Local business owner Cassandra Selbach assumed the position of executive director of the Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority (NCREDA) late last year.
The agency collects, organizes and disseminates information for the betterment of economic and business conditions throughout all of Nye County.
This week, the executive director, who is also a Mixed Martial Arts competitive fighter, spoke to the Pahrump Valley Times about her new position.
For those who are not familiar, can you explain how the organization works to improve economic development?
“We are a grant-funded organization recognized by the State of Nevada as the economic development authority for Nye County. However, it is important to note that we are not actually part of the Nye County government. We are an independent non-profit organization that works hard to provide support to the business community. We also work with start-up businesses and businesses that are considering expansion within or relocation to Nye County.”
Q: NCREDA actually provides loans to would-be small business owners?
A: “Yes, I am very excited about the revolving loan fund that we were recently granted by USDA Rural Development so that we can assist businesses with financial assistance. Clients are eligible for up to $5,000 that can be used in many different ways. It can be used as seed money to start a new business, to purchase new equipment, to expand services, and so much more.
I will gladly take the time to work with individuals and council them in ways that will give them the highest opportunity to be successful in the business ventures. I am personally excited about the program because I have seen what $5,000 can do. I am a local business owner and started my company five years ago with $5,000.”
Q: How is NCREDA doing business-wise as of late?
A: “Things are going great. I am very excited about some of the upcoming projects in our community and the additional services that we will be offering, such as the business retention program. I feel that it’s important that as we are recruiting for some of these bigger companies to come into our area, it’s also very important that we nurture the businesses that we have. I want to offer some additional support to them because I feel there are things that we can do to prevent doors from closing in our own backyard.”
Q: What are some of the mistakes small business owners make that can doom a startup business?
A: The most important part of a successful business is proper planning. There are a couple of common mistakes businesses make that reduce their chances of success. Business plans are essential. Another common mistake is an individual will start a business based on a trade or skill-set and underestimate the importance of the actual ‘running a business’ skills needed. A good example would be a person who wants to open up a shoe repair shop. As good as they may be at their trade, if they don’t know how to brand and market themselves, produce a balance sheet, manage employees, proper customer service, and all of the other aspects of running a business, they will have a failing business. We are trying to offer support in these areas because if we can help them identify the holes, we can plug them up.”
Q: With that said, what are some of the benefits of starting up a business in Nye County?
A: “There are definitely tax-related benefits in Nye County. For example, the sales tax is lower than some surrounding areas, a good incentive for doing business here. Nevada’s tax climate is among the least burdensome in the country. The complete absence of many taxes found in many jurisdictions can significantly increase the bottom line to your business. Our state’s tax structure offers a business environment few states can match.”
Q: Compared to several years ago, how would you gauge the state of our economy?
A: “Our economy is indeed getting much better. As a business owner who lives here, has a family here, and is truly invested in our community, I believe there is so much potential. I took this position not because I was looking for a job, but because I believe in our community and Nye County. I see so much opportunity for the people here, and I want to do my part to help them succeed. I have a vision and I see many good things in the future.”
NCREDA is located on the second floor of the Nevada State Bank building at 1301 S. Highway 160.
For more information on services, Selbach can be contacted by phone at 775-453-6196, or email atcselbach@DoingBusinessinNye.net.