Mesquite Regional Business Inc. (MRBI) is required to periodically report to the Mesquite City Council on its activities and achievements. George Gault, CEO of MRBI, had a smile on his face when he provided the latest results at the council meeting, Tuesday, May 10.
To date, businesses on which MRBI had a direct impact in bringing to Mesquite have paid a cumulative $41,959 in property taxes and $252,730 in license and excise fees. Some of the operations are still in their infancy and have yet to pay full tilt on their taxes and fees or those numbers would have been higher. Gault told the council that it estimates the companies it has helped relocate to Mesquite will have cumulative and projected capital expenditures exceeding $14 million in the next two years.
Since MRBI began operations it’s received total contributions from sources other than city funds of $95,078 with close to $35,000 of that in investor contributions. Recently, the organization conducted a fundraising program under a challenge from the Eureka Casino Resort who promised to match donations up to $10,000. “We raised $14,000 during that effort and received the $10,000 from Eureka,” Gault said Tuesday night.
While the city provided $190,000 in funding the first two years of its existence, last year MRBI received $140,000 in tax funds. The same amount is forecast for the upcoming year.
Gault told the council that MRBI is ahead in net revenues to the city.
Deep Roots Medical is the most successful business in which MRBI has been influential. It’s paid $15,842 in property tax, $122,570 in license fees and an additional $122,420 in excise taxes paid directly to the city. It’s spent $8.2 million in capital expenditures over the last two years on its operations in the Mesquite Technology and Commerce Center (MTCC). It currently employs 56 people with a total payroll to date of $875,000.
MRBI was formed in 2012 by the council as a substitute for the city’s in-house economic development function. In 2013 the private non-profit organization helped bring Star Nursery to Mesquite providing 15 new jobs. Universal Transport, Inc. was another success albeit small with four jobs.
In 2014 only one business opened in Mesquite stemming from MRBI’s efforts.
But that all changed in 2015 when the organization counted five major successes. In addition to Deep Roots Medical, MRBI worked with a new owner of Solstice RV Park who projects spending $3.5 million in capital expenditures on improvements and additions to the upscale resort park. MRBI helped ACT automotive repair move to a new location in which it spent $725,000 in capital expenditures and paid a combined $2,900 in taxes and fees.
Two more businesses credit MRBI and Gault with their decision to make Mesquite their new home. The REV Group announced in January that they intend to build a new RV motorcoach repair facility in the MTCC that will employ approximately 70 people with an average hourly wage of $18. While the company hasn’t finalized plans for the facility it will be upwards of 40,000 square feet.
The 333 Eagles Landing development group purchased 105 acres of land near the new I-15 Exit 118 interchange and will pay $644,000 in land sales directly to the city when the deal closes in July. The company has paid a total of $15,553 so far in taxes and fees. That will certainly increase when the travel center and restaurant opens and employs up to 80 people with an average hourly wage between $10 and $12.
Gault also reported that MRBI has 15 working inquiries which he classifies as prospective companies that are truly interested in starting up, expanding, or relocating to Mesquite. Gault calls an inquiry that has a specific number of jobs, average wage investment and timeline a lead and MRBI has 26 of them working.
Once the lead has an on-location face-to-face visit with the primary contact, Gault moves that business to the prospects category and there are 18 of them.
“We have three indoor agriculture projects that we’re working on right now,” Gault said. “That is about a two billion dollar a year industry in the Las Vegas area.”
Gault and the Board of Directors have worked extensively with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to market Mesquite as a viable alternative to the higher costs of doing business in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. MRBI’s main target has been distribution and warehouse businesses based on Mesquite’s ideal location halfway between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City on I-15.
MRBI and Gault have also been very active in establishing successful job fairs in Mesquite that have benefited both businesses and those looking for a job. The organization has also been working with Nevada Rural Housing Authority and Nevada Division of Housing in addressing future potential workforce housing projects.
An off-shoot of MRBI is the newly formed Mesquite Works workforce development non-profit organization that is working closely with the College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College to bring workforce training programs to the city.
MRBI has also worked extensively with public and private entities to address the lack of natural gas lines in the area, a drawback that has caused several major companies to withdraw their interest in developing in the local area.