Flowing Toward 2050: Utah’s Water Outlook

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Reposted from the Utah Foundation website: http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/flowing-toward-2050-utahs-water-outlook/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utah’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million people in the next 35 years. The implications of this projected growth are far reaching for state and local agencies and for policy makers. Previous reports in the 2014 population growth series have discussed where growth will occur, who new Utahns will be, and what they will need to continue to have the quality of life that current Utahns enjoy. This report, the third in a four-part series, focuses on the interaction between population growth and future water supply.

Two different viewpoints Diverted Water Useon Utah’s water future exist – that the state currently has enough water for future demands or the state needs to develop multiple projects to ensure continued water sustainability. Increased pressure on the existing system created by projected population growth provides the groundwork for these two viewpoints. For those who believe the current, developed supply is sufficient, increased emphasis on conservation and better water management are key policy strategies. For those who think that population growth will overrun existing current supply in the next 15-20 years, emphasis is placed on development of new supply through large and small-scale projects. Financing of new development and conservation are both important topics, but this report also discusses impacts created by climate as well as conversion of agricultural land and water rights to municipal and industrial uses.

Since Utah is a desert and water is an essential element of sustaining life, discussions on water policy are not going away. This report presents six recommendations for policy strategies or further study in the fields of rate structure, local response, and planning.

HealthInsight and the Utah Partnership for Value

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

 

 

 

 

HealthInsight, a local non-profit that aims to achieve quality and effectiveness in health care, is seeking dedicated employer representatives to participate in a community coalition, the Advisory Board for the Utah Partnership for Value (UPV). UPV is a forum that brings together providers, payers, purchasers (employers) and the public to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs. More information about UPV, current Board members and minutes from previous meetings are available at: http://healthinsight.org/upv.

The Advisory Board is meeting actively but seeks additional employer representation. Candidates for the Advisory Board should be knowledgeable about the health care system as a whole, have the ability to offer their organization’s support for initiatives and share a commitment to collaborative leadership. One example of an upcoming effort will be a collaboration with Consumer Reports to develop messaging encouraging employees to appropriately avoid unnecessary imaging services for low back pain, a significant driver of low-value health care expenditures.

Interested parties should contact Suzy Wickens: swickens@healthinsight.org.

 

This week in the Utah Business Report

Friday, September 26th, 2014

In case you missed one or more of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Business Reports on KSL NewsRadio, here is a recap of what we talked about this week.

For the full recorded reports from this week and weeks past, visit KSL NewsRadio online. Remember to tune in between 12:30 and 1 p.m. to KSL NewsRadio every week day on 102.7 FM or 1160 AM. If your business is doing something great, let us know and we may feature it on the Utah Business Report.

The Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium and Your Utah Your Future Workshops are scheduled for Thursday, October 23, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Salt Palace Convention Center and you are invited to attend.

The consortium brings together hundreds of local government leaders and staff, representatives from the planning, development, and business and community organizations, and the general public.

Attendees will hear directly from several local communities regarding how they have developed key areas and how the Wasatch Choice for 2040 tools have been instrumental in their success.

Attendees will also be part of a planning process regarding the future of our State and will provide input on the Your Utah Your Future initiative via an interactive workshop that focuses on topics such as water, air quality, education, economic development, transportation and more.

This is an event you won’t want to miss! For more information visit wfrc.org.

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Natural History Museum of Utah scientists delve into the past to help people make informed decisions about the future. Sustainability is at the core of its Salt Lake City home, at the Rio Tinto Center.

The museum building was designed and built according to the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Gold Certification with energy efficiency playing a major role.

Working with Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart® Business program the museum implemented a range of energy-savings measures, including high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, lighting fixtures and day lighting.

The museum is saving approximately 314,000 kilowatt-hours in electricity and $22,000 in energy costs annually. They also received nearly $41,000 in Rocky Mountain Power incentives.

To see if wattsmart Business is right for your business, visit wattsmart.com.

The Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority, the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Mountainland Association of Governments have been awarded a highly-competitive, national grant to study the I-15/FrontRunner corridor along the Wasatch Front between Utah County and Weber County.

The I-15/FrontRunner corridor along the Wasatch Front is among the most heavily congested areas in the state. With Utah’s population in this area expected to increase 60% by 2040, the study will provide a much-needed plan to look at all modes of transportation and the connectivity between them, including how roads, public transportation, biking and walking can provide choices for getting around.

The Pioneer Corridor Plan will provide a framework to enhance regional mobility and strengthen the economy through proactive planning that improves access to jobs and facilitates the movement of goods and services.

It is anticipated that the study will begin this fall and will take approximately one and a half years to complete.

Congratulations on receiving this grant!

The Buckner Company recently announced several leadership changes, reflecting the advancement of strong leaders throughout the company.

Terry H. Buckner, formerly the President and CEO, will now serve as Chairman and CEO of his family-owned, third-generation commercial insurance brokerage. Mark Oh-lig-sh-lay-ger has been promoted from Executive Vice President and COO to President and COO.  In a new position for The Buckner Company, Christian Deputy has been named the Chief Sales Officer.

The Buckner Company also announced the opening of their new Denver, Colorado office.  The Salt Lake City-based commercial insurance brokerage has been named one of Utah’s fastest-growing companies and has opened three other offices in the past three years.

The Buckner Company has been serving the insurance needs of the most successful businesses in the West with honesty, integrity, and superior service for more than 77 years. Visit www.buckner.com for more information.

The Utah Small Business Coalition is proud to host the 3rd Annual Small Business Summit. This conference is specifically geared to small business owners and managers and features informative keynote speakers and numerous breakout sessions aimed to help small businesses improve their bottom line and build stronger businesses.

The keynote presentations for this event include “Growing a Stronger Business” by Rudy Vidal, “Using Engagement Marketing to Fill Your Sales Funnel” by Zak Barron and “Utah Small Businesses: Challenges and Opportunities” by Jon Lieber. Some of the breakout sessions include “Financing Your Small Business,” “Building a Sustainable Business,” Deepening Customer Relations,” “The Power of Perception” and many others.

Don’t miss this opportunity! The Utah Small Business Summit takes place on Wednesday, October 8, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event will take place at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center.

For more information and to register for the event, visit slchambeer.com.

 

 

Meet the Candidates Breakfast

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

On Thursday, September 25, the Salt Lake Chamber hosted a networking and casual breakfast discussion with 4th Congressional District candidates Mia Love (R) and Doug Owens (D) . The Chamber and participants heard both the candidates view on a list of topics that focused on federal questions important to Utah’s economy including:

• Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

• Immigration Reform Efforts

• Federal Transportation Funding

• Federal Regulations

Business leaders have identified dysfunction in Washington DC as one of the biggest threats to Utah’s continued economic growth. Because there is no incumbent in this race, the Chamber wants to provide participants with a chance to get to know both candidates before the November election.

As a reminder, the Salt Lake Chamber does not endorse individual candidates or political parties.

Mia Love responding to healthcare reform questions

Doug Owens at SL Chamber Candidate Forum

Doug Owen discussing immigration reform

 

 

 

Natalie Gochnour: Good choices allow Utahns to enjoy economic success

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

By: Natalie Gochnour (published by the Deseret News Aprl 4, 2014, updated on April 8, 2014,  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865600189/Good-choices-allow-Utahns-to-enjoy-economic-success.html)

 

You wouldn’t call somebody who just won the lottery “prosperous.” They may be rich and they are certainly lucky, but they are not prosperous. Prosperity has to be earned.

On Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert hosted his annual Utah Economic Summit. Unlike his first year in office when unemployment hovered around 8 percent, Utah’s unemployment rate now stands below 4 percent, a level many economists would call near-full employment.

The Utah economy created 32,200 jobs during the past 12 months and nearly every major industry is growing. Utah’s level of income equality is among the highest in the nation. The governor’s vision of having the state become one of the strongest economies in the nation and a global business destination has largely been met. It may just be time for the governor to claim victory and set an even higher bar.

I made up a new word that characterizes what’s happening in Utah: I like to think of Utahns as Prospertarians. Taken from the root word prosperity, Prospertarians are people who experience remarkable economic success because of the choices they make.

Economics teaches us that large differences in economic performance can be explained. There are reasons some countries and states do well and others do poorly. Usually, places that motivate investment and spur productivity outperform those that don’t.

Consider North and South Korea. At the end of the Korean War the countries shared similar situations. They were both devastated by war, possessed similar natural endowments and tallied similar income and education levels. The Korean War ended in 1953. Today gross domestic product per capita in South Korea exceeds that of North Korea by a factor of 17!

We can learn similar lessons by looking at East and West Germany, or even today’s China, as it has been more accepting of market forces.

So what are the lessons learned? First, markets work. We know of no better way to organize economic activity than through the rules of free enterprise. Thanks to reasonable regulations and tax policies, Utah’s market is performing better than most and we are reaping the rewards in terms of increased economic opportunity.

The corollary is that even in a market economy, governments play a vital role. Governments set the rules of the game in motivating investment and in fueling productivity growth. Nothing kills an economy faster than a misbehaving government. Just watch and see how Russia’s macroeconomic indicators plunge over the next several months because of the actions of President Vladimir Putin.

But there’s more.

To be a true Prospertarian you have to be willing to help those in need, a trait we possess in abundance as Utahns. The Community Foundation of Utah recently celebrated raising $1 million during the 24-hour Love Utah, Give Utah campaign. That’s success.

Primary Children’s Hospital just raised $521,619 during the KSL Radiothon. That’s success.

Catholic Community Services is an amazing force for good in this state. It administers compassionate service to the poor, the hungry and the homeless. It admirably serves immigrants in this state. That’s success.

Then there’s the well-known story about the aid provided by the LDS Church after Hurricane Katrina. A man was asked about the service rendered to the people of New Orleans. He said two different churches really stood out — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormons! That’s success.

All this is not to say we don’t have problems in Utah. An estimated 57,100 people remain unemployed. Approximately 12 percent of Utahns live in poverty. Far too many Utahns are without health insurance. We really need to expand Medicaid in this state. And we must invest more in public and higher education if we wish to remain prosperous.

But we are Prospertarians because of the choices we’ve made. We’ve made smart investments in human and physical capital. We’ve provided the right incentives for innovation that spur productivity. And, importantly, we hold out a helping hand to those in need. Taken together … smart decisions, hard work and compassionate service create a winning combination. Join me in celebrating Utah’s current economic success and commit to an even better future.

Natalie Gochnour is an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber.

This week in the Utah Business Report

Friday, September 19th, 2014

In case you missed one or more of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Business Reports on KSL NewsRadio, here is a recap of what we talked about this week.

For the full recorded reports from this week and weeks past, visit KSL NewsRadio online. Remember to tune in between 12:30 and 1 p.m. to KSL NewsRadio every week day on 102.7 FM or 1160 AM. If your business is doing something great, let us know and we may feature it on the Utah Business Report.

I would like to share some exciting news about CLEARLINK’s Vice President of HR, Cammie Cable. Cammie is a member of the Salt Lake Chamber and a leader within the HR industry, particularly wellness. Her reach extends beyond her business into the community among a cross-section of HR professionals.

On May 22nd at the 15th annual “30 Women to Watch Awards Luncheon,” Cammie was recognized as one of Utah’s most dynamic women. The award spotlights women who influence their companies for the better, who create a positive impact on their communities and who play an important role in shaping the state.

Receiving the award is fitting since Cammie’s passion for CLEARLINK and the community runs deep. Her passion for engaging our CLEARLINK’s people and the communities they touch makes her a true innovator in her field. This award could not go to a more talented individual.

Cammie Cable has been instrumental in engaging employees in a culture of wellness at CLEARLINK. Her innovative approach to wellness has resulted in achieving 100 percent health care. Congratulations, Cammie Cable!

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Earlier this month the Howard Hughes Corporation announced that Ivory Homes will be the master residential developer at Cottonwood, a 57-acre mixed-use redevelopment. Future Cottonwood residents will enjoy the ultimate urban living given the dynamic shopping, dining and entertainment options just steps away. This development will be the first pedestrian-friendly environment in the area.

As the master residential developer of the Cottonwood development, Ivory Homes will partner with its sister entity, Ivory Commercial and Multi-Family, that specializes in condominiums and multi-family to create a vibrant community consisting of over 600 residents ranging from single families to apartments and condo residences. Ivory Homes and their sister entity have worked together to design a comprehensive residential plan that complements the commercial and retail portions of the Cottonwood master plan.

Future residents will enjoy an unmatched variety of options including for-rent and for-sale residences with exclusive amenities.

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I am excited to report on the progress of GREENbike, Salt Lake City’s bike share program. Since its launch in April 2013, GREENbike has grown by 100 percent to 20 downtown stations with 160 active bikes. In addition to the eight new stations installed this July, six existing stations are being expanded to accommodate demand.

In 2013, 6,100 people rode 65 GREENbikes 26,000 times, preventing over 54,000 miles from being driven. Each GREENbike averaged 400 trips during the program’s eight-month season. In April of 2013 GREENbike launched with 10 bike share stations and 55 active bikes.

GREENbike has received an unprecedented amount of private sector support for a program of its size, which is what allows GREENbike to offer unlimited 30-60 minute trips to annual members for only $75 a year, $15 for 4-Days or $5 for 24-Hours.

What a tremendous start for this program! Way to go GREENbike! For more information about the GREENbike bike share program, visit greenbikeslc.org.

Lagoon unveiled plans to debut the most exciting roller coaster in the park’s history. This new attraction is called Cannibal. Cannibal has been under construction for over two years and is set to open for the upcoming 2015 season. This steel roller coaster is one of a kind, and is primarily manufactured and constructed locally. Cannibal will be the fourth coaster in the park.

Cannibal will be the tallest attraction in the park with a height of 208 feet. This new coaster will thrill riders with its unique elements that are unlike anything else at Lagoon. Riders will be lifted 208 feet on a vertical lift and then plunged into a free fall at a break-over angle of 116 degrees into an underground tunnel. The 12 rider vehicles travel up to 70 miles per hour and the maximum loop is 140 feet tall.

Cannibal will be the most exciting thrill ride in Lagoon history!

For more information about Lagoon, visit lagoonpark.com.

Mountain America Credit Union was announced as the only Utah financial institution accepted into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s eClosing pilot study. Mountain America Credit Union was also announced as one of only two credit unions accepted in the study.

The purpose of this study is to help make closing a mortgage a more efficient and pleasant experience for consumers by utilizing technology solutions. The term “eClosing” refers to a mortgage closing that relies on technology for stakeholders to review and/or sign documentation electronically.  This process is intended to create more informed buyers and sellers and to avoid any surprises at the closing table by making the necessary documents available online for review and approval ideally three days before closing.

To participate in the eClosing study, Mountain America has proven its ability to securely manage document and data transfer, has a platform for viewing and interacting with documents, facilitates electronic signatures, creates a clear audit trail for the transaction and sanitizes data for analysis.

For more information visit macu.com.

 

Peggy Larsen Named 2014 ATHENA

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-standing statewide business association, has named Peggy Larsen of Workers Compensation Fund (WCF), as the 2014 ATHENA Award recipient. The award will officially be presented Nov. 18, 2014 at the 38th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon, presented by the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center.

Peggy is a motivating force at WCF, especially to the women she works with. She has reached a level of success in the midst of consistent challenges and obstacles. She will be the first to admit that the road has been difficult, but through hard work and dedication, anything is possible. She has inspired the women at WCF to raise their game. She was the first female senior executive at WCF and since that time she has been instrumental in helping other women achieve higher levels of success within the company.

Outside of WCF she serves on many boards and committees. She has served on the Economic Development Corp of Utah, Executive Women International, United Way of Salt Lake, Salt Lake Chamber committees and chairs Utah Business Week. She is a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Utah and a past Pathfinder winner.

Peggy is the reason for WCF’s heavy involvement with the United Way of Salt Lake. She reorganized WCF’s historically scattered opportunities for employees to give to the community. She launched employee contribution drives for United Way that continue to top expectations, even earning recognition from United Way. With her direction, WCF has won several awards from United Way.

Her tireless efforts in the community lead to the creation of a generous volunteer policy. Employees are allowed to give up to 4 hours a month of their time during work hours to improve the communities we live in. Her passion for making a difference has caught on at WCF and has transformed its culture.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, strength and strategy. Peggy continually demonstrates these qualities in her daily actions. A few years ago she recognized a lack of affordable insurance coverage’s for small business owners in our market. She quickly and effectively created a program to offer to WCF policyholders that would meet the needs of small business owners. These additional insurance product offerings have made a significant difference in the business operations of WCF’s policyholders.

She recognizes needs in WCF business operations and in the communities we work and live in. She doesn’t settle for the status quo and is determined to change her environment for the better. Her influence at WCF has helped transform the culture and she has created lasting programs and product offerings that have helped make the company more profitable. She inspires the people she works with to be better and to go out and do something to change the life of someone else.

About the ATHENA

The ATHENA International Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business, provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Established in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, the ATHENA Award Program is now administered from its Chicago, Illinois, headquarters and boasts over 300 active communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. More than 5,000 individuals representing a wide variety of professions and businesses have received the ATHENA Award. Presented by local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors the award practically demonstrates the quote from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.

Pathfinders

In addition to the ATHENA Award, four women will receive Pathfinder awards. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths that promote the development and recognition of women in business. The 2014 recipients include:

• Patrice Arent, Utah State Legislature

• Juanita Damon, American Express

• Martha Eining, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

• Denise Winslow, Wells Fargo

Dr. Linda Leckman was honored with the ATHENA Award in 2013, and Gail Miller in 2012. Other recent recipients include Beverley Taylor Sorenson (2011) Senator Pat Jones (2008), Governor Olene Walker (2004) and Patricia Richards of Wells Fargo (2000) who was the first woman to chair the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors.

About the Pathfinders

The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually during the American Express Women & Business Conference during the Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon to a select number of worthy community leaders who have a history of support for women and women’s issues and who have worked to further the development and recognition of women. This award has been a traditional part of the conference for many years.

You can register for the Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Award Luncheon at http://slchamber.com/portal/list/view/womenandbusiness. The event will be held at the Little America Hotel at 500 South Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the ATHENA Awards Luncheon runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. Don’t miss the great event!

Past ATHENA Recipients

2013 Linda Leckman, Intermountain Healthcare

2012 Gail Miller, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

2011 Beverley Taylor Sorenson, Sorenson Foundation

2010 Cynthia Bioteau, Salt Lake Community College

2009 Chris Redgrave, Bonneville Salt Lake Radio Group

2008 Patricia Jones, Dan Jones & Associates

2007 Margo Provost, Log Haven

2006 Marilyn Tang, Certified Handling Systems

2005 Pamela Atkinson, Community Advocate

2004 Gov. Olene Walker, Utah State Governor

2003 Becky Berkey Potts, AT&T Wireless

2002 Susan Glasmann, Questar Gas Company

2001 Lori Giovannoni, Lori Giovannoni and Associates

2000 Patricia Richards, First Security Bank

1999 Lorraine Miller, Cactus & Tropicals

1998 Deborah Bayle, American Red Cross Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter

1997 Carol Carter, IC Products

1996 Ramona Rudert, Predictable Building Systems

1995 Joan Lewis, Nesco Service, Inc.

1993 June Morris, Morris Air

1992 Rhoda Ramsey, Ramsey Group N.

1991 Patricia Freston, Ph.D., Questar Corporation

1990 Jacqueline Nicholes, Quality Press

1988 Carol Browning, CLU

1987 Patricia Shoemaker Glessner, KSL TV

1986 Isabelle Jensen, Questar Corporation

1985 Carol Fay, Internal Revenue Services

1984 Phyllis Steorts, Westin Hotel Utah

 

About the Chamber

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest business association and Utah’s business leader. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents 8,000 businesses and approximately 500,000 Utah jobs—nearly half the workforce of our state. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.

 

Utah’s Economy Growing as Private Sector Achieves Jobs Goal Ahead of Schedule

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Over 150,000 jobs created in Utah since January 2011

The Utah’s Department of Workforce Services released its jobs report for August 2014 on Friday, September 19, which showed that the goal to hire 150,000 employees in five years was achieved—a year and half ahead of schedule. The Utah Jobs Agenda led by the Salt Lake Chamber was established to stimulate Utah’s economic recovery during the recession, which resulted in the Utah economy losing 100,000 jobs during the downturn. At the time, business leaders came together to set an ambitious goal of creating 150,000 jobs in as little as five years. The completion of the private sector’s complementary plan builds on Governor Gary Herbert’s recent announcement of achieving his goal of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days, and shows Utah’s economy is leading the nation. The Utah Jobs Agenda is a great example of a very purposeful, engaged and active business community setting a course and moving Utah forward positively. “The new numbers show that Utah’s current employment now registers at 1,332,099 and increase of 154,085 jobs since the Utah Jobs Agenda was launched.”

“For several years I’ve been asking our business leaders to hire one-more person, and join with the Governor and the Legislature in making job creation a top priority,” said Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber, President & CEO. “Today’s announcement would not be possible without their great leadership, which has made our state home to what is arguably the best economy and best place for business in the nation.”

In January 2011, business leaders came together to endorse a plan that would bring Utah to the forefront of the nation’s economy; the job creation component of that plan was fulfilled in Friday’s jobs report. The goal also included 10 objectives to accomplishing the plan, including areas focusing on the following:

• Education performance

• Transportation investment

• International trade value

• Energy infrastructure investment

• Low cost of doing business in Utah

• Recruitment of regional headquarters

• Immigration reform

• Stable tax policies

• Improved air quality

• Rural economic development

“Utah’s business community has responded and invested in creating jobs,” says Terry Buckner, Salt Lake Chamber Chairman and CEO, The Buckner Company, CEO. “The diversity of the issues the plan addresses also speaks to the diversity of Utah’s economy, but there is still much work to be done in education, transportation, air quality and comprehensive tax reform to ensure continued prosperity.”

“Economic leadership in Utah is paying dividends for our business community,” said Natalie Gochnour, the Salt Lake Chamber’s chief economist and associate dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “Businesses are investing in the Utah economy and we are currently one of the top three best performing economies in the country.”

Among many notable companies who hired and helped achieve this goal, Goldman Sachs not only took the challenge seriously, but continues today to expand their Utah operation.

“The growth of our Utah operations has been driven by our ability to attract and retain world-class talent, our strong relationships with state and local government and great quality of life,” said David Lang, Managing Director and head of Goldman Sachs, Salt Lake City.

About the Chamber

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest business association and Utah’s business leader. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents 8,000 businesses and approximately 500,000 Utah jobs—nearly half the workforce of our state. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.

5 Reasons Why Social Media is Essential for Businesses

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

You have probably heard a lot about tweets, likes and circles, but why are these important to you and your business? Social media used to be a nice asset to your business, but now it is an essential component. If incorporating social media into your communications plan seems intimidating or overwhelming, please read on! It’s really quite simple.

Sometimes we think of social media as more of a personal network, but social media provides several benefits from a business stand point. This avenue of communication provides opportunities that you simply can’t pass up or postpone.

Social media is all about exposure. Different social media channels provide the opportunity to get messages out quickly and through a medium that many users interact with multiple times a day. Social media tweets and posts are easy to share and spread. If you make your content engaging, you will be surprised to see how quickly your message gets through to a wide array of individuals.

Social media also provides the means of being tagged and connected to the content and posts of associating businesses and individuals through the use of handles and hashtags. What is a handle? A handle is a unique identifier for you or your business. Note: Make sure to keep your handles consistent so that it is easy to find you on the different social platforms. What is a hashtag? A hashtag is used to identify a specific message or topic of your choice. These words and phrases are preceded by the pound sign and there are no spaces between the words or phrases. Note: Hashtags are handy in sparking and being part of a larger, continuing conversation through social media because they are easily searchable and unique. It is best to keep them short and consistent.

Social media is responsive. Through different social platforms it is very easy to start conversations, ask questions, get feedback and see results. Each of the social media channels has analytics and tools to track how well your content does and who it reaches. This effectively helps you adjust and focus what you communicate to the needs of your customers and potential clients.

Social media is a community of prospects. Social media is an easy way to reach a large group of potential customer and clients. Many individuals and groups are connected through social media and it is easy to spread the word about your business of specialty. In Facebook for example, many businesses create their own page and it is easy to invite other “friends” to “like” or share a business. This gets your company name out and provides an easy way for people to search for what they need.

An easy way to connect to social media is by linking the different platforms that you use to your website. This allows individuals to get acquainted with you in a variety of ways. This also gives existing clients the opportunity to share your business with their friends and colleagues. It is simple to refer a great business when it only takes a click or two!

Social media shows that you care to be current. Social media is not a temporary method of communication. It is here to stay. Many successful companies are connected through social media so it is a positive addition to connect your business to these different platforms. You will impress and provide for your customers who are actively engaged in social media. Typically you hear to NOT follow the crowd, but in this case it is a good idea! You can still be different, stand out and have an impact in the way that you USE social media, not in the decision of whether or not to use it at all.

Social media is fun. As you begin to invest your time and resources into social media, you will not only see a great payoff, but you will begin to see how fun social media can be. Social media makes is easy to see who receives and interacts with your content, which is both helpful and rewarding. You can also learn more about other businesses and competitors through their social media channels. The more you learn by doing, the more you will see through your own social media avenues.

As you start to make social media a larger part of your communications plan you will find that it becomes a lot easier! The benefits of using social media are vast, so investing in social media is well worth your time. “5 Reasons Why Social Media is Essential for Your Business” is one of three articles about social media. Don’t miss “5 Ways You Can Improve the Way You Use Social Media in Your Business” coming soon!

Public Policy – September Update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

As the “Voice of Business” and Utah’s statewide Chamber, the Salt Lake Chamber leads out on critical issues that impact Utah businesses and our community. In the coming weeks, here is how we plan to “move the dial” to grow our economy, promote community prosperity and champion business in Utah, as well as ways for you to participate for the month of September and beyond.

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Public Policy 

The Policy Chairs meeting gathered to discuss legislative priorities and to plan the upcoming 2015 public policy guide. The Chamber’s intent remains to enhance major initiatives including economic development, infrastructure, environment and Utah’s workforce, thereby ensuring Utah’s has the premier business climate in the country.

The public policy guide serves as the platform for the business community’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session, desired action in Washington and other key community issues. You can find the 2014 Public Policy Guide here.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Energy and Minerals: Fall Energy Trip (Oct. 21-22) 

The next meeting will be with the Natural Resources Business Council on October 8th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.

The Salt Lake Chamber and Utah Office of Energy are excited to announce the 2014 Fall Energy Excursion, October 21-22, 2014, to Utah’s coal country and southeastern energy producing counties. The one-night, two-day excursion builds upon the success of previous excursions to the Uinta Basin (Fall 2013) and Milford/Beaver (Spring 2014). Join us as we head south to explore, engage and learn in southeastern Utah. Register here.

The September task force meeting included an excellent presentation from Alan Westenskow from the Utah Economic Council and Zions Bank Public Finance on the energy economies of Uintah and Duchene counties, an update from Tammie Lucero from Uintah County Economic Development, the high-level details regarding our Fall Energy Excursion, and an update from the Office of Energy Development on their office including, recent new staff additions, partnering with Chamber on the aforementioned trip, a new electric vehicle website they will be rolling out in the near future, videos of energy jobs and opportunities and developing an economic impact for energy on Utah’s economy. We will have updates in the near future on the committee, including meeting dates and ways to participate.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Prosperity 2020:

The U.S Chamber Foundation released the Leaders and Laggards report which ranks Utah in the middle of the pack. Of particular interest are Utah’s low scores in student proficiency and postsecondary and workforce readiness. Prosperity 2020 is actively engaged in improving education outcomes and building a better workforce.

A five-year plan has been drafted to take Utah to the top ten in education in the country. These policies have been outlined in detail in a plan being developed by Prosperity 2020 and Education First, with input from major education stakeholders throughout the state. We’d like your feedback on the draft. If your organization would like a presentation on the plan’s objectives, please contact us.

The plan will be rolled out at AcademicXL, a TED-style conference in Salt Lake City in October presenting innovative practices to make Utah a leader in education. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Please contact Allyson Bell at abell@slchamber.com or Jana Scott jscott@prosperity2020.com for information.

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Natural Resources Business Council:

Every other month, we meet as a group of four-task forces and then in the off months each task force meets independently. This not only drives unity, but helps the Chamber maximize its staff resources and alleviate conflicts and silos.

In addition to driving fidelity, the Council provides a unique venue for the Chamber to speak on stewardship and sustainability and position the business community as a leader on energy issues. The next Natural Resources business council will be on October 8th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and will focus on natural resources principles.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com. 

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Regulation: Solutions Summit a Success 

Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

We partnered with Sen. Mike Lee, Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah Association of Counties and over 200 attendees for the Utah Solutions Summit on Thursday, August 21, 2014  to discuss the vast and uncertain regulatory burden under which businesses are required to comply and develop solutions to move our economy forward.

The agenda included discussion with business leaders and government offi­cials about regulation compliance and the relationship between regulation and economic development. This event included featured keynote speakers U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

If you have any other questions or comments regarding regulation solutions, please reach out to Justin Jones at (801) 558-9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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Clean Air: 4th Annual Clean Air Summit Scheduled for Early December

Over the next few months the Clean Air Task Force will spend time identifying potential legislative issues that will help clean our air including Tier 3 Fuels and Vehicles, incentives for cleaner burning autos and the revised State Implementation Plan developed to bring Utah into compliance with federal air quality standards.  Additionally, the Task Force will begin work on the second Inversion Mitigation Effort, through which we encourage the business community to do what they can to reduce emissions during our winter inversion season.  The Task Force will also start developing an agenda for the 4th Annual Clean Air Summit scheduled for early December.

The Chamber is also pleased to announce that Chris Lee, President of Deseret Digital Media, has accepted the role of Chair of the Clean Air Task Force.  Chris takes over for Jonathan Johnson who led the task force for approximately four years.  We appreciate the many years of leadership Jonathan provided and look forward to having Chris help guide our clean air efforts.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Ryan Evans at (801) 328-5063.

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Water: Water Task Force Spinning Up

The next water task force meeting will be held September 18th 2014. The Salt Lake Chamber’s first water task force will focus on best practices for business in water conservation and management. It will also look at current and future infrastructure needs. The Chamber launched its efforts in water last month with “Utah | Water Is Your Business” and will continue to meet in the coming months to address this critical issue for business.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Working with Office of Outdoor Recreation and EDC Utah, we will host a series of discussions over the coming months to promote best practices, build partnerships and discuss issues facing the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism community.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Jesse Dean at (801) 328-5045 or  jesse@downtownslc.org.

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Utah Transportation Coalition: Unified Plan Needs a Unified Front to Fund Transportation

This past month Lane Beattie spoke before the Utah League of Cities and Towns Fall Conference concerning funding Utah’s transportation infrastructure, specifically the local roads in our cities and towns.

With Utah’s anticipated population growth, it’s important to maintain a quality transportation system that benefits the entire business community. The 2040 Unified Transportation plan is a comprehensive approach that provides the outcomes required to successfully support our communities. Additionally, the Coalition is working on a comprehensive communications plan with details to be released in the near future.

In addition, The Utah Transportation Coalition and Parsons Brinkerhoff will be hosting an Aerotroplis forum on October 16th to discuss the importance of the connection between Salt Lake City International Airport and Utah’s economy. The airport just recently broke ground on a 10-year terminal rebuild and released a report detailing the economic impact of the airport to Utah’s economy.

For more details visit www.utahtransportation.org or contact Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com. 

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Downtown Alliance: Downtown Still Rising

Construction continues at unprecedented levels in downtown Salt Lake City, pushing the urban center to new heights with the following signature projects well underway:

George and Dolores Eccles Theater On Main 

Construction for the $117 million project began in Spring 2014. This 2,500 seat, Broadway-style theater is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016 and will be designed to enhance the culture and economic vitality of the region by attracting first-run touring Broadway shows, as well as other national and local music, comedy and family entertainment acts.

111 South Main 

This Class A office development is currently under construction just north of the Eccles Theater on Main Street. The building will feature 440,452 sq. ft. of office space and be integrated with the Eccles Theater project in terms of functionality and design.

300 South Protected Bike Lanes

Salt Lake City Transportation began its protected bike lane project along 300 South between 300 West and 600 East in August with an estimated completion in October. These protected bike lanes are part of the city’s initiative to create low stress urban bikeways connecting neighborhoods to the heart of downtown and will be similar to bike lanes in other major cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis.

If you are interested in learning more about the Downtown Alliance’s initiatives or if you have any questions, please contact Jesse Dean, Director of Urban Development at jesse@downtownslc.org.

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Health System Reform: Meet the Candidates Breakfast and Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary and the State of Utah have reached a conceptual deal regarding the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan. As you know, the Governor has been working hard to close a gap in coverage for people who do not qualify for Medicaid and also fall under the coverage of health exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act. The Chamber has been working closely with the Utah Hospital Association, Chamber members and others to gather support for the Governor’s effort.

We will continue to be an avid supporter with other key partners in urging thoughtful leadership on this key priority. As an example, the Chamber’s Health System Reform task force chairs, Andrew Croshaw and Marc Bennett, did a great job lending the Chamber’s support by testifying to the Legislature’s Healthcare Reform Task Force, urging their support for the Governor’s plan. There will be more details to come in terms of the final agreement for a waiver, as well as next steps for Legislative approval here in Utah, but this update is good news. The Health System Reform Task Force will have a “Meet the Candidates” breakfast on September 25, in lieu of a task force meeting.

If you have any other questions or comments, please reach out to Justin Jones at (801) 558-9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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International: Utah Global Forum

Utah Global Forum – Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014

On September 24, 2014, Utah will host the first of its kind Global Forum. Topics will include Building a Global Brand; Doing Business in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and China; Shared Stories of Success from Utah Companies Abroad; Financing Your Global Expansion; and Global Operational Efficiency Through Sound Legal, Tax and Accounting Practices. The agenda for the event has been release and features a number of world-renowned business and trade experts. If you’re thinking about exporting, looking to invest in one of the fastest growing economies in the United States or seeking inspiration to take your business to the next level, you won’t want to miss out.

For questions regarding the Utah Global Forum please visit: http://www.utahglobalforum.com/.

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