About 340 new jobs will be created after three new companies announced that they would be relocating to northern Nevada, according to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).
Lt. Governor Kate Marshall touted the importance of bringing in companies such as Yogo, Plus Plus and Affinity Development Group, especially given the economic backdrop brought about by the pandemic.
"We are living in unprecedented times - our diversification has made it so it's a little bit easier and there's a little bit more breathing space here," Marshall said. "I can't tell you how important it means to diversify, diversify, diversify for our economy going forward."
YOGO - A manufacturer of compact yoga mats focused on performance and design that plans on hiring 40 employees at a new location in Sparks.
"The Reno-Sparks-Tahoe area has all the right elements to support a thriving young, independent company like YOGO including a pro-business environment and robust logistics resources from warehouses, to machinery, to custom pallet makers," said Jessica Thompson, CEO of YOGO. "It's easy to get our shipments from West Coast ports and back out for delivery. And the vibrant and welcoming entrepreneurial community is a great fit for us as a young, outdoor-themed e-commerce business. The Reno area is a place that creatives and new businesses can flourish in one of the most beautiful recreation areas, where weekends feel like a vacation."
Yogo is in a sector that withstood the impacts of the coronavirus fairly well. The company manufactures sustainable yoga travel mats, and manufacturing was one of the Northern Nevada sectors that quickly bounced back.
The move to Northern Nevada is akin to a homecoming for Yogo CEO Jessica Thompson, who lived in Reno during her college years. "I launched Yogo originally in the Bay Area ... but as we attempted to scale, I came to realize that it's a very difficult place to grow a company," Thompson said. "Scaling up has been so much easier since we moved here."
It has also been easier to keep employees in Northern Nevada compared to the Bay Area Thompson said.
PlusPlus - A software company that plans to hire 100 employees with an average annual base salary of $70,000.
"We as a company have certain core values and that's being humble, hungry, smart and the way I look at the Reno community, I see the community embodying those values as well. It's a very humble, hungry, and smart town," said PlusPlus Founder and CEO Marko Gargenta.
Gargenta says his company decided to expand its sales and marketing operations into Reno to step out from the Silicon Valley bubble while still being in close proximity to the Bay Area. Gargenta has plenty of experience in the tech sector.
Gargenta previously co-founded a company called Markana, which was acquired by Twitter and eventually led to Twitter University. Gargenta says he sees a lot of similarities between the Biggest Little City and his company, which expands on the Twitter University concept and specializes in helping organizations implement peer learning programs.
Affinity Development Group - The company develops affinity and Customer Relationship Management programs and is planning on hiring about 200 employees at its new office in south Reno. The company develops data-driven customer management programs for its clients, which include Costco, Prudential and Aetna.
"Things have changed, the world is different, and with the change of what's happening now it's more important than ever to bring in great, new companies that people have an opportunity to apply for, become a part of, and help support," said Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of EDAWN.
None of the companies received abatement incentives from the state, according to EDAWN.