As we pass the two-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, the challenges and outcomes are continuous yet measurable. Recently, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ranked Utah #1 for response to COVID-19. The impacts of the pandemic are not finished and some of the deepest damage still feels fresh, nevertheless, we should all feel grateful and hopeful because of our community’s resilience and dedication to one another.

When the pandemic began, there was no playbook on how best to balance positive health and economic outcomes. However, as the data shows, Utah rallied together to navigate the challenges that were brought about by the pandemic, highlighted by our low unemployment rate, a large percentage of schools that remained open safely, and how we kept our community healthy.

Utah’s top ranking is thanks in large part to our business community and your willingness to do hundreds of daily activities, like supporting the pledge to Stay Safe to Stay Open. This commitment by over 10,000 businesses across the state set an example in the early stages of the pandemic and helped our state fair better than most in both health and economic outcomes. At the same time, individuals stepped up to support others, whether it was donating food and supplies, or providing resources; every action helped. We could not have reached where we are today without all of us working together to do our part.

While there is still much to be done, I believe Utahns will prevail. On behalf of the Salt Lake Chamber, we thank you, the business community, for your support and leadership to protect the lives and livelihoods of our state during this time.