Preserving Utah’s Excellent Business Climate

A terrific business climate is one of the best holiday gifts that Utah’s businesses could receive.

As the statewide voice for business, the Salt Lake Chamber works to ensure Utah’s business climate remains among the best in the nation. We believe low taxes, limited but effective regulations, top-notch infrastructure, a talented workforce and well-managed and limited government create a strong environment for economic success. In many respects, Utah has led the nation in achieving success in each of these categories. Nevertheless, improvement is needed in some areas.

As I speak with Utah business leaders throughout the state, it has become evident that many are increasingly concerned that our exemplary business climate may deteriorate because of complacency caused by favorable national rankings. Declines in key metrics of our state’s business climate demonstrate that these worries are warranted.

To respond to these concerns, the Chamber has released a new report that suggests how the state can improve its business climate through regulatory reform. Titled, “The Cost of Doing Business: Improving Utah’s Regulatory System,” this report recommends some tangible reforms to produce more effective and fair regulations. The most important of these reforms seeks to improve the process of analyzing and mitigating impacts of administrative rules on Utah businesses. The focus is on the executive branch, where rules are promulgated, and the legislative branch, where rulemaking authority is authorized.

Both branches of government must consider the impact of their laws and regulations on businesses and the economy. The Chamber report encourages them to do so and provides suggestions. It also reviews what we can learn from other states and, most importantly, outlines how we can keep Utah’s regulatory climate among the best in the nation.

I want to acknowledge the collaboration of the Governor’s Office, the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, the Department of Administrative Services, and the Office of Legislative Fiscal Analyst, along with the business community, in the development of these recommendations. Their efforts to innovate, collaborate and be responsive to the business community are why our state’s economy continues to excel.

I’m pleased to report that a number of these recommendations are already under consideration, and some are being implemented.