Contemporary Homes Blog

Doing Business In: Why It Is The Best State

By Joel Fine
Oct 01, 2018

Utah ranks number one in the US for job growth, enjoys consistently low unemployment rates, and a strong workforce. What’s at the heart of this success? Small business. The US Small Business Administration reports that Utah is home to over 277,000 small businesses that make up 99.3 percent of Utah companies and 57.3 percent of total employees in the state. Here are four areas that have been fundamental to Utah’s economic success:

A Strong & Educated Workforce

“Nothing is more important to businesses than having access to a qualified workforce,” says Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “That is why so many companies choose to invest in education.” Any business will tell you that if they cannot find good, skilled people, then nothing else matters.

Utah’s public education systems, both K-12 and higher education, have a strong partnership with our business community. This partnership provides a consistent dialogue between educators and business leaders to identify gaps in our workforce skills and then develop a plan to fill those needs. This collaboration is evident is through the Talent Ready Utah initiative, which includes technical training for students through high school, so they graduate not only with a degree but with a high-wage, high-demand job, also.

Taxes & Regulation

Utah’s economy continues to benefit from our flat five percent personal and corporate tax rate, which is one of the lowest in the nation. Low taxes are important to small business but equally important is a stable tax rate. Utah small businesses have benefited from the predictability of the state’s flat tax throughout the 20 years since the rate was established.

Additionally, the Governor’s office, state legislature, and the Salt Lake Chamber are always looking at ways to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary regulations. In 2011, the state conducted one of the most thorough regulation reviews in the nation. This was partially due to a small business owner who wondered aloud why he could not fax or email his license renewal to the state agency, instead of mailing it. A closer inspection of the rule showed it was written in 1973. Since then, nearly 2,000 regulations have been modified or eliminated in favor of Utah businesses.

Incentives

Incentivizing business creation and sustainable growth is key to Utah’s thriving small business ecosystem. Several state programs assist new and existing businesses: one is the business expansion and retention (BEAR) grants for small businesses in rural parts of the state. The Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative specifically assists start-up and early-stage tech companies, as well.

The state also offers financial incentives for business relocation and expansion. This incentive program is built on three pillars that make it both effective and sustainable: 1) the business expansion must be competitive, 2) the incentives must be post-performance, and 3) the incentive must be a tax rebate once the jobs have been created and the corporate taxes are paid. Most importantly, these incentives were previously only available to new companies relocating to Utah: they are now available to businesses already in Utah to help them grow at home.

International Trade

You may have read recent headlines that trade is killing the US, that is not the case in Utah. Utah is a trade surplus state to the tune of $4 billion annually and has doubled its exports over the past decade with a goal to double exports again over the next ten years. This is a credit to the 3,500 plus companies that export, nearly 85 percent of which are small businesses.

Take, for example, Butcher’s Bunches, which makes handcrafted, all natural fruit preserves in Cache Valley. The jam is not only sold in Utah but in Asia, the UK, France, Australia, Canada, and Dubai. This global family company began selling in a farmer’s market in Park City. Tourists visiting Park City from around the world enjoyed the product so much that they began asking Liz Butcher, the owner, how they could buy her jam when they returned home.

Utah’s pioneering heritage is alive and well across the state, from Grouse Creek to Montezuma Creek. Our state and local governments are partnering with the business community to support small business owners who work every day to keep the American Dream alive for themselves, their families, and their employees.

Utah No. 1 Best State for Business for 2015: 5th year out of the last 6

By Joel Fine
May 02, 2016

When you think of the nation’s greatest sports dynasties, you might think of the Boston Celtics, New York Yankees or Green Bay Packers. Now think “economic dynasty”—and Utah should come to mind. Forbes magazine once again ranked Utah as the No. 1 Best State for Business for 2015. This marks five out of the last six years in the top spot.

“We’ve enjoyed years of success but have also learned a very important lesson: it’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get there,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “It’s always exciting to earn top accolades, but it’s even more meaningful that this is our fifth win from Forbes. It means that all of our work to maintain a winning business environment is working. It means we’re continuously building a champion state.”

Utah has been ranked No. 1 for economic outlook every year since 2008. Everyone from the Washington Post and Fortune magazine to The New Yorker has been talking about Utah, trying to discover the Beehive State’s secret to success. Collaboration is one of the state’s not-so-secret strengths.

“Sports dynasties don’t happen because of one star player or a single miracle play,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “They happen because of focused strategy, tireless effort and—perhaps most importantly—teamwork. The same goes for Utah’s economy. This is the result of continued partnership between Utah’s greatest in business, government, education and our communities. Team Utah has built an incredible economic dynasty.”

The Forbes ranking comes just days after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s latest research titled “Enterprising States: States Innovate.” Utah took top marks in all six measured categories, including business climate and high-tech performance. The state won the No. 1 spot for innovation and entrepreneurship, garnering the label of “most fundamentally sound state” from the Chamber.

One point in the Chamber’s study is reminiscent of 2013—the one year in the past six—that Utah ranked a still noteworthy No. 3 rather than No. 1 with Forbes. One area for improvement in the “States Innovate” report is talent pipeline. Utah barely missed the top ten for the category taking the No. 11 spot.

Like any hall of fame team, Utah’s overall success lies in a proactive focus on the fundamentals: reduced regulation, spending within means and, when necessary, implementing “cross-training” and “conditioning” to perfect our economic play.

Just last month, an unprecedented collaboration between government, industry and education leaders produced the Utah Aerospace Pathways (UAP) program. The program is designed to place high school students on the fast-track for aerospace careers, landing them in high-paying jobs right after high school graduation. UAP serves as a pilot for similar education programs for other industries—such as the IT and software sector—along with incumbent worker training programs. Coupled with other endeavors such as the STEM Action Center’s grant programs and teacher trainings, all hands are on deck for tackling workforce development. The idea is to create sustainable economic development.

“Our job as part of Team Utah is to work with companies that are considering Utah for expansion, so we see the business site selection process regularly,” said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Receiving the Forbes Best State for Business ranking again in 2015, and for the fifth time in six years, confirms what we hear from companies every day: no one else does economic development like Utah. The model we have in this state, with industry support, local community participation and leadership from the Governor’s Office—it is uncommon and remarkable.”

Posted in Real Estate Information, Salt Lake Community News, Wasatch Front Real Estate Info | 0 Responses to "Utah ranked No. 1 Best State for Business for 2015—the fifth year out of the last six"

These are the best cities for a fresh start

By RealCove
Apr 30, 2018

If you’ve ever had to move to another city for a job, you’ll know just how difficult relocating your life can be.

But some parts of the country may be better suited for a fresh start — places like Buffalo, New York; Minneapolis; Salt Lake City; and Austin, Texas; are among some of the most receptive, a new study by online lending exchange LendingTree indicates.  Read more on inman.com >

Red Butte Concert Series

By RealCove
Apr 17, 2018

Concert season is upon us, here is Red Butte's Concert Series line up for 2018 > 

These are the states with the highest paid millennials

By RealCove
Apr 17, 2018

Are you a millennial? Looking for a new place to live? Well, you may want to consider the following cities.

Personal finance site WalletHub put together an analysis of the top cities for millennials (Pew Research Center defines millennials as being born from 1981 to 1996) based on rankings that didn’t include which cities have the best avocado toast or the most Instagrammable neon signs.

The study looked at job earnings, unemployment rates, voter-turnout rate and affordability (the cost of a Starbucks latte was factored in) as well as education and health. So which states got the best ratings?  Read more on theladders.com > 

Here is the best place to live in Utah

By RealCove
Apr 17, 2018

A new report from Niche, which ranks the best and worst places to live across the country, identified the Greater Avenues neighborhood as the No. 1 spot to live in the Beehive State.

Park City finished second on the list, followed by Yalecrest (located on the east bench of Salt Lake City), Kaysville and North Logan.  Read more at deseretnews.com >

A Quick Guide to Home Buying

By RealCove
Apr 17, 2018

A great article in Rismedia about Home Buying >

 
 
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