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.)
The Business Advisory Board’s November meeting took place the morning after Election Day. It was an excellent opportunity to reaffirm priorities and plan for the future.
Mayor Biskupski Backs Economic Development Team
Mayor Biskupski attended our meeting to discuss the BAB’s current work, its direction going forward, and key issues facing our city. She emphasized the importance of the Department of Economic Development to Salt Lake City’s future. The administration has focused on building the team, which is stronger than it has been in decades and is having such a positive impact on the city. Our investment is paying off.
The lively conversation touched on homelessness, identifying and bringing new business partners into our community, and the importance of supporting and working with existing businesses, especially to remove barriers to growth wherever possible.
BAB Homelessness Subcommittee Works with Utah Department of Workforce Services
The Homelessness Subcommittee has determined that it will move forward on two fronts:
- Engaging with the business community, with an early emphasis on neighborhood business alliances, to provide area-specific feedback to the city on how it can ensure business needs are being met during the next phase of Operation Rio Grande.
- Advocating for consolidation of efforts and communicating ways businesses can come together to directly support solutions to homelessness.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services was on hand to review the launch of Operation Rio Grande’s third phase, Dignity of Work, which is a public-private partnership. The program is designed to support the transition of our homeless population to employment. Starting today, there will be four employment counselors – that’s a fourfold increase – on staff to facilitate Dignity of Work’s three program elements:
- Pre-Employment: Identifying members of the homeless population who are able to move into the workforce and assigning each a case manager to assist in the transition.
- Dignity in Work: Training programs that provide workplace essentials as well as industry specific, short-term professional development.
- Connecting to Work: Placing these new candidates within our business communities and partnering with businesses to provide services and support that will make the new employees successful.
Economic Development Updates: Job Posting, Pickle Win & More
Main Street America: The Granary District work plan has been released and is being reviewed. The finalized plan will outline attainment of a 12-month set of goals to move the project forward.
SLC Business Survey: The qualitative results have been released and a consolidated report will be completed in the coming weeks. Overall, the qualitative findings align with the quantitative study results, and there may be some interesting opportunities forthcoming for the city to partner with business on availability of space and workforce.
America Picked the Pickle! You may recall from last month, Studio Elevn entered a national competition to revamp the historic Utah Pickle Company building and its surrounding land into a community arts and event space. The bid was successful! The pickle project was one of eleven winners and will receive $50,000 to make the dream a reality.
Finally, the Economic Development team led BAB in a brainstorming session on how the city can engage with business to generally make our local entrepreneurs’ lives easier and their businesses more profitable. The Toolbox is in development.
City Council Election News
The Salt Lake City Council has two new council members. We welcome Amy Fowler and Chris Wharton.
BAB Member Announcements: Fun & Frivolity Abound!
The Vest Pocket Business Coalition hosted an education session the day of our meeting. They sponsor a variety of events to strengthen Utah’s independent business community, so be sure to keep tabs on their website for upcoming opportunities.
On November 9th, Local First Utah held its annual food-centric fundraising event; Celebrate the Bounty is the place for Salt Lake City’s foodies, locavores and locally minded consumers to come together and explore spectacular offerings from Utah’s finest locally owned restaurants. If you missed it this year, be sure to “Like” them on Facebook and be ready for next year’s gala!
Mark your calendar for Square Kitchen SLC’s grand opening on November 30th! Square Kitchen is a culinary incubator so it’s bound to be hopping with all the ahead-of-the-curve gastronomic pleasures you crave.
One parting shot: Next time you’re over on the west side, go pay homage to Xochitónal, the giant mythological public art invading Red Iguana. For now, we’ll leave you with a sneak peek: