The Economic Resources Council welcomes new companies, manufacturers

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The Nevada County Economic Resources Board – led by Executive Director Gil Mathew – welcomes and provides new businesses with the various supports they need to thrive.

Although the pandemic has taken its toll on many businesses around the world, there are still entrepreneurs and forward-thinking people who are inspired to start their own businesses and share their skills with the community. For a county its size, Nevada County continues to produce a large number of viable companies and manufacturers.

One of those companies to partner with on the board is Fanmood, a web-based continuous engagement platform that claims to provide businesses with mood capture and brand intelligence solutions for events, products, services and other content. They also offer consulting and other professional services.



For the general public, founder Ryan Cassano said, “Fanmood provides tools for recording experience and opinion as well as a visual timeline of the things they are passionate about.

“You can’t stop people from expressing their opinions, especially online,” he observed. “All of these platforms lack a history or useful thinking systems. Second, companies can’t help but ask people what they think. Surveys are boring to people and even if they are completed the results are often not actionable.



“We think there could be more organic, stylish, and effective solutions for these types of problems,” he said.

Cassano added that the Economic Resource Council has been a valuable asset in the development of Fanmood by offering advice in the form of simple advice; rule number one: make sure you get good legal representation.

“Seeking legal help at an early stage is a good idea,” he said. “It goes a long way when it comes to contractors, sales / supplier agreements, trademarks, patents, etc. The last thing you want is a loose end, especially when trying to establish a brand or a new product. “

“[Gil Mathew] has been fantastic in terms of helping out with all the basics of starting a business, projecting sales, connecting with resources etc. Nothing beats learning from those who have experience. They offer great information and a great network.

In the realm of “things you probably never think about but that exist” is Beowulf Industrial Sewing, a five-year-old company specializing in large-scale sewing (think awnings, yurt blankets, curtains). The company was founded by Kurt Sandiforth who discovered his passion for sewing while making bicycle panniers. Friends quickly noticed him, which inspired him to forge his own place in the manufacturing world.

Sandiforth started his business in his garage, but didn’t know where to find his potential clients. One thing he knew was that it was time to move on – after all, he had a family and a mortgage to pay.

Sandiforth asked for help with how to undertake the many processes involved in starting a business, especially in a relatively small town. For this, he turned to the Economic Resources Council.

He’s passionate about the job he chose, but Sandiforth admits that running a business is not without its obstacles, and his discovery of consulting brought relief when it comes to the logistics of actually running a business. a company.

“Gil has been fantastic, helping put a face on our business, and they’ve helped us structure the business a bit more,” he said. “I didn’t know much about business. [The council] advises us on payroll and how we can do taxes.

Now boasting an impressive collection of around 14 heavy-duty sewing machines spread over five employees, Beowulf has grown exponentially while meeting the creative needs of Sandiforth.

“I love doing things and saw this opportunity to do things for people at the next level. A lot of people know how to sew but can’t handle it on a larger scale.

Erika and Joe McMahon also sought advice from the board when establishing A&M Labs, a contract manufacturer of nutraceuticals (“a fancy word for vitamins and supplements,” Erika explained.)

Operating out of their Grass Valley location, A&M Labs – unlike many other companies – thrived as the world experienced the biggest pandemic of our time.

Erika was inspired by her father, who had a similar business for over 40 years. As he neared retirement age, she decided to continue her legacy by starting her own manufacturing business which, she was careful to point out, does not include pharmaceuticals.

“COVID has been a blessing for our industry,” Erika said. “Everyone started taking supplements, people started to educate themselves. New raw materials are sought after every day; this industry is constantly evolving. This is the attraction.

Barely able to keep up with demand, the McMahons and their staff of 12 still turned to the Economic Resource Council for help; the question was how to get through these difficult times while remaining relevant and sustainable.

McMahon added that she and her husband were drawn to the Economic Resource Council because of the organization’s commitment to developing the manufacturing industry in Nevada County.

“I met Gil and started to get involved in the [council]”Said Erika.” I see their vision, the opportunity. We all have challenges, but we all continue to grow. Their vision and goal of building the manufacturing industry is amazing. I know with the [council] this will give us more power to negotiate the premiums.

“There is tons of business here and people have no idea. It’s a nice little saving here.

Jennifer Nobles is a freelance writer based in her hometown of Nevada City. She can be reached at [email protected]


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