The Business Advisory Board (BAB) is made up of city business owners and community leaders who partner with Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. Its members are appointed by the mayor and must be SLC residents and/or have ownership interest in a Salt Lake City business. BAB helps direct city economic policy, promotes small business growth, supports local entrepreneurs, and encourages businesses to relocate to our city.

As part of an ongoing effort to keep SLC’s business community in the loop, the BAB is blogging synopses of our monthly meetings here. (Recordings are available to the public as well.)

Homelessness: A Shared Solution for a Shared Problem

We know homelessness isn’t just a social problem; it has hard-hitting economic repercussions too. Several SLC Business Retention and Expansion survey respondents cited our city’s homeless problem as a barrier to their businesses’ growth.

At our April 19th meeting, BAB received a thorough update on Salt Lake City’s homeless issue from the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, David Litvack. Stakeholders from all levels of government – city, county and state – have come together with our communities to determine that we needed to move away from the current single campus site model to smaller facilities focused on tailoring services to specific homeless populations. Salt Lake City residents from all walks of life have watched closely as plans for this new system have unfolded and evolved.

Earlier this year, county, city, and state legislators adopted a three-site shelter model with one of those sites hosted in the county, and two sites within Salt Lake City boundaries. One of the  SLC sites has been acquired with a second site formal acquisition in progress. Community engagement and oversight has been vital in this process, and the two selected SLC communities have been great partners to the City.

Local nonprofit Shelter the Homeless, which already operates the city’s existing facility (The Road Home which is slated to be closed) and the county’s Midvale family shelter, will manage operation of services across all sites. Shelter the Homeless has experience and expertise in the types of reform needed to facilitate residents’ sustainable transition back into our communities.

Budget Cycle Heats Up

City departments provided their first budget presentations to City Council on April 18th. This is the beginning of an intense time in the budget cycle. Councilmembers are requesting constituent ideas on areas within the budget and district funding allocation that may need more attention. Economic Development and Homelessness & Housing are the two citywide priority areas.

Department of Economic Development Update

BAB is excited to welcome Silvia Castro, the DED’s new Manager of Small and Underserved Business.

The DED also continues to engage stakeholders and elicit feedback. The qualitative component on the business engagement survey is underway, and roundtables are being organized and scheduled for input on the current strategic planning process. BAB participated in a SWOT analysis on behalf of the Economic Development team.

BAB Housekeeping

Lastly, the DED is updating the ordinance establishing the Business Advisory Board with minor modifications required by the bylaws and some clarifications of BAB’s purpose. The DED Director and the Mayor have the power to review, modify, and ratify any recommendations the BAB may send to Council.

See You Next Month,

Curtis Thornhill
BAB Secretary & Apt Marketing Solutions CEO