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Nevada Grow program gives free data to small local businesses

Medin Gebrezgier said data provided from a new state program helped him increase sales for his business by 40 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Before using data to hone price points and product details, Gebrezgier said he and his team were just “putting feet to the street.”

“We were just going up to people and finding out what exactly they (customers) wanted,” said Gebrezgier, one of the co-founders of sports apparel company Revive Brand. “That approached worked, but it was extremely taxing on us, and it didn’t have the results that we wanted.”

All of that that changed in 2015, thanks to a pilot program approved by the state Legislature, called NV Grow.

The program, which aims to help small businesses grow by providing local consumer, demographic and industry data to business owners, became permanent in July.

Free data

But not enough business owners are using it, Assemblywoman Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, said in October. Neal estimated that 43 business owners took advantage of the pilot program, which generated about $1 million in additional gross revenue for the businesses combined.

“We are trying to bring customized data and strategic research to businesses. We are going to teach them how to use it, and we are also going to mentor them and talk them through the process,” said Neal, who championed the legislation.

Neal met Oct. 25 at the College of Southern Nevada Charleston Campus with representatives from the Urban Chamber of Commerce, the Latin Chamber of Commerce and Nevada’s Small Business Development Centers in Clark and Washoe counties to get the word out about NV Grow.

Many business owners might not realize this service is provided free to local business owners, they said.

Pablo Rea, a data analyst for CSN’s division of workforce and economic development, puts together data packages for business owners.

Answering basic questions

He said he can help business owners answer questions like where the most strategic spot would be to place a company location, and he can deliver detailed consumer demographic information by ZIP code.

“The bedrock tenant of NV Grow is that it is data and technology that will drive economic development,” Neal said.

Kevin Raiford, CSN business professor and lead counselor of the NV Grow program, echoed that idea, saying managing a company in this era is all about “data, data, data.”

Raiford notified Gebrezgier of the pilot program in 2015. Gebrezgier estimates he has spent about 25 hours with Raiford since then, receiving advice or checking in about every month and a half.

Revive was co-founded in 2011 by Gebrezgier and brothers Cesar and Jon Santos. They won Cox Business’ fourth annual pitch competition in September, winning $20,000 in cash and prizes.

Contact Nicole Raz at nraz@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

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