A Special Message From EDCUtah President & CEO
What a difference a few days makes. Since my last message to our stakeholders on Thursday, the State of Utah has taken prudent steps to curb community spread of the covid-19 virus through K-12 public school dismissals. Our ski industry, in the midst of a great year, is actively taking measures to limit community spread as well.
While these actions are necessary to protect the health of our populous, they certainly will not be without economic consequence. Many of Utah’s small businesses and their employees are already starting to feel the economic impacts of social distancing.
Those consequences are very real, and if prolonged could be severe. While acknowledging this precarious situation, I also want to provide some hopeful thoughts. In the Beehive State, we care for each other. We have a sense of community unlike any other place in the world. We have been well led over the years and we trust our public officials to pore over data to make prudent decisions in the best interest of Utahns. When those recommendations are made, we follow them for the sake of the ‘hive. This makes us different; this makes us “Utah unique.”
We hear gratifying stories from our business partners about what they are doing to keep Utah’s economy moving while simultaneously playing their part to combat this illness. We are seeing partners pay hourly workers for fulltime work despite reduced shifts due to decreased demand. Utilities like Rocky Mountain Power and Dominion Energy are suspending service disconnection during the covid-19 period. Our telecom partners like AT&T and Comcast are expanding access so our schoolchildren can learn remotely during the dismissal period. Our partners within the Silicon Slopes Tech community are organizing charitable giving to food banks and other service providers. Donate here.
The list goes on and on and on. Honestly, hearing these stories and watching our community come together makes me so proud to be a Utahn. This Beehive mentality has always made Utah a port in the storm. We’ll come out of this situation stronger because we think about our community differently. In this instance, our COO Mike Flynn describes it with a simple formula: Utah-2020 > Covid-19.
We know that this experience will also change the way we think about economic resiliency and supply chains. I’m thankful that Utah’s penchant for planning will make us well prepared to be part of a national solution.
I have had an inside look at the way our public partners are handling this situation and I would be completely remiss if I didn’t acknowledge their long and thoughtful work. From our Mayors to our statewide leaders to our healthcare professionals, they have been laser focused and working around the clock. They are communicating clearly and frequently to ensure the public has up-to-the-minute information. This type of work comes at the expense of time with their families. We have so much gratitude for the sacrifices they are making to stop the spread. We are also extremely grateful to join the economic sub-committee formed as part of the covid-19 task force. This group will support the community response to mitigate covid-19, provide guidance on policies required to support our small businesses and their employees, and coordinate closely with the federal economic response.
Operationally, EDCUtah had our first “virtual day” on Friday. Communication is always vital, but especially so in a digital setup. We leaned heavily on phone calls, video conferences, and our Slack workplace channel throughout the day. I am so appreciative of our team for their unwavering commitment to our mission. Thank you to our partners who have sent encouraging notes to our team about this setup. For some more hopeful news, in this 72-hour period we’ve had one project increase its scope, and we’ve generated two new projects. We are committed to giving these and all of our clients excellent service. They will see why Utah is the safest place to invest, regardless of a virus.
Things are changing quickly. Check our social media pages for regular updates as we continue to assess and reassess this situation. Oh, and wash your hands!
President & CEO