Economic Recovery Resources for Utah Communities

 

As a resource to local economic developers in Utah, below is a list of programs that various Utah communities are implementing to rise to the economic challenges of COVID-19.

 

EDCUtah has taken the Stay Safe to Stay Open pledge. This is a statewide campaign to inform and support businesses in understanding and following safety guidance as outlined in Utah Leads Together. Organizations taking the pledge are demonstrating to employees and customers a commitment to follow this guidance. https://stayopenutah.com/

Please note: This compilation is not an endorsement of any one policy or referenced source, but a place to share any ideas that can be implemented at the community level. Consider this a bulletin board for sharing best practices and lessons learned.

 

NEW CONTENT

On Oct. 23, we’re holding a virtual “graduation” ceremony for eight cities and counties that have completed the Development Ready Communities (DRC) certification process. We were pleased to get some feedback from Elaine Gizler, economic development director for Grand County. “As a new Economic Development Director, I find EDCUtah to be a lifeline.  I have learned so much in the DRC sessions and have met so many individuals who have a tremendous amount of experience.  I value all that I have learned and will apply that education to improving the future for Grand County. Having EDCUtah at the forefront looking at Utah opportunities around the world provides a network that a local Economic Development professional can take advantage of.  Small rural communities working with EDCUtah have a much better chance of securing a business than trying to reach out independently.  The continued support of EDCUtah to raise the bar for economic development in our rural communities is valuable.”

 

 

Oct. 7, the SBA updated their PPP policy. Scroll to the last page of this document to see question #52, which was added to the policy. It touches on the point that the payment deferral period was extended from six months to ten months. Businesses that took PPP should contact their lender to ensure everybody is on the same page re: the revised schedule.

 

The Utah Labor Commission has launched the Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant program to help small businesses (<50 employees) continue to pay employees who are required to quarantine or isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone who has tested positive. The $2 million Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant uses federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It provides reimbursement to small business employers who pay employees to stay home during quarantine or isolation for a maximum of 40 hours per week for a period of up to two calendar weeks. Small business owners with less than 50 employees can go to https://coronavirus.utah.gov for more information and to fill out a grant application. 

 

Utah Small Business Loan Finance has been awarded $1.72 million Revolving Loan Fund from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of the CARES Act Recovery Assistance. The grant can be used to lend to small business/entrepreneur borrowers up to $250,000 in Cache, Davis, Box Elder, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah and Weber Counties in Utah. More here.

St. George News profiles the growth happening at the Tech Ridge development, site of the old airport. More here.

The Utah Economic Recovery Task Force invites business owners and executives, or senior leadership to provide feedback via a five-minute survey. Responses will help the Task Force understand how to best provide COVID-19 assistance to the local business community. All responses will be anonymous. Take the survey here.

 

GENERAL RESOURCES

Follow all Federal and State health guidelines for your city employees and offices.

Click here to be redirected to COVID-19 employer resources  or health resources

 

New American Economy has published a toolkit to help local economic and workforce development leaders support immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs through case-tested, rapidly deployable programs and strategies. Salt Lake County, the International Rescue Committee, and Spice Kitchen Incubator are featured in a case study. https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/BA_NAE_Support_Immigrant.pdf

We think Utah is going to prove to be a port in the storm for companies looking to expand in the next several years. Both Salt Lake City and Provo make the top ten in a Moody’s Analytics report that examines the potential to recover from coronavirus among the top 100 metro areas in the U.S. 

Gray Swoope is the president & CEO of VisionFirst Advisors, a site selection consulting group in Florida. In addition to his work in site selection, Gray spent numerous years working in economic development, including as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce. In April, Gray joined EDCUtah for a virtual town hall on COVID-19’s impact on the site selection process. We captured the highlights of his conversation with EDCUtah COO Mike Flynn during the virtual meeting.

We have re-opened the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. The Utah Economic Recovery Task Force would like to check in again with the business community to see how conditions are evolving. We ask businesses to respond whether or not they took the first survey a month ago. This updated survey should take less than five minutes to complete. As we did last month, we encourage you to use your community networks to get this survey in front of as many businesses as possible. Find the survey here: https://edcutah.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5ndzPhPyZOqRivz

Site Selection Guild recently hosted a webinar titled, “Urban, Suburban Or Rural? COVID-19 & The Changing Landscape Of Site Selection.” Good information for public and private EDCUtah investors. https://siteselectorsguild.com/webinars/

What are site selectors saying about deal flow, incentives, and reshoring? EDCUtah business development staff recently listened to three webinars that had panels comprised of some of the top site selection consultants in the country. To assist our public sector investors, here are some notes from those sessions. 
 

STATE RESOURCES

The Multicultural Subcommittee of Utah's COVID-19 Task Force is offering a $1 million grant program to organizations that serve the basic needs of multicultural communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Racial Equity and Inclusion Grants of up to $50,000 will be provided to organizations in Utah who will offer emergency basic needs assistance to multicultural communities, including but not limited to utilities, rent, transportation, food assistance, and case management. https://multicultural.utah.gov/racial-equity-fund/

GOED announced the Utah COVID-19 PPE Support Grant program, known as “Safe In Utah.” The $5 million program starts July 20 and provides grants to businesses to improve workplace safety for workers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To see requirements and apply, please visit here.

Lehi City’s Marlin Eldred is teaching a certificate course at UVU on the topic of economic development. This is suitable for current ED professionals, elected officials, land developers, state and community leaders, and students with an economic focus. The five-session program starts August 28.

Based on a July 1 email from the Utah Office of Tourism, part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, here’s an overview of recent programs utilizing CARES Act Funding. https://edcutah.org/news/2020/07/05/cares-act-funding-explained

In the latest Fox File, EDCUtah’s Theresa A. Foxley discusses the infrastructure elements of Utah Leads Together Version IV. 

In a recent Special Session, the Legislature funded a number of economic recovery initiatives as part of H.B. 5010. Read the overview here.

GOED has announced the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program - a $40 million program to help small busineses and non-profits. More here.The State released the "Utah Leads Together" health and economic recovery plan on April 17, 2020. More here.

The Utah Economic Response Task Force held a webinar April 28 on "Reactivating Your Business." You can view it at the SL Chamber Facebook page.

GOED's Utah Leads Together Small Bridge Loan Program for small businesses is currently fully subscribed. More here.

The state's clearinghouse for all COVID-19 information is coronavirus.utah.gov

The Department of Workforce Services held its first-ever, statewide virtual job fair April 16. Watch this space for future events.

The Utah State Legislature convened April 16, in an historic virtual Special Session to address COVID-19 issues and the impacts upon the Utah economy. Both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune are providing coverage of the special session. 

 

LOCAL RESOURCES/EXAMPLES

Declare a State of Emergency to provide more budget and procedural flexibility to respond to COVID-19. See Riverton City as an example.

Loosen regulations on signage for local business to help them attract more customers.

​News from EDCUtah public sector investor Beaver County - As communities begin staged reopening to customers and tourists, it's a trusted partnership between all. Businesses will provide a safe environment and hope that visitors will reciprocate by following healthy practices and guidelines. Watch the video.

Monitor your city parks & open spaces. Shut them down if people are not following CDC social distance guidelines. See Draper City as an example.

Consider a 90-day holiday on permitting fees, etc.

Consider a micro loan program. See Salt Lake City as an example.

The Cedar City Chamber of Commerce put together a useful matrix of federal and state loan programs.

Consider delaying local tax due dates (following Fed and State to at least July 15).

Six County Association of Governments is contacting the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) to recapitalize its Revolving Loan Fund, to make additional dollars available to small business.

Consider putting capital projects on hold to reserve funding for local COVID-19 relief efforts.

Support your local businesses via email blasts, blog or social media. See Davis County as an example. 

Communicate clearly and frequently to your citizens about COVID-19 related changes to Federal, State and Local policy.

Consider a dedicated COVID-19 update page on your city or county website. See Provo City as an example.

Follow the collaborative efforts of public and private sectors in the St. George area in creation of a small business gap funding program, details at www.greatertogetherfund.org

Carefully monitor your local COVID-19 cases and transmission rates. If necessary, issue a local Stay At Home order. See Summit County as an example.

Conference or video calls regularly with local community partners (i.e. Chamber, DWS, SBDC, Tourism, AOG, etc.) to develop plans and build community strength. See Box Elder County as an example. https://event.webinarjam.com/register/2/9vkxyh

Because of Facebook's Eagle Mountain presence, Utah County small businesses may apply for a Facebook Small Business Grant through May 6. More here.

On the lighter side, Kane County is stepping back in time to go forward with recovery. Remember drive-in movies and dragging Main St.? Both are alive and well in Kanab. Friday and Saturday nights are sold out as the town uses the airport tarmac for film-watching. 

Read about two new consumer confidence and awareness campaigns collaboratively developed by Kane and San Juan Counties. "Above and Beyond" and "San Juan Strong Promise."

A Best Practice. Herriman City’s Shop Around Event. To show appreciation and commitment to local businesses, the city provided each Herriman household a $10 Herriman Bucks coupon, to be used towards a purchase of $20 or more at a participating Herriman City business. The event runs through June. Businesses submit redeemed coupons to the city finance department by July 15 for reimbursement. A proactive and creative way to support both citizens and businesses in Herriman. Information here.

Utah County has launched a $15 million Small Business Grant program to assist businesses (100 FTEs or less) that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. More information at www.ucgrants.org.  Questions? Contact grants@mountainland.org or 801-229-3678.

 

San Juan County and its partnering cities of Blanding, Bluff, and Monticello are pleased to announce a grant program for small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. $250,000 was received through the CARES act to mitigate losses for small businesses in San Juan County. Funding will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per business. The awarded grant amount will be determined by COVID-19 impact, previous CARES funding, and the number of employees. https://www.utahscanyoncountry.com/COVID-grant

Using CARES Act funding, St. George City is looking to establish a small business grant to help alleviate lingering economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To further that aim, they have published a three-minute survey to identify the current and future short-term needs of businesses in the community and to establish parameters for future grant funding and support. Contact webadmin@edcutah.org for a copy of the questions.

 
 

FEDERAL RESOURCES

Familiarize yourself with the CDC's guidelines on Mitigation Strategies for Communities.

Consider applying for an EDA RLF grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).

Review the CARES Act resources.

The CARES Act included much-needed federal eviction moratoriums for tenants in federally-supported properties. National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) created a searchable database and map to help renters know if they are protected. It includes data on housing supported by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, HUD, and USDA programs, properties with mortgages insured by FHA or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. While the database is not yet exhaustive of all covered properties, NLIHC will continue to update it as new data become available. View the database here.

Round two of federal funding was approved for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). EIDL is modified to only accept applications from agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees. More here. Una versión en español está aquí.

The Federal Reserve on April 30 expanded the scope and eligibiity for the Main Street Lending Program, developed to help small to mid-sized businesses that were in a sound financial condition before the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

The Federal Reserve on June 8 expanded the Main Street Lending Program to allow more small and medium-sized businesses to receive support. The Board lowered the minimum loan amount among other significant changes. The Board expects the program to be open for lender registration soon. More here.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act was signed June 5. It lowers the requirements of PPP funds that need to be used for payroll costs from 75% to 60%. This and additional information can be found here: www.sba.gov

 

ASSOCIATION RESOURCES AND EVENTS

You can read the results of a late June survey of Site Selector Guild members. Suburban areas and mid-size cities, followed by rural areas, will be the biggest winners of new corporate expansions and relocations. Consultants reported an uptick in projects moving forward in June compared to April, with 61% of Guild members reporting that companies are moving forward with site selection projects, a 16% increase since April. https://siteselectorsguild.com/covid-19-impact-suburbs-mid-size-cities/

EDCUtah's Match Grant program has helped Cedar City base its long-term strategy on hard data.

The Utah League of Cities and Towns, with analyses prepared by 1) Juliette Tennert at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, and 2) Econowest Associates, has authorized EDCUtah to share the findings of economic and taxation impacts upon the state of Utah and Utah communities. Find information here: 

Town Hall with Juliette Tennert and Lloyd Allen of CBRE, April 27
- Juliette Tennert slides
- Lloyd Allen slides

Town Hall with Juliette Tennert and Vicki Varela, May 18
- Juliette Tennert slides
- Vicki Varela slides

Economic impact analysis for 63 cities from Econowest Associates: Part I and Part 2

EDCUtah’s COVID-19 Business Impact Dashboard is now available. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Economic Recovery Task Force commissioned EDCUtah to conduct a survey to determine business impacts statewide. The survey received over 1,200 responses. Findings have been used to gauge business impacts and identify appropriate funding sources, and identify companies able to produce PPE for first responders. Early on, we received requests from local communities and counties asking if the data could be localized. We listened. Our research team, through this dashboard, has illuminated issues faced by local businesses for communities to provide the best local aid. The dashboard provides the tools to select any Utah county, and determine, by industry, the impact upon and needs of the respondents. We are confident the dashboard will give you insights to help you better understand the needs of your businesses, as you continue to build programs of support in the economic stabilization and recovery phases of the pandemic. Find it here: https://edcutah.org/covid19-dashboardIEDC conducted a webinar as part of Economic Development Week on May 6, 2020 entitled "COVID-19: Rethinking BR&Ein the COVID-19 Era." Business Retention & Expansion programs are an important part of many community economic development efforts. An executive summary may be found here.

The Site Selectors Guild has a number of informational videos online, including one posted last week entitled “Doing Deals During COVID-19.” The discussion dug into topics including best practices for hosting virtual site tours, capitalizing on reshoring opportunities and programs and incentives that would make communities more competitive in this new environment. https://siteselectorsguild.com/webinars/Some 45% of corporate expansion projects are moving forward despite uncertainty around when employees can return to work. This and other top findings from Site Selectors Guild are here.

The Salt Lake Chamber and the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, in partnership with the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, are providing an ongoing series, "Navigating COVID-19: How to Save Your Business," with a variety of topics addressed to help navigate the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Find information and register here.

For IEDC members, there are two upcoming training sessions. Register here 

  • Rebuilding Municipalities Around the Globe, April 27, 1:00-2:30 p.m. MDT  

  • Future Scenarios, Near-Term and Far, April 30, 1:00-2:20 p.m. MDT

Stay up-to-date on news and resources for Chambers and Economic Developers at Restore Your Economy (a partnership of the US EDA and IEDC.)

Site Selection Group has posted a detailed summary of the benefits of the CARES Act. The items specifically noted are to help companies keep individuals employed and earning wages.

Review IEDC's Leadership in Times of Crisis Toolkit. 

Review the Destination Development Association (DDA) webinar on COVID-19 ideas for communities.

Review county response efforts and priorities from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Review COVID-19 resources from the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC).

Follow COVID-19 updates for the retail and real estate industry, provided by International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) at www.icsc.com.

ICSC highlights "Seven Ways Landlords Are Helping Small-Business Tenants."

To submit an idea, please email Alan Rindlisbacher, EDCUtah Director of Community Strategy.