SLC named among best cities for young professionals

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Salt Lake City is ranked fourth among the top cities for young professionals in a list published by Forbes today.

Utah’s capital city is lauded for, “A large number of small businesses per capita, a high concentration of banks and good paychecks mean the ‘Crossroads of the West’ offers opportunity to young professionals.”

Salt Lake City was ranked behind Des Moines, Iowa; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin.

For more information, read the full article here.

To hear the Chamber comment on the ranking on KSL Newsradio, CLICK HERE.

Forbes also points out that Salt Lake City has job growth of 1.32 percent, that’s the second highest rate among the top five cities on the list. Big name companies like Goldman Sachs, Twitter and Adobe have all invested significantly in Salt Lake City. You can see a list of some of the businesses hiring HERE.

Young professionals are attracted to Salt Lake City for a number of reasons: high tech companies are growing here and there’s no shortage of outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, or enjoying the Greatest Snow on Earth.

Let’s not forget that younger professionals are often prefer time with their iPads and smartphones than time behind the wheel. Our first-rate transit system is a draw not to be underestimated.

Our investment in technology is paying off. The creation of  the Utah Science Technology and Research (better knows as USTAR) attracts top talent, as well as and more than $130 million in capital funding to benefit more than 80 companies started in the past four years. Last year the University of Utah surpassed MIT and every other school in the nation for the highest number of research-produced start-ups.

Utah has always benefitted from a well-educated, young population. If there is reason for concern it’s the relatively low rate of college graduates in Salt Lake City (just 29.7 percent according to Fortune, more than 11 points lower than the three cities we trail on the list). That number needs to increase to ensure we have the professionals to fill the jobs we are creating. Business leaders understand education is the key to enduring prosperity and they have set a goal to have two-thirds of all Utahns hold a college degree or certificate by the year 2020. You can learn more about the efforts of Prosperity 2020 by clicking HERE.

Congratulations to Clear the Air Challenge winners, participants

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

During the month-long Clear the Air Challenge, over six thousand Utah residents helped to eliminate over 110-thousand single-occupant vehicle trips—that saved over 1.2 million miles and reduced 2.1 million pounds of emissions.

Since its inception, the Clear the Air Challenge has been coordinated by the Salt Lake Solutions Air Quality Partners Team – a collaboration of more than 20 government, business, community and faith-based organizations. Many local companies sponsored the program and donated prizes.

The Salt Lake Chamber is a proud participant and supporter of the Clear the Air Challenge. We congratulate all the participants—especially the winners:

UTA saved the most pounds of emissions. ARUP Laboratories

saved the most trips, Goldman Sachs had the most participants and USANA takes the prize for the Best Integration of the TravelWise Strategies.

Three businesses were honored for Outstanding Achievement. Overstock.com was named 2011 Corporate Role Model. Fidelity Investments was honored for saving the most emissions for a large company and Assist, Inc. was honored for saving the most emissions for a small company.

Outstanding Team Effort

·       Most Pounds of Emissions Saved – UTA Operations (Utah Transit Authority)

·       Most Trips Saved – AR U Part of the Solution? (ARUP Laboratories)

·       Most Participants  – Goldman Sachs

·       Best Integration of TravelWise Strategies – Team USANA


Grand Prize Winners

·       Most Pounds of Emissions Saved – Dale Whitehead

·       Most Trips Saved – Chad Turner

·       Most Consistent – Gold Level – Danielle Frohn

·       Most Consistent – Silver Level – Denzel Eslinger

·       Most Consistent – Bronze Level – Ashley Giessing

Outstanding Achievement: Top Three Companies

·      2011 Corporate Role Model – Overstock.com

·      Most Emissions Saved, Large Company  – Fidelity Investments

·      Most Emissions Saved, Small Company – Assist, Inc.

World Trade Center Utah Pres. discusses U.S.-China Trade Conference

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

US-China Trade Conference from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Lew Cramer sits down to discuss last week’s U.S.-China Trade Conference, which coincided with the National Governors Association’s Annual Meeting.

Welcoming China to Utah

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Editor’s note: Remarks taken from Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie welcomed members of the Chinese delegation during a luncheon in the Capitol Rotunda Saturday, July 16, 2011.

Distinguished guests and friends. We are honored to have you with us this evening and hope you have found your stay to be a pleasant one.

Since we welcomed the world to our city nearly a decade ago as the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, we have broadened our view. We have taken our place as a world city and we seek to build strong friendships and business partnerships with other countries.

China is a priority for Utah businesses. We see tremendous opportunity to benefit business in our state and business in China as we strengthen ties between the two.

We hear a great deal about growth in China. We are growing here. Utah is considered the shining star among states for our economic performance. We are growing and we are just getting started.

In Utah we want to get things done. We create policies that make it simpler for our local businesses to export to China and to utilize Chinese products.

We are business friendly and ready to grow.

Thank you for your friendship. We look forward to partnering with you for our mutual benefit.

An upper-right quadrant Utah

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Becoming an upper-right quadrant state from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

In almost every major category, Utah is performing very well. We’re innovative, forward-thinking and we have business friendly policies that boost our economy. There is one area where we have need of some improvement.

Our chief economist, Natalie Gochnour, shows how Utah is, in so many ways, an upper-right quadrant state. She gave a similar presentation at the Governor’s Economic Summit earlier this year. She has been kind enough to hit the highlights for us.

AmericanStyle Names Salt Lake City as a Top Arts Destination

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Salt Lake City has been named a “Top 25 Arts Destination” in the June 2011 edition of AmericanStyle magazine.  For the sixth year in a row, the national arts lifestyle magazine has recognized Salt Lake City as one of the top travel destinations for the arts among mid-size cities.

The word is out that not only does Utah have the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” but it also boasts a surprisingly rich cultural climate.  No longer a well-kept secret, the arts community in Salt Lake City is a strong contributor to the local quality of life and is an attraction for arts enthusiasts at any time of year.

The Salt Lake City arts community provides a wealth of choices for residents and visitors to experience, from music and dance to theatre and opera, from children’s activities to festivals, from film and literature to every type of expression in the visual arts.

Salt Lake City is recognized for having a solid foundation of established arts organizations like the Utah Symphony/Opera, Ballet West, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.  Utah’s capital city is also home to a number of professionally designed and managed cultural facilities, including Abravanel Hall, the Capitol Theatre and the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.  That’s not to say the city doesn’t have a thriving contemporary arts scene as well, with a number of artist-initiated and other programs in the visual, literary and performing arts.   The media arts scene has been strong for many years, including the Sundance Institute, the SLC Film Center, Salt Lake Film Society and Spyhop Productions.

There is something for everyone, including a wide array of outdoor arts events in the summer months, featuring the Twilight Concert Series, Gallivan Concert Series, Red Butte Garden Concerts, the Utah Arts Festival and the Living Traditions Festival.

For more information on the arts in Salt Lake City, visit www.slcgov.com/arts or www.nowplayingutah.com.

Information provided by the Salt Lake Mayor’s Office.

Fortune names SLC one of world’s 15 best new cities for business

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Salt Lake City has received more adulation for our business friendly environment, this time from Fortune magazine.

In the feature available in online today and on newsstands next week, Fortune says:

“Move over, Stanford: The University of Utah claim to lead the nation’s universities in creating successful startups–and the Brookings Institution says the city’s workforce is the nation’s most productive. More reasons business like Salt Lake: inexpensive utilities and state property taxes, and corporate taxes that are the ninth-lowest in the U.S.”

Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas were the only two U.S. cities on the list. Vancouver, Canada and San Jose, Costa Rica round out the four cities included from North America. You can see the interactive map by clicking here.

The magazine also features the founder of Omniture, Josh James.

Something special going on here

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I was recently asked by a reporter to give an overview of the things going on in Salt Lake City and across Utah that makes our economy standout from the rest of the nation. My suspicion is some of the statistics caught his attention. Our unemployment rate is lower than the national figure and better than the majority of states. We’re creating jobs. From an outsider’s perspective, things in Utah look pretty good.

A great deal of attention has been showered on our city and our state in the past year. With two presidential candidates with strong ties to our state now competing for the Republican nomination, that is only going to grow.

Just last week, the Brookings Institute named Salt Lake City the most productive city in the nation. The Brookings Institute ranking is just the most recent among many honors we have received as a city and a state. We’ve been named the “Best State for Business and Careers,” and an “Economic Zion.” The fruits of our visionary planning and prudent investment are making an impact.

In a report released just this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has Utah ranked 3rd in entrepreneurship, 2nd in exports, 10th in taxes and regulation, and 7th in workforce training. These categories are all key to our growth, as outlined in the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Jobs Agenda, a private sector plan to create 150,000 jobs over the next five years.

Our young, well-educated workforce attracts businesses to our state. Like manystates, we face challenges including shifting demographics in the student body. Underway is a business-led movement, Prosperity 2020, to enhance education and create prosperity for generations to come.

Our fiscal prudence and vision attract businesses to our state. Announcements of investment by ITT Corp. and EMC Corp. are added to the list already populated by the likes of Goldman Sachs, which now has it’s second largest operation in the Americas, right here in Salt Lake City.

Goldman Sachs executives tell us that Salt Lake City is one of the most attractive sites for its employees. When Goldman Sachs was looking to expand operations in Brazil, only a few employees in other offices expressed any interest. Here in Salt Lake City, they had some 35 volunteers, many who had served as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil—all of whom are fluent in Portuguese.

As much as we love business coming to Salt Lake City, we are focused on growing businesses who already call Utah home. Overstock.com is growing and when Adobe purchased Omniture, it recognized there is something special about this place and decided to grow at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.

The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative helps us bring in high tech jobs and create new businesses. The University of Utah has created approximately 80 research-produced businesses in the past four years—the highest of any university in the nation.

Governor Gary Herbert will host the National Governors’ Association July 14-17. Forty governors will be in Salt Lake City, as will some 300 Chinese business leaders. These leaders from across our nation and across the globe will get a taste of what’s right with Utah and, hopefully, take home some ideas that will benefit our national economy.