Gov. Herbert named Champion of Small Business

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Business consultants John Horn and Darren Pleasance wrote: “There’s Mom. There’s apple pie. And there’s small business.”

Here in Utah, we concur with their assessment, except we would place small business ahead of apple pie and just behind mom in order of importance.

That philosophy is a large part of why Gov. Herbert was honored as the Champion of Small Business by Thumbtack.com.

As a former small-business owner himself, Gov. Herbert understands the challenges of running a business. It is not for the faint of heart. That’s why, as governor, he has  made it a priority to assist Utah small-businesses expand and create jobs.

To help small businesses in particular,  Utah has:

  • 14 Business Resource Centers in Utah to help small businesses grow and become more profitable. [Source: GOED]
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to help small businesses obtain government contracts.
  • The International Office, and a partnership with the World Trade Center Utah to help businesses expand their exports to foreign countries.

In Utah, we are fostering an environment where businesses can take root and flourish. We do that with low and consistent tax rates, (of the 45 states that have corporate taxes, Utah is tied for the third lowest at five percent and, as the governor noted to the crowd at Thumbtack that “we haven’t raised corporate tax rates in more than 15 years, and I have no plans to raise it), ensuring we have a sensible regulatory environment (Utah has eliminated or modified 386 onerous business regulations and the Herbert administration is working with local municipalities to encourage and help them to review their business regulations), and through efficiency in government (our state government is smaller today than it was in 2001 – EVEN though Utah has added more than 700,000 new residents over the past 13 years; in 2000, there was one state employee for every 112 Utahns; today, that ratio is one state employee for every 143 Utahns).

And the results speak for themselves.

  • Utah’s unemployment rate is 3.5 percent, the 2nd lowest in the nation.
  • Our overall job growth rate is 3.5 percent, the 3rd best in the nation.
  • The private sector has created more than 112,000 jobs in Utah since November 2011.
  • Utah has the 4th-most diverse economy in America. [GOED]

Since education is the key to training our workforce to fill the quality jobs that businesses are creating, we are emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — or STEM — education. We also have set a statewide goal for 66 percent of adult Utahns to earn a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2020.

We are not there yet, but we are making steady progress. Utah is seventh in the country for percentage of students passing AP exams and STEM education is a priority with Legislature. Utah eighth-graders perform better in science than students in all but five countries; a first-ever international study shows.

“It is nice to be recognized for the good things we are doing in Utah to help businesses grow our economy and create more economic opportunity,” said Gov. Herbert. “I look forward to continue working with private sector businesses and the Legislature to raise the bar — to do even more to make Utah the best place to live and the best place to do business.”

As Jonas Salk said, “The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.”