Utah exports an example for the U.S.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Utah exports an example for the U.S. from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Exports are an important part of Utah’s economy, totaling over $10.3 billion dollars per year each of the past two years. In fact, last year, Utah was the only state to see an increase in our overall export figures.

Today, the World Trade Center Utah welcomed Ro Khanna, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations for the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. Khanna spoke to a group of business leaders about President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which sets the goal of doubling exports over the next five years.

Prior to the event, Lew Cramer, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah sat down with Khanna to discuss Utah exports and how the NEI will benefit Utah businesses.

The mission of the World Trade Center Utah is to assist companies into profitable global markets. It is a first stop trade information hub where a business can receive an initial analysis of their trade capabilities, challenges, and opportunities; referrals to the most relevant services; and access to essential educational events to increase their expertise.

For more information, go to the World Trade Center Utah Web site.

Downtown Rising before our very eyes

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

President’s Message March 29, 2010 from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Three years ago this month we unveiled a vision for Downtown Salt Lake City called Downtown Rising.

Downtown Rising embraced a vision for Salt Lake City as the magnificent capital of a great state.

The first stage was really more “downtown demolition” and “downtown digging” than “Downtown Rising.” But now we are beginning to see the hard work pay off and the vision become a reality.

From the beginning, Downtown Rising has been about more than giving the skyline a facelift.

Big buildings—like the beautiful tower at 222 Main—house businesses and businesses create jobs. And those jobs improve the quality of life for the people of our city and all across our state.

Just over a week ago, I joined Mayor Ralph Becker, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and Senator Bob Bennett in welcoming Goldman Sachs to the Downtown area.

Goldman Sachs will occupy seven floors at 222 Main and bring over eleven hundred jobs to our state by the end of the year. Many of the positions will be full-time that pay 150 percent of the Salt Lake County average wage. The company currently has over 690 employees in Salt Lake City from experienced professionals to recent college graduates.

The news is big for other businesses downtown. The workers that occupy 222 Main will eat in restaurants and purchase the goods in shops downtown. They will further enliven the streets

This wouldn’t be possible without the partnership that exists between the city, the county, the state and the business community.

I want to thank Mayor Becker for his hard work and dedication. He’s the mayor of a great city and it’s only getting better.

I want to thank the state for laying the groundwork that creates jobs.

And I want to thank Bruce Bingham of Hamilton Partners for his dedication to our downtown area and for the truly magnificent building and the wonderful addition it is to Main Street.

Just this week we honored several companies for their contributions to downtown at the 15th annual Downtown Achievement Awards. The enhancement of our downtown area has truly been a community effort—and that has made it truly special.

Today, the Downtown Rising vision is becoming a reality before our very eyes. This is only the beginning of a remarkable period in the history of Salt Lake City.

Downtown Alliance Honors Contributions to Salt Lake City

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Zions Securities Corporation receives the Legacy Award at the Downtown Achievement Awards.

The Downtown Alliance hosted the 15th annual Downtown Achievement Awards and Annual Meeting today at the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown. The awards honor the extraordinary contributions individuals and organizations made to downtown Salt Lake City during 2009.

“The evolution of downtown is bigger than just construction projects—it is an emotional connection. It has to do with how we see ourselves and our capital city,” said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance. “We have new projects and promotions planned for 2010, as we continue to build momentum and support for Utah’s urban center and our downtown.”

“It has been a remarkable year and the best is yet to come for the Downtown Alliance and downtown Salt Lake City,” said Vasilios Priskos, principle and founder of Internet Properties and Chair of the Downtown Alliance Board of Trustees.”

2009 Downtown Achievement Award winners:

Advocacy - contributing to the progress, support and success of causes, policies and ideas that promote downtown Salt Lake City as the vibrant economic and activity center of the Intermountain West:

The Mayor Ralph Becker administration
“Working with his partners on the City Council, Mayor Becker has advanced common-sense policies, addressed critical needs across the community, and helped to make city government more responsive and efficient,” said Mark Bouchard, Senior Managing Director of CB Richards Ellis, who presented the award to Mayor Becker. “He builds consensus, collaboration and understanding. And he is a dedicated advocate for downtown.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
We know that the Church’s interest in and support for downtown is ongoing and permanent,” said Tom Guinney, principle at Gastronomy, Inc., who presented the award to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Economic Development
– contributing to the positive economic climate of downtown Salt Lake City, making it the regional destination for mixed-use business, commerce and investment:

222 Main
“222 is a great addition to Downtown’s Skyline—and to the downtown business community,” said Brett Okland, President of Okland Construction, who presented the award to 222 Main. “As many of you know, last week Hamilton signed a major new tenant, Goldman Sachs, who will bring more than 1100 workers to Main Street.”

O.C. Tanner
“O.C. Tanner has truly built one of the world’s greatest retail jewelry stores, made a major contribution to downtown and cemented their legacy as a benefactor of the entire region,” said Cory Moore, Vice President of Big D Construction, who presented the award to O.C. Tanner.

– contributing to the overall vitality of downtown Salt Lake City, making it the premier place for arts, entertainment, culture and live-ability for local and regional visitors:

Utah Jazz
“Love for the Jazz transcends political parties, religious affiliation, ethnic background or economic circumstances,” said Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank and past chair of the Salt Lake Chamber, who presented the award to the Utah Jazz. “The Jazz are a remarkable force for good in our community and they play a vital role in the economy and downtown.”

Broadway Merchant’s Association
“A successful downtown is a collection of many different people and many different types of businesses and organizations. It is inclusive, authentic and unique,” said Amy Coady, president of the Downtown Retail Merchants Association, Director of Marketing at Squatters Brew Pub and member of the Downtown Alliance board, who presented the award to the Broadway Merchant’s Association. “The Broadway Shopping District represents the best in what makes our downtown dynamic and diverse.”

- contributing a dedicated effort over many years to building a downtown that is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment:

Zions Securities Corporation
“Zions has made major contributions for the good to the vitality, beauty and strength of the Central Business District,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Downtown Alliance and Salt Lake Chamber. “At the end of 2009 Zions Securities became part of Property Reserve Inc., the real estate development arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This award is given in recognition of 88 years of service to this community and support for downtown projects.”

“Today we celebrated our future and our commitment to the next phase of our development as we continue our progress as a Great American City,” said Beattie. “As the world struggles through a challenging economic time, downtown Salt Lake City is leading the state and the entire region into a bright future.”

The Downtown Alliance is dedicated to building a dynamic and diverse community that is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment. For more information, visit downtownslc.org.


Greg Poulsen breaks down federal health reform for Capitol Club

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Intermountain Healthcare's Greg Poulsen breaks down the federal health bill.

Greg Poulsen of Intermountain Health gave Capitol Club members a breakdown of the federal health reform bill. Poulsen is widely recognized as one of the leading experts in health system reform. A PDF of the presentation is available below or for download.

Chamber President Lane Beattie named CEO of the Year by Utah Business magazine

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Beattie named CEO of the Year from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.


In a history-making era when CEOs across the country fell by the wayside as quickly as company revenues dropped and unemployment rose, some CEOs found their finest hour. Utah Business magazine is proud to celebrate eight of Utah’s outstanding CEOs, who used their hard-earned experience and roll-up-your-sleeve-and-get-to-it work ethic to not only hold their companies together, but to lead them to exceptional success. Several of our CEO of the Year honorees credit other leaders for setting a standard they could follow. Other CEO honorees made decisions that some might consider risky business. But all of these outstanding leaders share a common belief in not settling for the status quo. Join us as we honor eight of Utah’s top leaders in our 2010 CEO of the Year recognition feature.

Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber

If you ever have an opportunity to listen to Lane Beattie offer business advice, you’re likely to hear something that resembles an Olympic champion’s mantra: work hard, do more than is expected of you, make good decisions and be willing to do the things others are not willing to do.

They are fitting beliefs coming from a leader who helped put Utah on the map as chief Olympic officer for the state from 2000 to 2003, where he oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It was after a winning run in that role that Beattie became president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. Today, his goal is to strengthen Utah’s business community and the state’s overall economy.

“Lane Beattie is a pragmatic CEO,” says Marty Carpenter, director of communication and marketing at the chamber. “He’s not afraid to change directions when necessary, but isn’t one to take risks solely to take risks.”

Beattie shifted the chamber’s focus from a primarily networking organization to one that influences public policy to benefit businesses. Since then, health system reform has been a top priority for the chamber, which recently celebrating the passage of HB 188, which expands access to the health insurance market through the Utah Health Exchange. The Salt Lake Chamber also helped the business community understand and concentrate on the importance of transportation infrastructure and education. “We did it by building coalitions, collaborating and educating people about the need,” Beattie says.

Under Beattie’s leadership, the Salt Lake Chamber’s membership grew from 4,200 organizations at the beginning of 2009 to 5,700 by the end of the year, a period when many chambers in the country were losing memberships. The Salt Lake Chamber also had its strongest sales month in the history of the organization in October 2009.

“In today’s world, it is very important to stay focused and prepare for change,” says Beattie. “Through it all you must apply the principles of integrity and common sense and give everything great effort.”

Chamber encourages Utahns to fill out Census form

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

The Census is the largest peacetime activity of the federal government and the information gathered in the Census is used to decide how more than $400 billion in federal funding is distributed to tribal, state and local governments.

Utah missed out on a fourth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by only 857 people in 2000.

The Census will frame the future of our country and our community for the next 10 years. The Constitution of the United States calls for the census every ten years because a government based on representation of the people needs to know how many people it represents.Ten years ago, Utah missed out on a fourth seat in the U-S House of Representatives by just 857 people. That cost our state a lot of money and an important voice.

This month, more than 130 million addresses will receive a 2010 Census form by mail or hand delivery. The 2010 Census will document the changes in our nation since the last decennial census in 2000, and tell us how we’ve evolved as a country. Because census data affect how more than $400 billion in federal funding is distributed to tribal, state and l

ocal governments, the census also will frame the future of our country and our community for the next 10 years.

During Census 2000, the mail participation rate was 72 percent as of the April 2000 cut-off. About $85 million is saved for every one percent increase in mail participation. For these and many other reasons, we must work to encourage everyone’s participation in the census.

Here’s what you should know about the 2010 Census:

It’s easy. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. The individual in whose name the housing unit is rented or owned should complete the form on behalf of every person living there, both relatives and non-relatives.

It’s important. Census data are used to reapportion seats in Congress and ensure proper district representation in state and local governments. Information from the census helps determine locations for child-care and senior centers, new roads, hospitals, schools and community centers.

It’s safe. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. All Census Bureau employees take an oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

Finally, the most efficient way to respond to the 2010 Census is to complete the form as soon as it arrives and return it in the postage-paid return envelope. Census workers will visit households that do not return forms to take the count in person.

For more information about the 2010 Census and the “Take 10” initiative, visit 2010census.gov.

LISTEN – Census 2010

Business Leaders discuss Economic Development at CEO Roundtable

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Business leaders spoke openly about strengthening Utah's economy during the CEO Roundtable.

A group of 30 business leaders gathered at the Chamber this morning for a frank discussion of the Chamber’s role in economic development in our state.

“This was a great opportunity to bring some remarkable business minds together in a room to discuss the biggest issue we face in the state today,” said Jake Boyer, chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors. “We’re focused on a number of issues but they all tie back to economic development.”

The group discussed the state’s current economic development efforts and heard from both Derek Miller of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Jeff Edwards of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

Last summer, the Chamber Board of Governors declared economic development to be the top policy priority of the business community. Efforts with education, energy policy, health system reform and others, all contribute to a stronger economic climate in the state and serve to strengthen existing business while attracting companies that diversify and fortify Utah’s economy.

Life on State vision unveiled

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The Life on State vision was unveiled by mayors and business leaders at the Chamber.

Life On State is a new vision for State Street’s future in Salt Lake County. It is a once in a century, fresh look at what Utah’s original highway can be.

Various business and government leaders explained the vision for State Street and the effort to enhance it’s status as a center of community life: a livable, vibrant, and attractive place where people want to work, shop and live.

See the Life On State vision today on the web at LifeOnState.org.



Earning the title “Best Managed State”

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

For the past two years Utah has been honored as the “Best Managed State” and this year, that distinction took on an even more significant meaning.

For 45 days from late January to mid-March, members of the State House of Representatives and the State Senate go about the people’s business working to balance the budget and craft legislation aimed at enhancing our quality of life.

This year, State Legislators faced the challenge of balancing the budget while facing a significant shortfall in revenue.

They not only balanced the budget, they did so without increasing sales, property or income tax.

Because of the good judgment of our governor and legislators—both past and present—we were armed with a significant Rainy Day Fund. When the Rainy Day arrived—the legislature wisely turned the Rainy Day Fund from a safety net to a strategic asset, putting Utah in an enviable position for the future.

The fury of the legislative session has ended but I would encourage you to make that phone call to your representative and your senator to thank them for their outstanding service to our state. It’s always nice to have someone congratulate you on a job well done and our State Legislature deserves our thanks for their commitment to our community.

The Legislature also passed landmark ethics reform to further ensure high standards of conduct.

During the session, the Salt Lake Chamber monitored over 200 bills and spent hundreds of hours to ensure legislation benefitted business and strengthened our economy.

We worked to drive down the cost of health care, to protect business from tax increases that would have hindered our recovery and to position Utah to benefit from our natural resources.

One of our main issues was funding for public and higher education. Before the session even began, back in November, we put forth a plan whereby the state could balance the budget without making cuts to our commitment to a first-class workforce. I’m happy to report education funding was made a priority by the Legislature.

Businesses are attracted to our state by our young and well-educated workforce. That workforce also supplies workers for home-grown businesses. The strength of our education system is directly related to the strength of our economy.

We’re committed to working with our elected officials to ensure the business climate remains friendly and that our economy grows stronger.

Thanks to our engaged business community and dedicated elected officials, we’re in a position, as was noted by Forbes magazine, to lead the nation out of the recession.

Utah Small Business Health Care Forums

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The Salt Lake Chamber has partnered with Intermountain Healthcare and American Express to help reduce the number of uninsured Utahns and to raise awareness of community, state, and national options available to those without insurance.

Health system reform has been among the Chamber’s top public policy priorities for several years with efforts aimed at controlling costs, strengthening Utah’s economy and improving lives. Only 38 percent of Utah firms with less than 50 employees offer health insurance to their employees, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and over 100,000 of the uninsured in Utah work for small businesses, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“We are committed to driving down the cost of health coverage,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a better understanding of the programs that already exist to cover those workers who are currently uninsured.”

“Expanded options and increased flexibility fit squarely with the Utah Health Exchange and are undoubtedly an integral part of the health care solution,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the agency through which the Utah Health Exchange is being established.

A team from American Express, Intermountain Healthcare, the Salt Lake Chamber, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Utah Department of Health will present small business forums in various cities throughout our state. These forums will educate small business owners and managers about cost-effective insurance options for their employees, including the Utah Health Exchange, government programs including Medicaid, CHIP, UPP, PCN, etc., and local community resources.

“At American Express we are particularly sensitive to the challenges that face small businesses,” said Jane Shock, vice president, American Express Center for Community Development.  “These sessions will provide valuable information to help employees of small businesses navigate the health care system and obtain needed resources.”

Small business health forums will be conducted:

Provo – Tuesday, March 23, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
Clark Auditorium (Northwest Plaza Building)
1034 North 500 West
Provo, UT, 84604

Cedar City – Wednesday, March 24, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Valley View Medical Center
Large Classroom
1303 North Main Street
Cedar City, UT 84721

St. George – Thursday, March 25, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Dixie Regional Medical Center
Red Mountain Conference Room
1380 East Medical Center Drive
St. George, UT 84790

Salt Lake City – Thursday, April 8, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Intermountain Medical Center
Doty Education Center Auditorium
5121 S. Cottonwood Street
Murray, UT 84157

Logan – Tuesday, April 27, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Iron Gate Grill
155 North Church Street (50 East)
Logan, UT  84321

Ogden – Wednesday, May 19, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce
First Floor Auditorium
2484 Washington Boulevard
Ogden, UT 84401-2319

Davis County – Thursday, May 20, 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Weber State University – Davis Campus
2750 N. University Park Boulevard, Room 110
Layton, UT  84041

An additional presentation will be made at the Utah Rural Economic Summit in August 2010.

Registration information for each session is available on the Community Calendar at slchamber.com.