There’s no doubt about it — Utah Valley has one of the hottest business markets in the nation today. National surveys have ranked Utah, and the Utah Valley area, as one of the best places in the country to do business.
Despite this optimistic outlook, there are still challenges that need to be addressed in our area. A vigilant watch needs to be kept on upcoming legislation and government regulation that affects business interests.
Identifying, endorsing and advocating for principle-based policies and laws is one of the central tasks of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Business Environment Committee. Each year, the committee reviews bills that are up for consideration during the state legislative session and determines if the bills are beneficial to businesses. Specifically, taxes are an area of concern, as are any new regulations and licensing requirements.
The overall goals are to maintain an environment where new and existing businesses can prosper and provide local businesses with up-to-date information, assistance and support.
As part of this effort, the Business Environment Committee works to create and maintain positive relationships with state and local government officials and representatives of local businesses. This includes attracting more businesses to join the chamber as well as encouraging chamber members to engage more fully in chamber events and activities.
Through these connections, the committee can obtain input from business leaders regarding proposed policy or legislation changes and pass those concerns on to government representatives.
Having their voices heard is only one benefit businesses that actively participate in the chamber receive. Business leaders are also able to network with and learn from others inside and outside of their industries as well as benefit from the expert knowledge shared through chamber events such as the Executive Summit and Growth & Prosperity Summit.
The Business Environment Committee works in tandem with all the other chamber Valley Visioning committees as its members seek to identify other ways to help create a fertile and prosperous business environment in Utah Valley. All other aspects of Valley Visioning — housing, transportation, health care, housing and natural resources — affect whether or not businesses thrive.
For example, one of the largest challenges Utah Valley businesses face today is attracting and retaining employees, especially those with specific skill sets. A lack of affordable housing or specialized educational programs can hamper these efforts. The Business Environment Committee, along with the entire chamber, is working to develop strategies and increase resources for businesses that will assist them in this area.
Ray Chipman is chair of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Environment Committee and a partner at Squire.