According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. What’s more, Utah has been credited as the most pro-small business state in America, thanks to our state’s pro-business initiatives and support systems. Each month, the Salt Lake Chamber will highlight a small business in Utah to emphasize its importance in our economy and encourage local support.  

If you visit the Proximity website, you’ll get a pretty good understanding of what the organization does. In fact, the mission statement is the first thing you’ll see: “Political campaign management software to help good leaders become great candidates.” But to truly learn the depth of Proximity’s purpose, you first need to hear the story of its founder, Becki Wright.

A young Becki Wright

“My story began when I was about eight years old, when I created my neighborhood’s first ‘Girls Club,’ complete with handprint signatures on our butcher paper mission and charter,” said Wright. “From that day forward, I loved bringing people together and finding causes that I could be part of.”

Armed with a newfound passion for community building, 8-year-old Wright grew up and continued to seek out leadership roles. In adulthood, she found herself naturally drawn to politics, working as a campaign manager, finance director, fundraiser and consultant. The longer she worked in the field, though, the longer she recognized a pattern: Many good leaders don’t always have the support they need to be great candidates. Candidates often lack the resources and tools needed to succeed.

“On one of the campaigns I worked on, I was using six different programs that didn’t talk to each other, causing our team to do a lot of manual work. I saw inefficiency and wanted to find a better way to do things,” Wright said. “I realized we needed to level the playing field.”

With her experience and that realization, Proximity was born. Aided by technical advice from friends in Utah’s booming tech industry and a desire to create a seamless user experience, Wright worked tirelessly to design a platform that does it all — and then some.

“Campaigns are like startups: you have to create something from nothing as fast as you can, and you don’t have time and money to waste on tools that don’t work,” Wright explained. 

In just one platform, Proximity offers donation processing, voter mapping, contact management, campaign analytics, finance reporting and more. Each aspect of a user’s campaign blends seamlessly with the others, ensuring consistency and efficiency. By combining all aspects of campaign management into one system, Proximity allows candidates to not only work more efficiently but also to convey their messages more accurately. 

“Often if candidates don’t have adequate time or money, they resort to poor campaign tactics such as extremist rhetoric or bombastic statements to try to get media attention,” Wright said.  “When candidates instead have adequate support, they can actually run a really great, thoughtful, targeted campaign and reach the voters that they need. It also supports more civil dialogue.”

Another of Proximity’s goals is to increase accessibility to candidacy by giving more people the tools they need to campaign for political leadership. 

“One of the things that’s unique about Proximity is that we’re a public benefit corporation. We’re a nonpartisan software platform — using tech to level the playing field and not get into the politics of it. We’re a market-based solution addressing a political problem.”

Wright explained that removing barriers to entry increases representative government by allowing candidates to be heard in public discourse.

“Proximity exists under the basic tenet that more voices at the table bring a better outcome — that when we allow people to run on an even playing field, some of the best ideas and the brightest minds can rise to the top,” Wright said. “We democratize democracy, one campaign at a time.”

Though the business is relatively new — Wright launched Proximity in October 2022 — it has already paved the way for Utah candidates to be successful. One candidate wasn’t sure what the legal requirements were for fundraising and gathering contributions, so they used Proximity to set up a compliant online donation page. Another candidate needed support getting on the ballot, so she activated dozens of volunteers who used Proximity to help gather 9,000 signatures in just four weeks. According to Wright, watching her clients be successful is the best part of owning her own small business.

“I’m invigorated by the people around me and the good work they’re doing. I’m invigorated by helping candidates — the mission of what we’re trying to do. I’m invigorated by my goal to have a positive impact and leave an indelible mark on campaign culture across the nation,” Wright said. “Owning my own business is how I feel I can do that.”

“I have loved all of the Chamber’s different events and connections,” Wright said. “I was able to go to Washington, D.C. and meet with our full federal delegation. I have been able to connect with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce leadership. As a small business and a tech entrepreneur, I continue to feel supported by Salt Lake Chamber leadership and members. There are so many different opportunities and people and relationships — I’ve been loving it.”

Proximity has everything you need for your political campaign, so you can tackle whatever comes your way. Click here to get support for your campaign and to support their small business.