It’s time to extend a hand (and maybe tip back a pint or two) to all of those who help Salt Lake City’s job creators for the 2nd Annual Economic Development Week which runs May 7-12. The week will be marked with micro-brewery and restaurant tours, a Silicon Slopes event, coffee with the Department of Economic Development, and even an official proclamation from Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
Economic Development Week is an opportunity to highlight the connections between smart growth and economic outcomes such as job growth, occupancy rates, tax base, and private investment.
“Economic development is a team sport, and it takes a lot of people to make that happen,” says Director Lara Fritts. “Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development serves as a resource for local officials, developers and citizens interested in planning to improve, grow and enhance our community. We provide valuable tools that will support wise land use decisions and encourage smart economic development, while supporting the arts and promoting a healthy environment for all.”
It’s an exciting time to be living in Salt Lake City and we must recognize that the economy is undergoing a profound transformation. Economic growth can be explosive but growth alone is not enough. For Americans, shared prosperity, an opportunity for upward mobility, and economic outcomes determined more by merit than the accident of birth are important to “who we are” as a nation. The hard working people of Salt Lake City echo this sentiment and we all agree and see the need for smart growth.
Earlier this year, Salt Lake City’s Economic Development Team addressed this need for smart growth by introducing the Strategic Economic Development Plan. It details the objectives and actions needed so that we may thrive in an increasingly competitive global market.
There’s a lot to celebrate with Salt Lake City’s recent economic development wins, including:
- Nearly $800 million in investments and the creation of over 6,000 new jobs within the last 2 years.
- Development and facilitation of the Northwest Quadrant. Salt Lake’s industrial market has experienced remarkable growth and shows no signs of slowing down.
- Expansion of Salt Lake City’s Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) now accessible to any company within a 60-mile radius.
- Main Street America designations of the Granary District and State Street – efforts are already bringing business owners and the community together for new sustainable growth.
- Introduction of work-ready programs to assist those experiencing homelessness.
- The Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF) has provided significant help to a large number of underrepresented business owners.
- The Granary District Adaptive Reuse Grant Program introduced a forgivable loans to encourage the reuse and revitalization of the Granary District’s unique stock of warehouse and industrial buildings.
- Eccles Theater first-year revenues are already showing a profit, more than doubling budget projections.
- Revival of the Vivint Arena and the rise of Regent Street – now one of the primary connectors between Gallivan Center to the south and City Creek Center on the north, placing it right in the middle of downtown’s main entertainment district.
- Salt Lake City’s low unemployment rate (driven mostly by the tech and construction industries) has new leadership with a workforce development manager to meet job demand growth.
- Utah Department of Workforce Services reports that Utah’s growth rate of 3.1 percent was the highest in the nation during March of 2018. This in turn has led to a steady demand for office space, and economic indicators are demonstrative of continued growth.
- The rising trend of coworking space — shared workplace facilities that can be used by a variety of users seeking flexible lease terms and space requirements — has landlords looking to upgrade their space in order to attract tenants and meet the needs of the changing market.
- Record attendance and revival of the Twilight Concert Series.
- Salt Lake Arts Council Foundation Board awards $305,000 in City Arts Grants funding to 92 applicants.
- … and that’s not all of it!
Perhaps what we’re most excited about though, are the opportunities that have yet to present themselves to us. Help us celebrate Salt Lake City’s economic growth for the 2018 Economic Development Week – follow us on social media for more event information.