By Shuktika Maheshwari, Matt Lusty, and Marisa Bomis

An article published by Entrepreneur.com in January 2014 shares that, “Between 2008 and 2013, regulation went from being small business’s fourth most important problem — after sales, taxes and the cost/availability of insurance — to being its biggest difficulty.”

To address the issue of regulation in Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber hosted its first Regulation Roundtable on June 25, 2015, with emphasis being placed on the real estate, and commercial and economic development sectors of the state, and the regulatory barriers that hinder economic growth at the most basic level.

Perception is Everything

According to a Forbes Report, at the end of 2012, the number of federal regulations affecting small companies was 13 percent higher than at the end of 2008.

This type of statistic has created a perception in the private sector that government has become an obstruction for business owners.

A local developer in the meeting suggested, however, that government should be looked at as “the business community’s biggest partner,” and that both groups must collaborate in developing ways to work together, instead of putting up barriers.

The Relationship Between Developers and Government

It’s no secret that the state needs a healthy commercial real estate sector. It is necessary to attract new businesses to Utah. The consensus from attendees of the Chamber’s Roundtable was that this would require better cooperation between developers and the government.

That is not always easy.

A local business leader cautioned during the meeting that many government planners have had negative experiences with developers in the past.

Expounding on that point, a city planner explained that many ordinances are developer driven. When those in the development community return frustrated with ordinances that were passed specifically to help them, city officials are likely to be guarded in the future.

Takeaways:

Attendees of the roundtable concluded that a stable and business-friendly regulatory climate promotes economic development, and continuing conversations between both developers and regulators is necessary.

Utah business leaders and the Salt Lake Chamber support regulation that reduces burden, encourages capital investment, removes uncertainty, improves transparency and protects the public and the environment.

More to Come

This series is part of the Chamber’s efforts to promote smart regulation, and will allow a collaborative environment between government and business to discuss regulatory issues and productive solutions.

The Chamber will host future Regulation Roundtables on a quarterly basis.

Check out photos from the event.