A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet with chamber leaders from across the country. Our conversations focused around the following themes: growing opposition to business, economic growth and free enterprise.
Our state stands in stark contrast to what is happening in many places around the country. Increasingly business is viewed as a part of or often the source of problems rather than a driver toward solutions. However, that is not the case in Utah. Here we adhere to the principles of collaboration. It is a part of our founding as a state, our current community building, and our heritage and culture.
Individually and collectively we only have a finite amount of time and energy. When we use that time and energy in conflict and contention, it is gone forever. When we collaborate, we put the focus where it should be – on facing and overcoming challenges.
In Utah, we have done that and the results have been remarkable. Utah enjoys the fastest growing economy, the fastest growing population, the highest rate of upward mobility, and has the most diverse economy with all sectors growing. That said, success still brings its own challenges. Lucky for us, our challenges are related to growth. They are good problems to have, but they are problems nonetheless.
Those challenges include things such as, skyrocketing housing prices, the strain on our transportation infrastructure, growing need for an educated and trained workforce, eroding and shifting tax base, a growing need for focus on diversity and inclusion, and a need to do all this in a way that demonstrates corporate responsibility and environmental sensitivity.
The truth is though is that we see some of the contention and fighting against business creeping into our communities. To combat this, we need to double down on collaboration and working together for the greater good of our state. Our challenges will require our best efforts and I want you to know that the Chamber is committed to ensuring the voice of the business community continues to be heard and continues to be strong.