Governor Gary Herbert’s Economic Task Force shared its critical priorities for week three, as subject matter experts from multiple industry groups, corporations, and academia assembled into working groups to implement the task force’s guiding plan -- Utah Leads Together -- introduced March 24, 2020. 

Priorities include creating a clearing house and ready access to technical support for loans, IRS resources, and other federal and state government assistance; information to assist businesses in meeting health care requirements and optimize telecommuting arrangements; assisting with employment; and preparing for future phases of the coronavirus and evolving needs.

“Out of the Economic Task Force, we have created integrated working groups that focus on specific areas and coordinate holistically,” said Derek Miller, chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force.  “These include some of the most capable people I’ve been honored to work with, and frankly they are working around the clock to stay up to date on resources, and help Utahns get access to the funds and assistance they need.”

The working groups include Policy and Planning; Federal Resources; State and Local Resources; Job Placement; Critical Infrastructure; Industry Outreach; Financial Institutions; and, Housing. Each develops priorities within its group and coordinates with the task force committee, all guided by Utah Leads Together.

“The highest priority for the Job Placement subgroup is to ensure all those impacted by COVID-19 with loss of employment or wages apply for unemployment insurance,” said DWS Executive Director, Jon Pierpont. “This benefit is the tool the federal stimulus is using to ensure individuals and families have the financial support needed if they lose their job or have substantial wage loss.” The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is also analyzing industry impacts to prepare for the next phases of the Utah Leads Together Plan. 

This week the Federal and State Resources working committees created a Rapid Response team to assist business owners with applications and related questions, as well as announced an $11 million state bridge loan program.  This was coordinated through the Governor's Office of Economic Development. “I am proud of the job my Economic Response Task Force team is doing. Now is a time of unity and they continue to demonstrate leading together as our plan lays out,” said Governor Herbert.

The Infrastructure working group assembled and is disseminating information to help businesses understand local health restrictions to comply with the Governor's stay safe stay-at-home directive. EDCUtah and the Salt Lake Chamber surveyed businesses across the state and released a report Wednesday on the business impact of the coronavirus. Theresa Foxley and Derek Miller published an Opinion piece on the findings.

Each group will continue to meet regularly, adapt to changes, update the Utah Leads Together Plan and communicate with the public and private sectors on a regular basis with reports such as this one.