A popular buzz phrase we hear a lot lately is “think global, act local.” Karen Coe, project manager of Made in Nevada, provides advice to help us understand how we can “act local” and help our Nevada neighbors and the state’s economy.
Made in Nevada is a marketing and branding initiative that was designed to promote consumer awareness of goods that are grown, created, made, or enhanced more than 51 percent in Nevada. Currently representing small businesses as well as multiple manufacturing sub-sectors across the state, the initiative was established more than 25 years ago by Governor Bob Miller to act as a champion for Nevada-based manufacturers and artisans. A membership allows businesses to promote their goods with the Made in Nevada logo, letting buyers know they are purchasing locally sourced products. Memberships are open to growers, retailers, and producers. In 2015, the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC) took over the day-to-day administration of the program. “We saw this merger as a great opportunity, especially since we already work with small businesses,” commented Coe.
When asked about the benefits of joining the Initiative, Coe explained that “membership can help increase consumer awareness of a member’s brand. We can also create a larger consumer marketing and advertising awareness using both social and traditional media outlets.” As an example, Coe cited Nevada Spirit, a publication of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Nevada Spirit focuses entirely on the Made in Nevada collaboration by highlighting stories of the farmers, retailers and entrepreneurs who make up the membership and who are bringing economic benefits to our state’s economy. “We hope these stories will inspire other Nevada entrepreneurs to promote their products and become part of the organization as well,” she added.
Members receive newsletters and invitations to trade shows and participate in member-only events such as the annual Holiday Market. The annual Legislature’s Day at the state capital is another popular member event, whereby artisans and growers can present their products to legislators, who can then take the products back to their home counties and promote them there.
Of course, it is not just the organization’s members who benefit from locally made and grown products. When queried about the importance of shopping local from a consumer’s viewpoint, Coe replied that the program “fosters pride and opportunities — money goes back into the local economy, creating more jobs and more business opportunities.” Joanne Hill, the long-time president of Made in Nevada, reiterated this sentiment. “Being able to purchase Made in Nevada products that are locally handmade by our crafters and artisans, as well as giving these wonderful products as gifts, provides a real kindred spirit for the local communities, as well as throughout the state and beyond.”
The connection between NSBDC and Made in Nevada is mutually beneficial, since NSBDC, an outreach program of the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Business, guides and assists Nevadans who are looking to start or grow a business. With 14 offices statewide, they are ideally situated to provide free counseling and training for entrepreneurs and small business owners. “When we are doing training, we tell people about marketing opportunities and hopefully get them interested in and involved in the Made in Nevada initiative,” said Coe. Nevada State Bank is also involved, she pointed out, helping fund training programs for veterans, minorities and woman’s and Hispanic business initiatives. The NSBDC office in Pahrump is even located inside the Nevada State Bank building as part of the Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority.
New NSBDC programs for 2017 include reaching out to small businesses in rural Nevada, especially those in communities hit hard by the mining industry recession, such as Elko and Humboldt Counties. Programs will focus on entrepreneurship, building websites, and financial training, with funding from the federal Small Business Administration. As an additional benefit, participants will be given a free one-year membership in Made in Nevada.
From growers’ consortiums like Fallon’s Food Hub in Northern Nevada, to manufacturers like Reno’s Kimmie Candy, Made in Nevada is “encouraging people to foster the ‘Battle Born’ spirit through products that are made and grown in Nevada,” Coe concluded.
For more information, or to become a member or sponsor of Made in Nevada, visit www.MadeInNevada.org.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.