SBA Announces Small Business Awards
Julia Valdes, owner of Flowers2u.com, has been named Nevada’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2001 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Her Web site, Flowers2u.com, was recently recognized by Newsweek magazine as “best of online.” Valdes, shown here with her husband, José, is one of six Nevada winners of the state awards presented every year by the SBA to recognize business owners and business advocates around the country. Also winning recognition for their successful businesses or for their advocacy and support of small businesses were:
Young Entrepreneur of the Year- Paula Yakubik, Principal, MassMedia
Small Business Exporter of the Year- Stephen Schmidt, President, Le Fiell Company, Inc.
Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year- Michael Rainey, Dean of the Outreach College, Truckee Meadows Community College
Small Business Journalist of the Year- Doresa Banning, Small Business Reporter, Reno Gazette-Journal
Home-based Business Advocate of the Year– Kay Collis, Sales Director, Mary Kay Cosmetics
SulphCo Announces Private Investment
SulphCo, based in Reno, recently announced a $1.5 million private capital investment to enable it to implement plans to test and commercialize its desulfurization units. Sinclair Oil, the second-largest independent refiner in the U.S., has agreed to install a SulphCo unit at one of its refineries this year for beta-testing purposes. The SulphCo process has been demonstrated in pilot programs to remove 98 percent of the sulfur from refinery streams that produce gasoline and diesel fuel, at a cost lower than traditional methods. Skid-mounted and self-contained units will eventually be located on-site at refineries, oil production facilities and fuel terminals to aid in producing low-sulfur diesel fuel and gasoline to meet federal motor fuel standards.
Nevada Insurer Reaches Milestone
Nevada Contractors Insurance (NCI) has reached a landmark number of insureds with the addition of electrical contractor GSL Electric as the 500th client to join its workers compensation program. Founded as a self-insured group in 1995, NCI became Nevada’s first “captive” insurer last year, wholly owned by the contractors it insures. It is now the second-largest underwriter of workers compensation policies in Nevada. In addition to workers compensation programs, it also offers property/casualty policies, claims management, post-accident drug testing, safety training and a Drug-Free Workplace program.
Saint Mary’s Rated in Top 100
Saint Mary’s Health Network has been named one of the top 100 best healthcare/hospital systems in the country in a survey conducted by SMG Marketing Group, a Chicago-based market research company. Saint Mary’s, ranked 73rd, is the only Nevada organization to make this list. The survey was based on 30 criteria, including hospital utilization and quality, financial stability, range of services, accessibility of care and use of technology. The survey also studied information systems, disease risk management and corporate mission. St. Mary’s owns and operates a regional medical center in Reno, two ambulatory care clinics and one walk-in clinic. It provides healthcare through two mobile units, a community wellness center, home care and hospice programs.
Good News, Bad News for State Mines
Nevada mines produced 8.6 million ounces of gold and 23.2 million ounces of silver in 2000, exceeding 1999 levels and leading all states in the nation in both categories. About 75 percent of the gold produced in the United States comes from Nevada, with about half of the Nevada production from two mines in Eureka County. However, prices for both precious metals have plunged in recent years, with gold averaging $279 per ounce in 2000 and silver averaging $4.96 per ounce. Doug Driesner of the state Division of Minerals recently said production figures were up mainly because major mines wanted to avoid the expense of shutting down. State and federal reclamation laws mandate expensive cleanup procedures for mines once they discontinue operations.
Reno Downtown Redevelopment Planned
A plan for new restaurants and retail space along the Truckee River in Reno is predicted to have an annual economic impact of $29.5 million. The first phase of an agreement between the White-Leasure Development Company and the Reno Redevelopment Agency calls for construction of a new restaurant next to the Century Riverside 12 movie theater. White-Leasure plans to break ground in November for a 6,333-square-foot restaurant on the corner lot. Across Sierra Street on a vacant lot, the developer will erect a three-story building with restaurant and retail space on the first floor and office space on the second and third floors. The Masonic building next to this structure will be given a new façade, and its first floor will be converted to restaurant and retail space. The agreement is expected to create about 400 new jobs; White-Leasure has pledged to use a local general contractor or construction management company for the project.
Direct Mail Firms Consolidate
Direct mail company EMS Direct has joined forces with ZIP Direct to become ZIP Direct Las Vegas. EMS Direct, founded in Las Vegas less than three years ago with two employees working out of a garage, had grown to a firm with $9 million in annual revenues, 65 employees and a monthly mail drop of 3 million pieces. ZIP Direct, which processes about 1 billion pieces of mail annually from locations in five cities, wanted to increase its presence in the gaming industry, a market segment in which EMS was particularly strong, according to company officials. ZIP Direct Las Vegas now employs 80 people in its 15,000-square-foot Las Vegas facility, where it processes an estimated 7 million pieces of mail each month.