Creating jobs through trade and innovation

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Creating jobs through trade and innovation from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Jobs Agenda is a plan to create 150,000 jobs over the next five years—with a key component being to double exports—again. The U.S. Commerce Department has a goal to double exports over the same time period in an effort to create 2 million jobs.

We sat down with Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, acting deputy secretary of commerce and under secretary for economic affairs, to discuss our progress, Utah’s secret to success and everyone’s favorite buzzword, “innovation.”

Chamber honored by United Way

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

We’re very proud to have been honored by the United Way of Salt Lake this afternoon. The Salt Lake Chamber received the President’s Award for Excellence.

The award recognizes individuals or organizations that champion United Way of Salt Lake’s effort to create lasting change in our community through collaboration, leadership, commitment, resources and time spent working to solve community problems. The award demonstrates outstanding commitment to the mission of United Way of Salt Lake.

“A major component of the Chamber mission is to champion community prosperity,” said David Golden, vice chair of the Salt Lake Chamber, who accepted the award on behalf of the organization. “We partner with the United Way to do that in many ways and it is a partnership we are committed to for the long haul.”

United Way of Salt Lake and the Chamber played significant roles in drafting The Utah Compact that re-framed the immigration discussion in our state and greatly benefitted our economy and our  community. The two organizations are also working with other organizations to secure a path to enduring prosperity. We are both founding partners in the Prosperity 2020 movement.

“There are issues that affect our economy and there are issues that affect our community and many affect both,” said Golden. “We appreciate the great work of the UWSL and we are honored to partner with this great organization to make Utah a great place.”

‘Economy in a box’ shows reason for optimism for SL County economy

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

CBRE Salt Lake County Outlook from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest business association, recently joined forces with CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate company, to produce an economic outlook for Salt Lake County. Commercial real estate is often referred to as the “economy in a box,” because the data serves as a barometer of overall economic performance.

We sat down with Mark Bouchard, senior managing director of CB Richard Ellis to discuss the outlook. The study looked at the three major types of commercial real estate: industrial, office and retail.

Of all the commercial real estate sectors in Salt Lake County, industrial properties demonstrated the greatest signs of life over the last five quarters. According to CBRE, Salt Lake’s industrial real estate currently has the second lowest availability rate in the nation at 8.6 percent.

Office demand is primarily driven by the need to house workers within the financial and professional and business service sectors. During 2011, office employment is projected to grow 2.3 percent in finance and 4.1 percent in professional and business services. Employment relating to office demand is growing above the total employment growth average of 2.3 percent.

Based on employment growth projections, 410,000 square feet of office space will be positively absorbed in the Salt Lake metro area during 2011. Taking into consideration new space entering the market, office vacancy for the Salt Lake metro will drop to 16.2 percent.

Salt Lake County’s total compensation is expected to grow 4.7 percent in 2011 and 5.4 percent in 2012. Taxable retail sales are projected to increase by similar rates 4.2 percent in 2011 and 5.8 percent in 2012. The result of these increases will partially be observed through amplified consumer spending which, in turn, drives demand to open new retail space.


Honoring a Spirit of Enterprise

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Congressman Rob Bishop receives Spirit of Enterprise award from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Utah’s reputation as a business-friendly state is a significant boost to our economy–it attracts business to our state and creates jobs. That business-first approach is also prevalent among the five members of our federal delegation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently honored each of the members of Utah’s federal delegation with the Spirit of Enterprise award for pro-business voting records during the second session of the 111th Congress.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Bob Bennett, Congressman Rob Bishop, Congressman Jim Matheson and Congressman Jason Chaffetz each voted with business at least 70 percent of the time on the highest priority issues including the passage of a tax rate extension, health care reform, financial services reform, promotion of science and mathematics education.

Utah was one of only five states to have every member of its federal delegation honored with the Spirit of Enterprise award. (Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming were the others.)

The Chamber will formally present each member of the current delegation with a letter of appreciation during a trip to the nation’s capital later this year. Congressman Bishop recently spoke to the Chamber’s Energy Task Force and he sat down with us to discuss the importance of supporting business friendly policies, how he decides to vote and his work to make America an energy independent nation.

Big export numbers continue

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Utah exports directly translate into Utah jobs and both are trending upward.

This week’s release of the U.S. monthly trade figures for March 2011 show Utah monthly exports reached $1.554 billion. That figure is the highest monthly total on record for Utah, and 31 percent higher than March of last year.

Merchandise exports from Utah for the first quarter of the year exceeded $4.244 billion, which is also 21  percent higher than the same quarter of last year’s record-breaking year.

The Utah economy is adding jobs and our export performance is key to that. The Chamber’s Utah Jobs Agenda is a private sector plan to create 150,000 new jobs over the next five years. One component of this 10-point plan is to double the value of our exports–something we’ve done over the past five years.

Workplace Flexibility Conference explores challenges, solutions facing workforce

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Tomorrow is a busy day for the Salt Lake Chamber. In addition to hosting the Expo Forum luncheon and Expo MarketPlace, the Chamber’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative Committee is teaming up with the U.S. Dept. of Labor Women’s Bureau to host a free half-day conference entitled, “National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility Challenges and Solutions.”

All three events take place at the Salt Palace Convention Center (100 South West Temple).

8:00 – 11:50 a.m. Workplace Flexibility Conference
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Expo Forum Luncheon
1:30 – 5:00 p.m.    Expo MarketPlace

The Workplace Flexibility Conference will highlight the efforts of organizations that have taken on the challenge of assuring high quality work-life environments for working families. Many employers realize the benefit to both their employees and business.

Those attending the conference will better understand the benefits of a flexible workplace and learn more about best practices for enhancing workplace flexibility.

The Workplace Flexibility Conference is part of a series of national dialogues occurring at 17 sites across the country. Participants include members of the business community, advocates, researchers, union leaders, government agencies and employees.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor Women’s Bureau has a strong record of outreach to local employers promoting policies and practices that benefit working women, including promotion of flexible work policies across the country.  Promoting work-life balance, including flexible workplace polices, is one of the many ways the Women’s Bureau will improve working conditions and promote economic security for all working women.

You can still register for the event at

Lending a hand to our sister city

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Lending a hand to our sister city from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

The images of Japan following last month’s tsunami have been devastating and for many Utahns, they’ve hit close to home.

Salt Lake City has a sister city in Matsumoto, Japan and there is an effort underway to raise funds to benefit the people of Matsumoto affected by the natural disaster.

Etsuko Freeman of the Salt Lake City Sister Cities Board, joined us to discuss the relationship between our capital and Matsumoto and how Utahns can lend a hand in the wake of devastation.

Showing off our state, thanks to sports

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

In the last few weeks we’ve seen Utah get some great international recognition thanks to Real Salt Lake’s success on the soccer pitch. The team competed in the CONCACAF finals, playing in front of a world-wide audience.

Just yesterday, we learned of the massive television deal for the Pac-12, taking Utes football as well as shots of our natural beauty across the country.

And now,through its partnership with CBS and Feld Motorsports, the Utah Sports Commission was able to negotiate  the production and airing of an almost four minute Utah vignette that was run nationally on CBS last Sunday. This was in conjunction with the Supercross event that we have the contract to host.

The Utah Sports Commission expressed appreciation to the governor and all of its partners who helped make this year’s event such a tremendous success as yet another major sporting event showcased and promoted Utah.  Had the Utah Sports Commission had to produce, buy, and air this type of exposure, costs would have reached nearly $200,000. This event was seen in over 182 countries with an overall media value to the State of Utah of several million dollars, while generating about $9 million in economic impact, as well.

A closer look at the Partnership for the New American Economy

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Partnership for a New American Economy from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Immigration was the most hotly contested issue in the past legislative session. The Salt Lake Chamber is one of the original signatories of The Utah Compact, a document outlining five guiding principles to guide Utah’s immigration discussion. The first principle of The Utah Compact states that immigration is a federal issue. The Chamber, along with other business, community and religious leaders, supports immigration reform at the national level.

Jeremy Robbins, policy advisor for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, helps manage the Partnership for a New American Economy, a coalition of business leaders and mayors joined to make the economic case for smarter economic reforms.

Robbins spoke to a group of business leaders at the Chamber. He sat down to discuss the goals his organization, the need for national reform and the economic impact of immigration policies.

Expo MarketPlace, Expo Forum luncheon coming May 11

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Expo Marketplace from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Former Jazz center and NBA All-Star Mark Eaton will be our keynote speaker for the Expo Forum luncheon May 11th at noon, just before the opening of the Expo MarketPlace.

Eaton, who played for the  Jazz from 1982-93, will share his insight on “How to win… at anything. Eaton’s story is one of triumph and record breaking success. He is a business and motivational speaker who shares how he went from a 7’4″ twenty-one year old mechanic who couldn’t play basketball to a 12-year career as an NBA All Star. Eaton will explain the philosophy, principles and techniques that enabled him to take it to the top and make history in the NBA.

The Salt Lake Chamber Expo MarketPlace opens in the Salt Palace Grand Ballroom at 1:30 p.m. with over 100 businesses ready to propel ideas and solutions for the 800-plus attendees.

You can register for the Expo MarketPlace or the Expo Forum luncheon with Mark Eaton by CLICKING HERE.