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.)

Make a Difference with Homelessness. It Begins with You.

For several months the BAB has worked on the protocol for the formation of a subcommittee focused on homelessness. The subcommittee is gathering business community feedback to help determine how we can best address homelessness and its impact on the city.

As we enter Phase 3 of Operation Rio Grande our focus will turn to “Dignity of Work” where public and private organizations are working together to increase employment opportunities and training.

People who have lost their homes are often conscientious and reliable employees and even the chronically homeless can excel at work with appropriate support and training. Employable people experiencing homelessness are available through, and backed up by non-profit organizations such as Advantage Services and Wasatch Garden’s Green Team which provide a social service safety net to support them. Another benefit? Non-profit employment agency fees are far less than what you would pay for with a traditional employment agency.

By hiring individuals experiencing homelessness, employers can also show that they are part of the solution to a pressing social problem.  It might require more willingness to take a chance, but you get something meaningful out of the process.  Have you hired an individual who was recently homeless?  Have you worked with Advantage Services? We would love to hear your success stories, please comment here.

Operation Rio Grande Update

Salt Lake City Police understands the stress that business owners and residents feel as a result of Operation Rio Grande. It has made significant progress on reducing crime and improving public safety but efforts have caused some experiencing homelessness to move to other areas of the city. In order to better serve the residents of all districts and improve the quality of life in those areas most affected, officers have and will continue to adjust their schedules weekly.

Daily cleanups are happening in the Rio Grande neighborhood, with the goal to reduce waste and materials that may endanger public health and safety.  This hoarding of materials causes problems as the homeless disperse to other neighborhoods.  Officers remind the public to discourage donating clothing and household goods directly.  Instead, donate it to service providers for better use.

City-wide, major crime is down 21% (and 37% in the Rio Grande neighborhood) since the inception of Operation Rio Grande.  The subcommittee is working to encourage businesses to promote leadership for beautification and environmentally supportive efforts within our neighborhoods. We can all make a major difference to help restore public safety to our city while lifting those in need.

Starting a Business in Salt Lake City just got easier

When entrepreneurs start a small business, they’re confronted with complex requirements from the City: multiple permits from different departments, each with its own terminology and procedures. Not having the right answers can lead to delays and missteps, and even penalties and fines.

The most common questions are – “What are my zoning requirements?” and “Can I open this type of business?”  Owners can get the right information quickly, and on their own terms with OpenCounter. It’s a new permitting portal that will help applicants start their projects with more confidence, and it also helps permit staff to improve efficiency at the counter.

Small business owners will get two new tools.  The first, a Zoning Portal, will allow users to explore where different business types are permitted throughout the City.  The second tool, a Business Permitting Portal, is designed to help citizens understand the specific license, permits and zoning requirements for starting a business in Salt Lake City.

OpenCounter will launch in October 2017.

How do you Measure Up on Energy Efficiency?

As part of Salt Lake City’s commitment to pursuing cost-effective measures to reduce air pollution, the city has produced an energy benchmarking study and tune-up ordinance for large commercial buildings.

Benchmarking allows building owners and managers to identify if their buildings are good candidates for efficiency improvements to reduce energy waste—and therefore air pollution. The free Portfolio Manager® program also gives buildings an energy score from 1 to 100, with anything 75 or over considered to be high-performing.

Buildings would then report their ENERGY STAR score to Salt Lake City.

This voluntary recognition program of outstanding commercial buildings will help Salt Lake City lead the industry with our commitment to clean air and energy efficiency.

For more information on Elevate Buildings, please visit here.