Sierra Business Council pioneers and demonstrates innovative approaches and solutions to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada.
In the Sierra Nevada, change and challenge create opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, Sierra Business Council harnesses these opportunities by implementing projects that model proactive change. Our goal is a diverse, inventive, and sustainable region where the economy is vibrant, the land is thriving, and the communities offer opportunity for all.
We act as steward leaders of the region, taking responsibility for the care and responsible management of our place, guided by the triple bottom line that considers the economy, environment, and community simultaneously.
“Sierra Business Council works to build an economy that is restorative, regenerative,
and rooted in stewardship of our natural resources and community resilience.”
—Steve Frisch, President of Sierra Business Council
Founded in 1994 to elevate the communities, economy, and environment of the Sierra Nevada simultaneously, Sierra Business Council is a 501(c)3 organization based in Truckee and registered in both California and Nevada.
The region we serve extends from as far north as Modoc County and the southern section of the Cascades down to Kern County, from the Sierra foothills and the 1-5 corridor to the western reaches of Washoe County and Nevada, encompassing the historic downtowns, national parks and forests, gateway communities, awe-inspiring peaks, and endless opportunities for innovation, regeneration, and resilience.
Our work has always encompassed the triple bottom line, how that has been enacted on the ground has grown and changed over time. In 1994, our focus was largely centered on creating regional unity among the business community, conservation initiatives, and ensuring the economic and environmental health of the region. In 2004, we helped found the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and shortly thereafter began our work in climate planning and energy efficiency. We also prioritized issues of land use in the early 2000s through our work with Rivers and Ranches and sustainable recreation and tourism in the Sierra, laying the groundwork for what would one day become the Sierra Nevada Geotourism project.
In 2015, SBC took on the Sierra Small Business Development Center, kicking off five years of increased economic empowerment across the region to help local entrepreneurs’ businesses start, grow, and thrive. Our Economic Empowerment portfolio grew as we incorporated the Gold Country Broadband Consortium and began managing revolving loan funds, small business grants, and other service and resource opportunities that have helped foster a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Sierra.
In recent years, our Climate and Energy work has focused on addressing the rising challenge of climate change, connecting local governments and business owners with resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money, offering webinars and educational resources to help our region adapt to and mitigate the impacts of the changing climate, and helping local developers integrate sustainability into their projects.
Our advocacy work on behalf of the region has grown, coordinating efforts across a variety of partnerships, including housing, land conservation, recreation access, broadband access, forest health and wildfire mitigation, and regional climate planning, to ensure the Sierra’s voice is heard in Sacramento and beyond.
The triple bottom line is where we started and it remains at the heart of all of our efforts. Looking ahead to the future of the region, we envision a Sierra with diverse and regenerative economies, restorative ecosystems, and resilient communities. At Sierra Business Council, we work to make this vision a reality