On Tuesday, June 30th, the Salt Lake Chamber held its Annual Governor’s Mansion Reception with the Salt Lake Chamber Board. Attendees for the event included Circle–Level Members of the Salt Lake Chamber, Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, and Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

Following a brief reception, both Lane Beattie and Gov. Herbert addressed the business leaders in attendance. The information below provides a brief overview of what was discussed.

Utah, Success, and Collaboration

It’s no secret that Utah is among the best states for business. Again and again, Utah has been recognized because of our thriving economy, strong job growth and excellent fiscal management.

For example, CNBC recently ranked Utah as the #3 state for business. The report stated, “the economy is abuzz in the Beehive State—the strongest in the nation…”

Utah is “the cream of the crop and we continually rise to the top,” said Gov. Herbert as he began his address to business leaders. “To stay there, we cannot stop the spirit of collaboration that is found so strongly in our state.”

The ability to find solutions to our common problems is something that sets the Utah apart and allows us to achieve the ranking as top economy and most enterprising state.

Top Challenges Facing Utah

Despite the economic success that Utah has experienced, the state still has challenges.

Gov. Herbert mentioned two issues specifically that he believes the state and business community should be focused on: education and the long-term outlook for water.

Education

When compared to other states, Utah has a faster growing population and higher birthrate than average, meaning more students in school and less per pupil spending. The questions we must ask are: “How do we educate a growing student population? How do we get them into post education? How do we pay for it?”

The business community’s suggestion to resolve this issue can be found in the 5-year plan, Prosperity Through Education.

Water

In May 2015 the Chamber held the “Water Is Your Business Forum,” to bring awareness and better understanding of the value of water to the Utah business community; as water in Utah is continuously a problem.  If there is no water in this desert climate no one will want to stay, and no businesses will want to expand or relocate here. We need to plan for the future to accommodate population growth pressure, heat droughts, and other ongoing challenges.

Governor’s Insight for Local Business Community

Business leaders had the opportunity to ask for the governor’s insight following his remarks. The following questions were proposed:

In regards to regulation, what are the most difficult issues facing businesses today and what can the Chamber do to help partner with the government?

Gov. Herbert:

There is a common complaint among business leaders that too many regulations that are get in the way of productivity. There are two reasons for regulation. First: create a level playing field. Second: protect the public/consumer.

Ongoing regulation reform is needed to help streamline business and review public opinions. That being said, regulations should not hamper the success of an economy.

Are there things business leaders should concerned about in the short-term?

Gov. Herbert:

New issues come up all the time and business leaders must weigh in on legislation by providing their concerns. Government officials must do what you expect them to and represent your best interests.

For the Future

The Salt Lake Chamber is appreciative of the efforts of Gov. Herbert and looks forward to working with him on issues that impact the success of Utah’s business community.

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