Asher said.
The idea has gone so well that he is expanding to include a Green Business Chamber of Commerce coworking space at the penthouse suite in the same building. He plans to be in operation by the end of the month.
The addition 2,500 square feet would allow for 12 more entrepreneurs or green businesses to gather in environmentally conscious space. Asher already has several tenants lined up, including food collaboratives, green energy executives and environment-geared groups.
Both Asher and Mike Bosma, who has opened his own business center, pointed to the Reno Collective as the pioneer of the concept in the area. The Reno Collective opened in 2010 and has attracted attention for its collaborative projects.
Bosma, principal of the Bosma Group accounting firm, acquired a building on Ryland Street and has completely renovated it into the Bosma Business Center. The first floor is devoted to coworking with 20 offices and 14 work stations in the communal space. “There was a pent-up demand for people that are either working out of their homes or in various other office situations to be able to be in more of a collaborative work environment,” Bosma said.
The center has been unofficially opened since the beginning of April, and about 35 percent of the co-working space is leased. Bosma is hoping to have an official opening by May 30.
The draw of the center is that it is geared toward business advisers, he said. It is more than just coworking because each tenant offers services that can help other tenants’ clients.
“This is all about people,” he said. “It’s about people getting together, rather than separate work spaces.”
In addition to Bosma’s accounting firm, other businesses in the building include a law firm, marketing services provider and executive coaching firm.
It gives business owners the flexibility to refer clients to other tenants down the hall and share knowledge and resources, Bosma said.
“Being more of a joint group-thinking space creates a smarter consultant or business person, rather than being sequestered in your home office,” he said. “You are only as good as you. This really leads to higher levels of knowledge with consultants.”
Coworking is a international trend seen by Regus, a flexible workspace provider with a location on Virginia Street in downtown Reno.
The Luxembourg-based firm provides fully equipped offices with mail and phone services, meeting rooms, business lounges and virtual offices in more than 1,200 locations in 95 countries. In the past few years, the 22-year-old company has seen coworking as the largest segment of growth.

“One of the biggest movements, as far as traditional real estate, has been this onset of coworking,” said Sande Golgart, Regus regional vice president for the western U.S. “It really started several years back in Europe, where there are so many more confined places to work.”
The company is working to accommodate customers’ needs for different office options at a lower cost. The demand has grown tremendously in the past 18 months, he said.
Regus has devoted coworking spaces in its new locations and renovating older offices to include the open, shared working environments much like those seen in California’s Silicon Valley. While the Reno location does not have a coworking space, it is slated to be revamped in the next few years.
Golgart has seen use of the Reno location increase every year, especially in the business lounge. Regus’ business lounges are open work spaces that visiting members can use. Monthly occupancy hovers around 90 percent in the Reno location, and more than 100 different businesses use the center, mostly small-business groups.
The benefits of lower costs, sense of community and the creativity that it spawns are the major attractions of coworking space, he said.
Another interesting trend is the number of entrepreneurs and startups gravitating toward this space.
Entrepreneur pockets are popping up across the West Coast creating young and new businesses, he said, but it’s prevalent in the Reno area.
“Reno is one of those cities that is sort of reinventing itself,” Golgart said. “What we are seeing is more and more people coming to that market. There seems to be an influx of entrepreneurs and startups.”

‘Buy local’ organization adds a green-business group
John Plestina, 3/5/2012

The Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op continues to work toward its goal of a 10 percent shift in consumer spending in the Reno-Sparks area from national chains to locally owned businesses. And now its organizers have widened their focus through the creation of a “Green Business Chamber of Commerce.”
Dave Asher, executive director of the groups, said the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op and Green Business Chamber of Commerce are separate components. Green Business Chamber of Commerce membership costs $250 annually and includes a pledge to market products and conduct business in an eco-friendly way.
He said benefits of paid membership include an enhanced Reno-Sparks Co-Op directory listing and the development and hosting of Web sites that allow members to list entire inventories online. The Web sites also offer shopping carts for online purchases. “I have an incredible Internet marketing system,” Asher said.
Those paid members must take a pledge to be stewards of the environment and state how they have aided the protection of the ecosystem. Asher said there are currently about 50 paid members, but his goal is 500 to provide ongoing financial support to maintain the organization.
At the same time, the group continues to build its directory of locally owned business. Benefits of a buy-local campaign, he said, would include the retention of $350 million in the local economy and the creation of more than 2,500 jobs.
Asher said the group has compiled a directory that currently lists about 2,000 locally owned businesses in the Reno-Sparks area and continues to grow. Goals of the directory include promotion of local businesses, educating consumers to choose local businesses, job creation and improving the Reno-Sparks economy. While he worked to compile many of the names and contact information for businesses listed in the free directory, Asher said some businesses contacted him requesting inclusion in the directory.
The Reno-Sparks Co-Op — now about two years old — is the first of its kind in the nation, he said.
“Locally, I am my own organization,” Asher said. “I invented it.”
He said benefits come in three parts. The program encourages consumers to shop local, encourages local businesses to do business with other local venders, and encourages government agencies to procure bids from Reno-Sparks area businesses.
Asher and his staff are visiting Reno and Sparks businesses, offering business owners “Locally Owned Business” window posters to identify the establishments as locally owned and the best places to shop. Asher is also seeking input about how the Co-Op could help merchants increase sales and the sizes of workforces.
The Co-Op is also offering business-to-business networking with free social media workshops on Mondays, beginning this month.
“Support for locally owned businesses is the No. 1 way to turn our economy around and create jobs,” Asher said.
The local Green Business Chamber of Commerce is affiliated with about 40 other organizations across the nation that call themselves Green Business Chamber of Commerce. The nearest are located in Las Vegas and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op and Green Business Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with The Chamber that serves the Reno-Sparks area business community. “I was a member of both chambers until recently. I thought it was impolite to recruit members at their events,” Asher said. “I appreciate what they are doing. I just have a different program.”
KOLO News Now channel 8.
The Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op host the NCET Entrepreneur Boot camp.

Fox News 11
Dave Asher describes how shopping at Locally Owned Businesses helps our local economy. "Keep Your Money Home for the Holidays" campaign.

A Taxing Proposition by Josh Silavent 2-24-2012

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama this week unveiled his latest proposal for tax reform, calling for a lowering of the corporate tax rate along with the end to subsidies and loopholes for certain industries.

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates among developed nations, and Obama wants to see it reduced to 28 percent from 35 percent while eliminating certain tax breaks in order to offset losses with $250 billion in new revenue over 10 years.

For example, Obama would like to scrap all subsidies for the oil and gas industry, though he proposes offering incentives to spur manufacturing growth.

“While we certainly need to simplify the tax code and lower the corporate income tax rate, this plan seems to continue the president’s plan of picking winners and losers,” said Tray Abney, director of government relations for The Chamber. “Why don’t we treat every business the same? Why does this plan favor manufacturers but attack oil companies? What if we eliminated loopholes and had every business pay a very low rate?”
Obama’s plan would also cut taxes for small businesses and offer new write-offs for up to $1 million in certain investments.

“We all know the problem,” said Dave Asher, founder of the Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-op, “the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate. This is just a start on reform, which is better than nothing.”
Continuing with his campaign theme calling for more sacrifice from the wealthy, Obama has also proposed a new minimum tax rate for revenue U.S. companies generate abroad.
“Going from 35 percent to 28 percent isn’t going to set any records for growth – it’s just a start,” Asher said. “Closing loopholes and subsidies is also a good start. The part I like best is to provide incentives for domestic manufacturing while reducing the tax advantages for companies to build facilities overseas.”

Republicans vying for the presidency have offered their own plans to decrease the corporate tax rate. Mitt Romney wants it lowered to 25 percent, Rick Santorum to 17.5 percent and Newt Gingrich has proposed reducing it to 12.5 percent.

Read more: Sparks Tribune - A taxing proposition

Newly Formed Chamber offers free business directory 2-18-2012

The newly formed Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-Op and Green Business Chamber of Commerce is offering a free business directory to all locally-owned businesses. More than 1,600 local businesses are listed. The Local Business Co-Op was created to promote local business to business sales.

Executive Director Dave Asher and staff will visit every locally-owned business in Reno and Sparks to offer a “LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESS” window poster to identify the business as the best place to shop

Businesses who take the “Going Green” pledge will be included in a directory of the National Green Business Chamber of Commerce.

For more information contact Dave Asher at 775 224-2242 or