It has been a remarkable year for business and economic growth in Utah. This is due to an active and engaged business community that works in collaboration with the Governor and Legislature to make Utah a global business destination.
As Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association, a strong mission drives the Salt Lake Chamber to stand as the voice of business, support our members’ success and champion community prosperity.
Stand as the Voice of Business
In the past year, the Chamber has demonstrated leadership on rebalancing Utah’s tax structure to enhance education funding, taking steps to address our state’s housing affordability crisis, transforming the governance and funding of our multi-modal transportation system, and building a talented workforce, along with tackling many other issues that are important to Utah’s business community.
Support our Members’ Success
The Chamber prides itself on being a gathering place for business leaders and the community. With our programs, and those of our partners, we have engaged more than 400,000 business professionals. Throughout the year we recognized those in our community who have made a difference, such as honoring Senator Orrin G. Hatch as the 39th Giant in our City, the state’s premier business award.
Champion Community Prosperity
We take our role as champion of community prosperity seriously. Our partnerships with the Downtown Alliance, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, Women’s Leadership Institute and World Trade Center Utah—as well as the other chambers of commerce across the state–are vital as we all work together to make Utah the best place to live, work, learn and play.
We invite you to review our 2017-2018 Annual Report. It outlines many of our accomplishments and highlights business and community leadership. We hope this inspires you to become involved this upcoming year. If you are a member of the Chamber, we thank you for your support in making our success possible. If you are not a member, now is a great time to join.
Derek Miller, President and CEO
Wilford Clyde, 2017-2018 Board Chair
Steve Starks, 2017-2018 Vice Chair
The Salt Lake Chamber’s 2018 Top 10 Legislative Priorities outlined the business community’s top priorities for the most recent legislative session including, modernizing Utah’s tax code; meeting Utah’s talent needs by investing in education; keeping Utah moving with continued transportation investments; ensuring Utahns can raise their families in the communities they love at prices they can afford by tackling housing affordability; reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2050, and more.
The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah’s foremost business executives. As an authoritative business survey on economic sentiment in Utah, this quarterly survey provides a forward-looking view of the Utah economy. This also gauges business performance and general confidence levels from business executives representing the state’s diverse economy.
“The CEOutlook survey and confidence index confirms Utah business leaders see economic positives and negatives. Overall, sentiment is strong, but based on their comments, Utah leaders are also paying close attention. They recognize these are prosperous times, but also see the risks of an overheating economy. There is a potential dark side to the fiscal stimulus once it fades and the ill effects of higher interest rates take hold.” – Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and chief economist of the Salt Lake Chamber
An engaged and active statewide business community plays a vital role in Utah’s prosperity, which is why the Salt Lake Chamber’s Board, committees and partners built on current and past efforts to sketch Utah’s Next Economic Blueprint. Over 6 months, more than 85 business leaders engaged in this process to develop an innovative and business-driven strategy that includes 20 top objectives and 54 key milestones to guide Utah’s future.
As Utah’s economy has changed, the Salt Lake Chamber believed that modernizing Utah’s tax code was the most critical issue facing the Legislature and needed to be addressed during the 2018 Legislative Session. To achieve this, the Chamber invested in a campaign that sought to make the issue extremely visible, not only to the public to help them understand the need, but more importantly to our legislators to encourage them to take action.
MEXICAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
In an effort to promote trade, tourism and investments between the United States, Utah and Mexico, this past year the Salt Lake Chamber entered into an agreement with the Association of Mexican Chambers of Commerce (CONCANACO SERVYTUR) in a show of support for the protection of existing free trade agreements.
Utah’s technology sector is an incubator that keeps our economy ahead of our peers, bringing investment and jobs. The talent, both being developed here and brought in to our state, is bolstering up our economy and driving even more growth. Which is why the Chamber deepened its relationship with the state’s fastest growing industry by entering into an agreement with Silicon Slopes.
The American Dream Award helps to remind us about the positive impact of immigrants and how they have helped shape Utah’s history since the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley as refugees in 1847. That shared cultural memory informs our values and beliefs today. This award honors that legacy by recognizing new pioneers who contribute to our state.
Aden Batar, Catholic Community Services of Utah Senator Luz Escamilla, Zions Bank Valter Nassi, Valter’s Osteria LDS Humanitarian Services
The Giant in our City Award honors those with exceptional and distinguished public service and extraordinary professional achievement. The award shall be bestowed only periodically when, in the opinion of the Board of Governors, a citizen merits the Chamber’s highest recognition. Senator Orrin G. Hatch is the 39th person honored as a Giant in our City.
The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates creativity and initiative in business, devotes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.
Dr. Deneece Huftalin, Salt Lake Community College
The Pathfinder Award is given to community leaders who “create new paths” and promote the development and recognition of women in business.
Amanda Covington, Vista Outdoor Mary Crafts-Homer, Culinary Crafts Lavanya Mahate, Saffron Valley and East India Café Heidi Prokop, Zions Bank Maureen Riley, SLC Airport Vicki Varela, Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding
The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of February. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car and using alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling, taking public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.
For the first time in its 9-year history, the 2018 Challenge was held in the month of February to challenge individuals and teams to create new commuting habits and change their individual behavior during a time when air quality is visibly at its worst.
For the first time in 40 years, Utah has more households than available housing units. This housing shortage creates a serious threat to our state’s cost of living and overall economic prosperity. Noticing this problem and feedback from our members, the Salt Lake Chamber decided to take a closer look by commissioning a study from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
The study showed that Utah faces a looming housing affordability crisis. To address the challenges associated with this problem, the Chamber brought together the state’s brightest minds from business academia and government to form the Housing GAP Coalition.
“We want our employees, children and grandchildren to enjoy a reasonable cost of living, high quality of life and strong economic prosperity that we’ve enjoyed. To do this, there must be a variety of housing types for Utahns in all stages of life and socio-economic situations. We want them to have the option to stay here and continue the traditions of hard work, community and family that make Utah great. Together we can ensure the American Dream of homeownership is kept alive for all Utahns.” – Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance
In June 2018, Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, testified before the U.S. House Small Business Committee at the “Communities That Think Small and Win Big” hearing. The purpose of the hearing was to highlight communities that have developed thriving ecosystems.
In his testimony, Miller highlighted four areas fundamental to Utah’s economic success: strong and educated workforce, low taxes and reasonable regulation, small business incentives and international trade.
The half-day small business conference provided small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to come together, learn new tools, gain practical skills and make invaluable connections to help support the growth and success of small business in Utah.
The Salt Lake Chamber is dedicated to educating the business community about the shared responsibility of cybersecurity. The 2018 Cybersecurity Summit was attended by more than 300 people, and was designed to help small and mid-size businesses develop, evaluate and strengthen their cybersecurity programs.