December 21, 2015

Governor Herbert’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal just came out, underscoring that Utah’s robust economy is the envy of the nation.

Our economic success has come, because at key decision points in the past, we have taken advantage of challenges and opportunities for growth.

However, Utah is now at a crossroads. The path we choose to move down will either stall or sustain our economic momentum.

A vibrant economy is placing increasing demands on meeting the needs of a qualified workforce. This should also serve as a clear warning sign that underinvestment in education is detrimental to our state’s continued prosperity.

Additionally, our state’s premier business climate is increasingly under pressure and we face generationally significant decisions with several capital investments.

Issues like these are important. The Salt Lake Chamber looks forward to working with Gov. Herbert and the Legislature as we highlight concerns of the business community to ensure our state continues to prosper.

December 22, 2015

The state’s first utility scale solar plant was officially commissioned on December 10th.

This will bring in a new era of renewable energy to Utah by more than doubling its solar footprint.

The Utah Red Hills Renewable Park operated by Scatec Solar will feed enough power for 18,500 homes into the grid under a 20-year contract with Rocky Mountain Power.

At a cost of $188 million, the 104-megawatt plant in Parowan is part of a renewable energy portfolio that will help get the state to an energy mix in which 25 percent of the power generated in Utah will be from renewables by 2025.

Once the plant goes live, it will be among the 12 largest plants of its kind in North America and the largest operated by Scatec Solar. And this addition is part of Utah’s solar boom.

All over the country dramatic cost decreases, coupled with solar production tax credits are helping to fuel a solar revolution.

December 23, 2015

Have you heard the official Salt Lake Chamber podcast, Building Utah?

Each episode looks into the topics, ideas and people that influence the Beehive state.

And with this podcast, we will bring a business perspective to what you really care about. From finance to football, no topic is off limits and you never know what you might hear.

In our latest episode, for example, we spoke with Jason Mathis and Nick Como, who oversee marketing and communications for the Downtown Alliance, about what it takes to brand a city – specifically, Salt Lake City.

We answered questions like: What is city branding? What makes a brand successful? What’s SLC’s brand?

Follow Salt Lake Chamber social media and visit: to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes.

December 24, 2015

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development board recently approved film incentives to make a new science fiction movie in Utah.

The film, “Archalien,” is based on a story by Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee and is produced by Bill Borden, the creator and executive producer of “High School Musical.”

Val Hale, GOED executive director, says that our most important economic growth happens within our state.

The production plans to spend $7.5 million on the ground, with the majority of the filming taking place in the Salt Lake City area.

Borden has made seven films in Utah and keeps returning because “he is drawn to its professional crews, accessible resources and great locations.”

Utah Film Commission director, Virginia Pearce, says “we are always delighted to see talent return to Utah and our team remains committed to help all local projects run seamlessly.”

As more and more films decide to come to Utah and take advantage of the incentives provided, our economy can only continue to benefit from more jobs, exposure and talent.

December 25, 2015

Did you know that you can control your energy costs by adding controls and sensors to lighting systems?

For years, photocell controls have been used to turn exterior lighting on during daylight hours and off for evening hours.

It makes sense to apply this technology indoors —  to dim or turn off interior lighting when natural daylight is available.

Now, exterior lighting can be upgraded to LED fixtures integrated with occupancy controls that allow lights to dim when activity is low.

When sensors detect motion, the exterior lighting fixtures brighten instantly.

This trigger is also used to alert occupants or cameras of nearby activity.

Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart Business program provides incentives for lighting controls.

Since pre-approval is required for lighting projects, contact Rocky Mountain Power or a wattsmart Business vendor, before you start your project.