June 22, 2023

Built for success: The growth of Clark County’s small business ecosystem

Nestled in the heart of Southern Nevada, Clark County has cultivated a rich ecosystem that embraces and nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit. Fueled by a combination of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, robust business incentive programs and ample funding opportunities, Clark County has built an environment where innovative ideas flourish.

These elements come together to contribute to the advancement of the county’s bustling small business community through initiatives that foster growth and resources that help turn ideas into reality.

Embracing startup culture

While historically known for its hospitality, gaming and tourism sectors, Southern Nevada is actively recruiting and expanding new industries like information technology, manufacturing and health care.

Recently Las Vegas was ranked as the No. 1 city in the U.S. for early-stage startups. The rankings, presented by Crowdfund Capital Advisors, saw the city jump eight spots from the year before, with much of the growth attributed to the region’s burgeoning tech sector.

Recognizing the difficulty in getting a business off the ground, Clark County offers a supportive infrastructure for startups. There are numerous co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators that provide entrepreneurs with access to resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. StartUp NV – recognized as Nevada’s only statewide business incubator — offers five unique programs for founders looking to grow.

Black Fire Innovation, a cutting-edge collaborative space and technology incubator run through the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)’s Office of Economic Development, is a hub for research, development and testing innovations in hospitality, gaming and technology. In May 2023, UNLV announced the launch of the Black Fire Accelerator, a specialized initiative that offers a structured and intensive environment for early-stage startups. The program, which provides mentorship, resources, and access to industry experts, supports growth for startups and entrepreneurs while helping refine products and services to better meet market demands.

Tech startups like Halo.car, a driverless car sharing service, are also finding success in Clark County. After two years in San Francisco, the company moved its headquarters to Las Vegas, inspired by its affordability and business-friendly atmosphere and, most notably, Nevada’s position as a leader in regulating self-driving technology — a significant factor that supports the business’ goal of building a driverless fleet.

Scaling small businesses

Small business success in Southern Nevada is bolstered by both state and local initiatives.

Our office spearheads the Clark County Small Business Opportunity Program (SBOP) which helps small businesses increase their capacity to compete for government contracts. The program includes mentoring and relationship training, helping companies land contracts in higher education and government.

The Vegas Chamber’s Small Business Resources assist interested companies with employee development and networking opportunities. It has also consolidated valuable information small businesses need — such as checklists, guides and links to local government resources — in one place, making it easy to find and access.

For business leaders working on goal setting, U.S. Bank — through the Vegas Chamber — offers the U.S. Bank Coaching and Growth Center, an innovative coaching program for employers and employees. Chamber members receive 60-minute one-on-one sessions with U.S. Bank employees trained in behavioral science and goal achievement.

Additionally, Employ NV Business Hubs connect business owners with job seekers in Clark County. The partnership between various Southern Nevada government and workforce agencies has two locations, each staffed with workforce development professionals. The hubs include access to talent recruitment, training assistance and financial incentives for hiring Nevadans.

Financing and incentives for continued growth

Nevada has a reputation for being business-friendly thanks partly to its favorable tax environment for businesses. The state does not impose personal or corporate income tax on individuals or businesses, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and companies seeking to minimize their tax burden. Factors like no franchise or inventory tax further boost Nevada’s reputation as a tax-friendly state. For these reasons, the Tax Foundation ranked the state in the top ten for its 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Business success is further improved when low tax burdens combine with easy access to funding. Nevada offers various financing options, grants, and loan programs to support small businesses in securing capital.

Small business owners can also receive up to $2,000 in reimbursements or training allowances for each new hire from the Silver State Works initiative. The program works as a partnership between employers and Nevada agencies.

For fledgling startups, FundNV provides financial assistance through grants and investments to entrepreneurs and innovators with promising business ideas. The program fosters innovation, job creation, and economic diversification within Nevada. FundNV is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs seeking capital and support to turn their ideas into successful ventures.

Here in Southern Nevada, we understand the critical role a collaborative business environment plays in setting up our companies for success. If you are a small business owner or budding entrepreneur looking to elevate your operations, our team can help. Connect with us today to get the conversation started.

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