This past week was National Small Business Week and a great reminder to shop local and support the small businesses in our state and communities.
In Utah, approximately 700,000 citizens are employed by about 68,000 small businesses. In fact, almost 80 percent of Salt Lake Chamber members are small businesses. Small business plays a huge part in our economy, so helping entrepreneurs start and grow existing business is an important aspect of economic development. And, on the part of the community, shopping and buying from local businesses is a major boon for our local economy as well.
As the voice of business in the state of Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber supports funding for programs in the small business sector with quantifiable and significant achievement, including Utah’s Business Resource Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and the Business Expansion and Retention Program. We also support the development of incubators and expansion of business development centers to spur job growth from our small business sector.
We support efforts to enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to access capital and grow our economy. Specifically, we support allowing small businesses to refinance owner-occupied commercial real estate and innovative crowd-funding investment provisions.
The SBA, or the Small Business Administration, is a great resource for small businesses, as it aids, counsels, assists and protects the interests of small businesses. The SBA offers counseling, capital, contracting and disaster help for small businesses.
Last year, the Chamber’s Women’s Business Center (WBC), a resource partner for the Utah District Office of SBA, provided more than 540 hours of counseling to nearly 200 new small business clients, resulting in the creation of 24 new businesses. In total, the WBC provided training to nearly 4,300 people in 2013.
In celebration of National Small Business Week, here are some fun new rankings surround Utah and small business. Last year, Thumbtack gave Utah an A+ in overall small business friendliness, the only state to earn that high of an overall grade. Salt Lake City recently ranked the second-best city to work for a small business (Provo ranked 41, Ogden 53) according to a study by WalletHub. The personal finance website also recognized Salt Lake City as having the highest amount of “Small Business Lending” in the country, with an average of $61.77 loaned per business.
The Salt Lake Chamber recognizes how important small businesses are to our state and country, as they contribute to a stronger economy and help create jobs. Help us support small businesses and shop local!