Over the years, the Chamber has worked to ensure Utah remains a competitive business environment. These efforts include leading out on regulation reform, pushing for tax reform, and supporting efforts to keep Utah a premier destination for economic development and innovation.
“We started creating an environment where businesses wanted to come, learn and play right here in Utah, and our results should speak for themselves,” said Beattie. “Our premier business climate has fueled the rise of the ‘Silicon Slopes,’ the ‘Composite Corridor’ and ‘Wall Street of the West.’ Household names like Goldman Sachs, Adobe, eBay, Boeing, Procter & Gamble and IM Flash have helped grow the capacity and diversity of Utah’s economy.”
Few issues showed the rise of the Salt Lake Chamber’s influence as the “voice of business” more than the 2016 battle over a bill seeking to ban non- compete clauses.
“In my 14 years, no other issue has generated such a level of concern within the business community,” said Beattie.
Every industry was potentially impacted by the bill and none could stand alone. The Chamber asserted its role as Utah’s business leader and pulled together
a working group of major business leaders, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, to work directly with the sponsors to find a resolution on the issue.
“This was one of the tougher issues I’ve dealt with over the years,” said Utah Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams. “At the end of the day, because of the Chamber’s influence, we came out with a decent bill. And that was really critical.”
The Chamber committed to working with businesses and the sponsors of the bill to continue dialogue on non-compete clauses through the interim and future legislative sessions. The Chamber’s belief that data-driven decisions provide useful information to drive good policy, led the Chamber to spearhead an exhaustive Utah-specific study on non-compete agreements.
“This issue matters to many. But without the Chamber we would have never had a good result in 2016 or had the ability to bring stakeholders along for a unique approach on this issue,” said Rep. Mike Schultz, sponsor of the 2016 bill. “We have worked hard to build a consensus-based approach, and the Chamber was essential to creating the opportunity of common ground in the years ahead.”
For Beattie, these are just a few of the many issues and victories that have underscored the Chamber’s purpose: to find common ground and ways to move the state forward. “The only purpose of our existence is to get results. We are not the government. We are run by businesses. I think we should all be very proud of what we have accomplished,” Beattie said.