SALT LAKE CITY, UT (MARCH 17, 2020) — Governor Gary R. Herbert convened the first meeting of the Economic Response Task Force, a subcommittee of the COVID-19 Task Force, today as part of his overarching plan to respond decisively to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus. Leaders in the community attended via teleconference and in person to discuss ways they can show what Utahns can do to stay economically active in the workforce and support derivative service based businesses.

“My first goal is to protect the public health of our people and my second is related and that is to protect the health of our economy,” said Governor Herbert in establishing the objectives of the task force.

The Governor noted that rumors are circulating through the media that are untrue and must be corrected by leaders and organizations through effective engagement and communication. “As a community we must think in terms of what we can be doing and ways we can live as normal as possible while still using good judgment and common sense,” the Governor said.

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, who was appointed by the Governor to chair the task force on Monday, outlined the priorities of the organization, including communicating that “Utah is open for business” and that there are many things that can be done now to “flatten the dip.” According to Miller, “We need to share public and private sector resources for businesses to operate optimally through these challenging times. We need to inject confidence into the system that the private sector will adapt, innovate and overcome.” Miller said that resources exist for people who need work today, including the Department of Workforce Services website — — which has 31,000 jobs currently listed on the state’s site. The Task Force is also adding a new section to the website which will include resources that businesses can use immediately; such as low interest loans through the Small Business Administration to help businesses get through this difficult time.

Members of the task force agreed that Utah is in a better position than any other state in the nation to see itself through the coronavirus. Its history of preparation, service and inclusion will manifest itself in continued collaboration between public, private and ecclesiastical ecosystems designed to solve problems and serve constituents.

“The task force will be about concrete and actionable activities, as well as disseminating accurate and necessary information,” Miller said, outlining social and traditional media campaigns that will be introduced shortly, along with and tools that are now available, as well as those that will shortly be brought online. “We fully understand the challenges before us,” Miller said. “But we also understand the potential ahead. This can be a pioneering moment where we come together and build a better, stronger state for the future.”

Members of the Task Force include: Governor Gary Herbert; Lt. Governor Spencer Cox; Derek Miller, Salt Lake Chamber; Senator Stuart Adams; Representative Brad Wilson; Kris Cox, Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget; Theresa Foxley, EDCUtah; Miles Hansen, World Trade Center Utah; Natalie Gochnour, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute; Jon Pierpont, Utah Department of Workforce Services; Vicki Varela, Utah Office of Tourism; Kaitlyn Eskelson, Visit Salt Lake; Darin Mellot, CBRE; Ben Kolendar, Salt Lake City; Clark Ivory, Ivory Homes; Allison Bell, Office of Utah Senator Mike Lee; Steve Starks, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies; Don Willie, St. George Area Chamber of Commerce; Jill Remington Love, Utah Heritage and Arts; Cameron Deihl, Utah League of Cities and Towns; Brandy Grace, Utah Association of Counties; Val Hale, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Carine Clark, Silicon Slopes; Cydni Tetro, Governor’s Economic Council; Steve Styler, Governor’s Rural Partnership Board; Sarah Lehman, Governor’s Economic Council; Scott Anderson, Zions Bank; Lori Pehrson, Governor’s Economic Council; Craig Wagstaff, Dominion Energy; Brandon Fugal, Colliers International; and, Scott Peterson, Utah Fund of Funds.



The Utah Economic Response Task Force was established by Governor Herbert to help prevent and mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, serves as the chair of the task force. For questions or media inquiries, contact Marisa Bomis at