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Utah sees a surprising boom in new businesses

In the past year, Utah residents have seen the evidence of the pandemic response up-close and often personal. There have been closed store doors, hotels with many rooms to rent, and empty or canceled events by the score.

At the same time, the evidence that Utah has not only weathered these financial storms but is actually thriving is everywhere. In fact, according to the state’s Department of Commerce, there are some huge stats to bolster this perception. There were 80,000 new businesses registered in the state in 2020, which is an 4,800-plus increase. Also, there were about 1,800 new businesses launched in the state in February of this year, which is up 40 percent.

A story from KSL news’ website goes into the reasons for this boom despite the pandemic, and a lot of it comes down to a business-friendly climate melded to an entrepreneurial spirit. That same spirit can fuel progress for your business with the help of mobile banking options from First Utah Bank.

Working on innovations to keep businesses thriving

Margaret Woolley-Busse, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, believes that the efforts made in previous years to bring more start-up businesses to the state is paying off well during this current crisis.

“I think people are going to be primed to get going,” Woolley-Busse said. “I think that’s what we’re seeing already, lots of innovation, and Utah is the place to be for that.”

Although it’s unclear if there are specific types of businesses coming to Utah – the record-keeping for new businesses doesn’t really indicate type – but Woolley-Busse said that two which are doing well are financial businesses and real estate. “We have seen about a 28% increase in the number of real estate-related licenses that we’ve issued this year, which is remarkable — huge uptick,” she added.

While she said Utah business owners should be optimistic, Woolley-Busse also acknowledged that it has been difficult for some business owners. Like in other states of the union, there have still been hundreds of Utah businesses that have either closed their doors or seen huge losses as part of the pandemic response.

“The reality is that we’ve seen a lot of churn. People have obviously lost jobs, which has been heartbreaking. But there’s also been all this forced experimentation that has occurred because of the pandemic,” she said. “We’re all having to do things in very different ways and that’s giving people different ideas for businesses.”

Helping others as a key to success

Among those with some different ideas are Rhett Buttle and Chantelle Galloway. Rhett started a new venture called Public Private Strategies, a website to help people run their own business. The PPS site is in partnership with AARP, and Buttle has noted that its popularity speaks to people’s drive to find outside-the-box ideas.

“When we are in moments of interesting periods in history like we are right now with COVID, we need as much innovation and entrepreneurship as possible,” Buttle said. “That’s honestly when we see that American people are at their best.”

Galloway’s own innovation was Support the Small. It’s a charity she began once her bridal shop in Salt Lake City stalled during the pandemic. Through the sales of hats and shirts and bringing encouragement to shoppers to keep it local, Galloway has raised enough for a fund to help other small business owners.

As it happens, she’s not the only one who had an idea to start fundraising businesses. The state’s commerce department notes that there were an average of 500-plus charities which were registered in 2020, a 19 percent increase from 2019. Galloway said that she had a simple reason to start her own charity work: “I’m just trying to help people survive.”

Mobile site keeps banking secure for Utah businesses

With businesses doing so well in the Beehive State, it would make sense to take advantage of the latest technology to keep the momentum going. One way to do that – and still foster a sense of security – is to know you are banking with a trusted, hometown source which embraces the high-tech financial world. First Utah Bank does this in many ways, including our treasury management mobile app.

Having mobile business banking means a more flexible way to complete transactions and work beyond just the standards of managing your money. It’s not only convenient, but with dual control you also have the security you need to make sure your funds are always safe.

The mobile app can be an essential tool for fraud prevention, with it being easily detected and stopped all from your smartphone. There are also customized push alerts to let you know when important transactions are ready for you to approve. It also uses several layers of authentication in order to provide the highest security possible.

Learn more about this service and others in Treasury Management by visiting our website, or by calling First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.