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Utah’s business recovery: Why it’s gone so well

It may not always seem like it – and sure, it’s been a crazy rollercoaster of a year-plus for all businesses – but in some ways it’s a good time to be in business in the Beehive State. That’s because the state has recovered from the pandemic response better than many other states, according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

That government body recently released some telling stats about economics in Utah, and the good news is that the faster recovery can be traced to some specific results – and ones that can be built upon and replicated to keep the momentum going.

As far as being your hometown bank is concerned, First Utah Bank is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of business owners in Utah with our programs, services, and knowledgable staff.

Great numbers and great contributors

First, let’s go through some statistics that are important. According to the governor’s office, Utah’s unemployment rate is the fifth lowest in the nation as of February, and at 3.5% is just a percent higher than it was a year ago, before the pandemic response. The Salt Lake Chamber also reports that Utah saw .6% year-over-year job growth in December, one of the only states in the nation to do that (our neighbors in Idaho also saw growth).

Another report with good news is Rich States, Poor States, an economic competitive index that ranked Utah as the No. 1 state for financial outlook.

The governor’s office traces the success of Utah’s economy to several different factors, including grant programs, the statewide Stay Safe to Stay Open Pledge businesses undertook, and governmental support, including the resources list that businesses could access on the state’s coronavirus website.

It’s also clear that small businesses are what kept Utah’s economy from sliding into catastrophe, according to the article. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute even spelled out their contribution.

“Over half of all workers in Utah are employed by small businesses,” the report notes as quoted in the article for KSL. “Even very small businesses (<20 employees) account for a sizable share of Utah’s workforce. One out of every six workers in Utah is employed at a firm with fewer than 20 employees.”

Staying the course with a Shop in Utah mentality

Small businesses also reaped the benefits of several grants that the Governor’s Office on Economic Development started during the pandemic response. They include ComRent, this $20 million grant to help businesses cover rent for commercial properties, and the Quarantined Employee Grant, which reimbursed small businesses if they had employees who needed to be isolated because of COVID-19.

Another important grant was the COVID-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program. It was better known as the “Shop in Utah” grant, and it was given to businesses to pay for discounts or similar offers they gave to local shoppers. The grant ended up totaling $64 million directly to small businesses in Utah.

And, efforts like this one point to one way that the economy can keep rolling so well – shopping local. “It’s as important now as it ever has been to keep our foot on the gas and continue supporting small businesses,” the governor’s office cites in the article from KSL. “Shop local and help Utah continue on its path to full economic recovery.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by the inutah.org website run by the governor’s office: “When we support Utah small businesses, we support Utah entrepreneurs, their workers and all of their families. Nearly 70% of a dollar spent in a Utah small business stays in Utah.

We can help with distinctive banking for Utah businesses

As your trusted partner in your finances, First Utah Bank is a truly caring, hometown financial resource for you as you continue to navigate the changing times. We’ve been in the Salt Lake Valley since 1978, and we are adept at meeting your individual needs as a business in Utah.

There are several aspects of our business that relate directly to the business banking community in the Beehive State. First, as a community bank we can get to know you beyond just providing services. Our staff builds relationships and works hard to anticipate your needs, ready to offer the products that are going to work best for your own business plans.

We also provide many secure tools so you can bank on your own time, when it’s most convenient to do business. This includes online apps, treasury management, and mobile and remote depositing.

First Utah Bank also has a deep expertise in solutions for cash flow, from SBA loans to expansion funding to ways that you can find better financial security as a startup. Our goal is to provide a solution for any business question or concern at any time.

Let us help you make running a small business easier with financial advice that’s tailored to your unique needs. Learn more at our website, or call First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.