Neon lights: Reno, the biggest little city in the world

Small City, Big Heart: How Business Diversification Is Helping Reno, Nevada Thrive

Recently named the Best Small City, Reno, Nevada is anything but small when it comes to the boom in the job and economic growth they’ve been experiencing n recent years. With an attractive cost of living, great climate, and space for development – Reno has fostered a perfect ecosystem for entrepreneurs. While it was just as susceptible to the impact caused by COVID-19 and affected by the shut-downs, that ecosystem the city has fostered has been crucial to its long-term growth and recovery.

Reno is home to hundreds of small businesses, and like in cities throughout the world, many of them were greatly affected by the closure caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, this city has proven it has what it takes to succeed. Compared to the rest of the state, northern Nevada has lower unemployment numbers, which is the result of a plan first launched in 2011 to diversity the cities economy. This plan was led by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada in 2011 in response to the recession.

Neon lights: Reno, the biggest little city in the world

The primary purpose of this plan was to diversify Reno’s economy. Building up the infrastructure to attract different industries helped establish an upward trajectory for the business community. The city experienced an influx in the creation of quality high-paying jobs by attracting advanced manufacturing and technology companies. With an excellent track record of adaptability and resilience, the Reno business community can work together to create solutions to the problems they are facing. By creating partnerships within the business community, entrepreneurs can work together to continue diversifying their economy. While many of the jobs created were by industries and companies that are bigger, these new industries are also responsible for growth in population.

As more people from across the country continue to choose the “Biggest Little City In The World” as a place to call home, this climate means more opportunities for small businesses. From skilled services to specialized shops and restaurants, all companies are needed in Reno. Aside from the need, Reno has excellent incentives and resources for new businesses to set up shop. With a strong focus on the development and revitalization of the downtown region, the city has created the Downtown Reno Partnership.

The partnership focuses on business development, fostering relationships, and creating resources to make downtown a destination. Most recently, with the shutdowns, the Downtown Reno Partnership created helpful resources to help businesses easily understand any guidelines put in place and safely reopen. This plan included a toolkit that all businesses in the area could take advantage of, including graphics to promote reopening and social distancing, links to COVID-19 recovery resources, and much more. This type of support helps build community and confidence with businesses that are established and also looking to open. With these types of partnerships, entrepreneurs can feel more at ease, knowing they have a support system when they need help.

As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Prestamos is honored to work with Reno businesses, our efforts are to work with small businesses in the communities we serve to help them in their growth and quality job creation. We believe that small businesses are the economic engine of our communities. They are essential for our local and national economies to work and grow.

Tucson-small-business-drive-in-theater

Nostalgia Drives Local Business Success in Tucson During COVID-19

As many cities across the nation have adapted to the adversity COVID-19 has presented to their communities, Tucson has done more than adapt – it has evolved. While many businesses throughout the city had to halt operations or learn to live in a COVID world, one industry emerged successfully.

What was at one point the popular thing to do on a Friday night, drive-in movie theaters became a thing of the past over the last few decades. Sitting in your car with your loved ones, eating snacks, and watching a movie has made a comeback and is no longer a thing of the past. Drive-in movies have quickly, once again, reclaimed their space in serving as a fun and safe way for people to enjoy a night out while maintaining social distance guidelines.

Drive-In-Theater with cars in the foreground

This serves a great reminder that all industries have a place. While advances in technology may call for businesses to adapt to the times, it is up to entrepreneurs to evolve. iTour, an events management services company in Tucson, faced a considerable loss once the state went into shut-down. However, Ramiro Bojorquez, owner of iTour, saw an opportunity. Having all the equipment and skills needed, Ramiro and his team began hosting pop-up drive-in movie nights. This shift in his business has proven to be crucial in keeping iTour operating during a time when event management is not in high demand.

iTour is an excellent example of how entrepreneurs can pivot their existing business concepts – and they aren’t the only ones. Every business, big and small, has been impacted by COVID-19 and has had to adjust and implement new operational structures. As difficult as this situation has been for many, the pandemic has also proven to be a perfect time for business owners to use their creativity and try things they have never been able to. Big or small, these ideas can be change-makers for the success of a business at this time.

Tucson has a long history of being welcoming and supportive of small local businesses. The success of iTour and businesses like them is a testament to what happens when you are willing to take risks. Communities are seeking ways to stay connected and maintaining a sense of normalcy. Tapping into the nostalgia of drive-in theaters coupled with people’s love of entertainment was a perfect recipe.

As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Prestamos is honored to work with new and innovative businesses in Tucson. Our efforts are to work with small businesses in the communities we serve to help them in their growth and quality job creation.

The Prestamos loan products and consulting services are designed for emerging and existing business owners. We pride ourselves in leveling the playing field for businesses of every type and helping communities thrive. All of our loan clients have complete access to our skilled Business Advisor team at no additional cost. From marketing, HR, accounting, website, and much more, our team is here to help you develop your business.

Contact us today to learn more about our variety of loan products and business consulting programs to help your business grow and succeed.

*iTour is not a client of Prestamos.

Prestamos CDFI Receives $55 Million New Markets Tax Credits Award for 4th Award

Prestamos CDFI, Chicanos Por La Causa’s mission-driven lending division, has been awarded $55 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Prestamos is a leading Community Development Entity that provides capital and business education to businesses and community facility projects in highly stressed, low-income communities in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas. Prestamos has received $70 million in three previous awards.

Jose Martinez

Jose Martinez
Prestamos President
EVP Economic Development CPLC

“Prestamos exists to ensure that vital capital resources are invested in low-income Latino and minority communities. We are pleased that the CDFI Fund recognizes the value that our organization has brought to our four-state investment area,” said Jose Martinez, President of Prestamos CDFI and Executive Vice President of CPLC. “This new award comes at a critical time given the COVID-19 impacts to minority communities. This award will support investments in manufacturing, commercial, and retail businesses, and vital community-based non-profits such as health care and education providers.”

The NMTC Program attracts private capital into low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax in exchange for making investments on qualified projects within economically distressed communities. Created by Congress in 2001, the credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years.

Prestamos is a CDFI and a Community Development Entity that provides small business loans and high-quality technical support services to its clients. Prestamos has provided swift, active response to COVID-19 through its participation in the Paycheck Protection Program, technical assistance, and other internal programs offered throughout our footprint. Prestamos successfully promotes business and community development and provides technical assistance, business capital, and commercial real estate loans throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas. Prestamos partners with leading organizations in our target markets including the CDFI Fund, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the National Association for Latino Asset Builders, SCORE, and state, county, and local economic development authorities. Prestamos CDFI is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here to learn more about investing in New Markets Tax Credits with Prestamos.

neon-viva-vegas-sign

Bringing The City Back to Life: How Las Vegas Can Hit the Jackpot After COVID-19

Las Vegas is infamous for entertainment, a lively atmosphere, and booming tourism industry. For years, people from all over the globe have flocked to Las Vegas for some fun. As with every other major city, COVID-19 put the city that never sleeps to a halting slumber.

As casinos, restaurants, and hotels shut down, so did a considerable portion of the city’s economic infrastructure. Las Vegas is a city where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry. This hard-hit industry left many unemployed, which in turn hurt the small local businesses serving the community.

While Las Vegas is in the process of opening back up, it is difficult to say whether or not people will once again resume travel and continue operations “normally.” However, it is expected to once again recover, unlike one of the city’s biggest draws: conferences and conventions industry. How does this $10.5 Billion industry, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recover and get back to its feet?

neon-viva-vegas-sign

One of the first things the industry must do is begin looking at is how they can prioritize people’s safety, health, and well-being. This starts with their sanitation and social distancing efforts. While it may take some time to get back to the numbers they were once at, demonstrating they do have people’s best interest and empathizing with their needs is the key to gain trust. Secondly, they should start looking at what services they can offer clients looking to host hundreds or even thousands of people in a virtual setting. Although it is hard to replace that face-to-face interaction that conferences boast, looking at ways to incorporate technology and AI into their event planning can be a game-changer.

When thinking of the economy of an area, it is good to start by looking at the hundreds and thousands of small businesses that make up the community of the Las Vegas area. The one thing they all have in common is their diversity. Focusing on this aspect can help recover, revitalize, and diversify the economy as a whole. The diversification of an economy is crucial not only to help put it back on track but also to help long-term growth and sustainability.

This presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to open up a business or expand existing businesses. Thinking about ways to bring new industry, technology, and services on a small or large scale is crucial for a city to begin rebuilding and strengthening its economy.

As a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), Prestamos is honored to work with businesses in the Las Vegas area. We are here to work with small businesses in the communities we serve to help them grow and quality job creation. We believe that small businesses are the economic engine of our communities. They are essential for our local and national economies to work and grow.

The Prestamos loan products and consulting services are designed for emerging and existing business owners. What sets Prestamos apart is our highly skilled Business Advisors, which our clients have access to at no additional cost. Our business advisors are here to help entrepreneurs in marketing, HR, accounting, website, and much more – our team is here to help you develop your business. We pride ourselves in leveling the playing field for businesses of every type and assisting communities in thriving.

Contact us today to learn more about our variety of loan products and business consulting programs to help your business grow and succeed.