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The changing culture for some of Utah’s businesses

One of the pain points startup culture has addressed is how to bring a more personal touch to the office space. Pulling in the comforts of home and spaces for people to socialize and bond has become the standard.

Things are changing a bit, though. With “work from home” becoming more prevalent, there are also priorities shifting for employees as well as business owners. Utah’s tech business, which has been a benchmark for trends in the Beehive State in many areas, is leading the charge when it comes to an employee culture that’s going back to basics in some ways. Yet, it still exists with a focus on what will lead to more employee retention and engagement.

Another positive trend in the business world is how small businesses are accessing SBA loans to grow or scale. First Utah Bank is the state’s preferred lender, and our experts can help anyone navigate the application process.

Businesses pivot away from perks

Part of the reason for these changes is that Utah is considered an employee’s market. With unemployment rates low, the top talent can find work with the company that’s the best for them.

 To that end, businesses are now emphasizing benefits for employees with families and a commitment to these values from management.

In a story in Deseret News, Trent Kaufman, CEO for Cicero, said that employees want fewer perks and better leadership. This includes less micro-managing and more foresight into what’s expected at the company for which they work.

“Don’t offer more perks like dry cleaning, climbing walls or kombucha bars. You can’t throw money at the problem,” Kaufman says. “Give employees visionary leadership and the resources and autonomy to crush it.”

Another company, Overstock, is changing from providing things such as game rooms or gardens to instead offering paid family leave in more instances. It also boosted its 401(k) program and started covering more healthcare needs for employees and their families.

leads the way

The leader of Silicon Slopes, Clint Betts, talks in the article about not wanting his tech center in Utah to become like Silicon Valley in California, which succeed well but also left less engaged employees in its wake. He said that growing divisiveness in the state should be quelled.

“The only way we will continue to progress and thrive in this state is through love and understanding,” he said.

It’s also true that more people are moving to Utah and staying put. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is quoted in the story as saying that “we’re the fastest-growing state in the nation because we have the least amount of out-migration.”

It’s also true that Utah is doing better in its recovery than many states in the union. The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Prosperity Dashboard shows several great indicators from its latest report, as detailed in Utah Business magazine.

  • Two-year job growth is at 3.5%, the best in the US, and one of three states showing positive numbers.
Unemployment dropped below the 2019 average for August.

At the same there, some stats can give pause, chiefly that consumer confidence declined in August, at its lowest level since the dashboard began collecting data about a year ago.

“While we continue to see mostly positive trends for Utah’s economy, this report shows we must still monitor the coronavirus variants as major risk factors to our growth and the stabilization of our economic trajectory,” says Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “The decline in consumer confidence, as well as tight labor markets, continue to be areas of concern.”

Small business loans tailored to Utah businesses

Adaptability is all-important to navigate what seems like constantly changing times for businesses of all types. First Utah Bank can help the state’s companies that are beginning to blossom with loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

First Utah Bank is the preferred lender for SBA loans in the Beehive State and we have a department dedicated to these types of loans. The specialists at First Utah Bank can help you navigate the details when applying for an SBA loan, which is common for business owners who find that conventional bank financing isn’t available or is too difficult to obtain.

The specific needs for which an SBA loan can be used will all look like milestones that every business goes through. SBA loans can be used for:

  • Consolidating debt to bring in more money
Managing cash flow during peak buying seasons
Buying machinery, fixtures and equipment
  • Starting expenses for a franchise or a new business
Money for leasehold improvements
Buying or building an owner-occupied commercial building
Expanding or refurbishing facilities to modernize them
  • Buying an existing business
  • Purchasing inventory or receivables
  • Adding to working capital (a term loan or line of credit)
Refinancing debt that’s maturing
  • Financing exports

As you continue to navigate the business world, First Bank Utah can be there to provide options to bolster growth, whether it’s as an SBA lender or with any banking need. Find out more about what we have to offer at our website, or call us at 801-308-2265.