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 met the morning of Wednesday, January 10th, to welcome 2018, elect new officers, and discuss rounding out our membership.

New Chair on the Lookout for New Members

We welcome Angela H. Brown to her new role as chair of the BAB. Angela has served as a member of the board since 2014, but she’s best known as the editor and publisher of Salt Lake’s beloved SLUG Magazine. She’s also founder and executive director of Craft Lake City, the nonprofit that has brought you the ever-growing DIY Festival every summer since 2009.

Yours truly, Curtis Thornhill, CEO of Apt Marketing Solutions, was elected as vice chair, and I’m looking forward to serving in this new capacity.

The BAB currently has two open voting seats and two open ex-officio seats, so we are looking for new members to be appointed by the Mayor. All members must have ownership interest in a business located within the city. We plan to discuss board membership in more depth when the issue is placed on the public agenda, but until then, if you are interested in learning more about serving, please apply online or reach out to an existing member if you have questions.

RDA Offers Loans & New Project Areas in 2018

As we begin a new year, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) is prioritizing affordable housing, bringing new business to the area, and incentivizing new development. To be eligible for any of the RDA’s financial programs a project must be located within – and in keeping with the strategic goals of – one of its officially designated project areas. There are currently 11 project areas with two more (9 Line and State Street) under review and working toward designation this spring.

The RDA Loan Program is probably the most popular portion of its public work and can be used to fund residential or commercial properties. The RDA also offers a Tax Increment Reimbursement Program that will reimburse construction costs after the fact. Lots of information on both these programs and several other opportunities is available on the RDA’s website.

Small Business Festival May 2018: Mark Your Calendars

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is planning a Small Business Festival to celebrate National Small Business Week, which is the first week in May. They are enlisting the BAB’s help to decide on capacity for the event and determine relevant topics, speakers and potential spaces to host the event(s). There may also be an opportunity to include panel discussions or networking events.

The board decided to create a subcommittee to support the planning and execution of the Small Business Festival during the January session. Board member JD Smith from District 6 will chair that subcommittee.

Economic Development Updates

The board is pleased to have DED Local Business and Entrepreneurship Manager Roberta Reichgelt as our new staff lead. We look forward to working with her this year.

General BAB procedures and policies were distributed at the meeting. There will be no updates to the BAB ordinance at this time.

Plans proceed for a small business owners’ meet-and-greet event with Mayor Biskupski. The DED is looking at coordinating it with the State of the City Address on Jan. 31st. It will likely be scheduled for early February, and all business owners are welcome and encouraged to attend.

City Council Updates

As it does every January, City Council elected new officers as well. We congratulate new Chair Erin Mendenhall (District 5) and new Vice Chair Chris Wharton (District 3).

At its meeting of January 9th, Council and the RDA Board approved the creation of the Northwest Quadrant Project Area. The BAB will receive more information about this development at a future meeting.

Council also took an important step toward the city’s goal of providing more housing to those in need by approving a loan of $3.2 million to the Salt Lake City Housing Authority. The funds will be used to facilitate the redevelopment of the Capitol Motel into a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development.

Rounding out its most recent meeting, Council adopted a resolution partnering with the County to create the Arts for All Program. Now when you purchase a full-price ticket for a performance at the Eccles Theater, a portion of the proceeds goes toward discounting tickets for income-qualified city and county residents.

One Last Reminder

If you’re passionate about Salt Lake City business, we’d love to talk with you about joining our ranks. Please reach out to me or any of the Business Advisory Board members for details.

Let’s Work Together,

Curtis Thornhill

BAB Vice Chair & Apt Marketing Solutions CEO