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Las Vegas startups flourish as technology businesses grow

Las Vegas’ burgeoning information technology industry is boosting the entire startup scene, according to a recent report.

“It’s a cheap place to live compared to San Francisco and the rest of California,” said Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, a New York-based online marketplace for small business funding.

“As more companies shift their technology and back offices to the Las Vegas area, we’ll see more professionals come there and see other small businesses supported.”

A Biz2Credit report found Las Vegas tied with Portland for the youngest average age of business at 44 months, indicating the local startup community is growing, Arora said.

“This shows that the industries that are really powering the Vegas economy, including construction and technology, are doing very well,” Arora said. “This is good news for small businesses … there’s a lot of capital investments from big businesses and everyone else in the economy.”

Las Vegas’ IT-related business are expected to see an exponential amount of growth, Arora said. For these businesses, cost effectiveness and space — two things Las Vegas offers — are huge incentives.

This has given Las Vegas a competitive advantage and will help advance other industries in the state, according to Leith Martin, executive director of UNLV’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

“We’re seeing a boom between some tech opportunities and the gaming industry. We have considerable talent in the valley,” he said. “Those kind of things will provide opportunities to leverage gaming expertise and become more mainstream in other tech sectors.”

Las Vegas jumped five spots on Biz2Credit’s rankings for “best cities for small business growth,” landing Las Vegas in 18th place.

Most of the cities that jumped spots in the ranking had low taxation rates. Arora said the new federal tax bill is accelerating business growth in these cities even further.

An improving economy and growing population are also positive factors, Martin said. Las Vegas has is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation, growing 2.2 percent between 2016 and 2017 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“When market conditions improve, you see more new companies,” he said. “More small businesses are needed to support the growing population … There’s an increased willingness to move here.”

Arora said the city can maintain its status in the national startup scene if industries like construction and tourism keep doing well.

“If one of those industries slows down, we’ll see Vegas slip in rankings,” he said.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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