Business In Utah - 2024

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The Startup Capital of the World

Utah sets a new global standard for innovation and entrepreneurship



Utah’s 18th Governor Spencer J. Cox

Utah sets a new global standard for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The state’s unparalleled quality of life, well-educated workforce, government support for small businesses, and access to startup networks and capital, all create an unmatched entrepreneurial ecosystem that make Utah startups 70% more likely to reach unicorn status compared to the national average. Best

State to Start a Business
— January
1 for Social Mobility
Institute — May 2024
State & Best Economy U.S. News & World Report — April 2023 Find out more at BUSINESS.UTAH.GOV
2024 No.
— January 2024 Best-Performing



Archbridge Institute — January 2024


Rich States Poor States — April 2023


U.S. News & World Report — April 2023


SmartAsset — April 2022


WalletHub — April 2023


U.S. News & World Report — August 2022


WalletHub — June 2022


U.S. News & World Report — August 2022


WalletHub — June 2022


LARGE CITIES: #4. Salt Lake City #5. Provo

SMALL CITIES: #4. St. George

Milken Institute — February 2024


WalletHub — April 2023


WalletHub — January 2024

TABLE OF CONTENTS Contributors ............................................................................................................ 8 A Message From Gov. Cox .................................................................................... 10 The Importance of Service for Utah High School Students 12 Navigating Utah’s Continued Ascent as the Nation’s Best State and Strongest Economy........................................................ 14 Utah’s Future at the One Utah Summit Series ..................................................... 16 Utah — the Startup Capital of the World ..................................................18 Building New American Talent Pathways ............................................................. 20 Utah A Nexus for Groundbreaking Technologies and Innovation ................... 21 Utah Small Business Credit Initiative Expanding Access to Capital ................ 22 Rural Utah Reaches Economic Milestone in Business Incentive Program.............................................................................. 24 Companies are Bringing Utah to the World ......................................................... 26 High-Speed Internet — A Game Changer for Rural Communities 28 Bringing Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Jobs to Rural Utah ........................................................................ 30 Advancing Life Sciences with Innovative Solutions for Degenerative Diseases of the Spine ............................................... 32
Unified Economic Opportunity Commission — Collaboration at Its Best............ 34 Navigating Utah’s Regulatory Sandbox for Business Innovation ........................ 36 Where Do We Grow From Here? 38 Utah’s APEX Accelerator — Helping Small Businesses Win Government Contracts............................................................... 39 Celebrating 100 Years of Utah Film & Television ..................................... 40 Sustaining Corporate Investment for Utah’s Future ........................................... 42 Welcome to Utah! ................................................................................................. 44 47G — Building the World’s Premier Ecosystem for Aerospace, Defense, and Cyber Companies ....................................................... 46 #ShopWomenOwned — Use the Utah Women-Owned Business Directory .................................................................... 47 A Bolder Way Forward — Building Momentum to Help Utah Women and Girls Thrive ................................................................. 48 Spoonful of Comfort — An Expression of Love 50 Utah Inland Port Authority — Unveiling New Horizons in Logistics and Business Opportunities ............................................................. 52 Phase One Development Launches at The Point ..................................... 54 Why Utah? Home to the Nation’s Best Economy, Happiest People, and Plentiful Opportunites ..................................................... 56



Tony serves as the director of marketing and communications at GOEO. He joined the office in 2017 as a communications specialist, working in digital marketing and events. Over the years, he transitioned to media relations manager. Tony earned a Master of Professional Communication from Westminster University and a B.S. in community health, with an emphasis in health services administration, from Utah Valley University. He currently resides in Layton with his wife and two daughters and is passionate about fly fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and music.


Mike joined GOEO in May of 2021, serving as its creative director. He holds a B.A. in graphic design and media management from Columbia College Chicago. A multimedia artist, Emmy® Award-winning producer, writer, musician, and published photographer, he’s spent more than 20 years working in the creative industry.


Amy is a senior communication specialist at GOEO. She joined the office in 2018. She earned a Master of Professional Communication degree from Westminster University and a B.S. in mass communications from the University of Utah. Amy resides in Sugarhouse with her dog Scout — a nine-year-old Golden Retriever. Amy enjoys hiking, baking, and going to the gym.


Kaitlyn is the digital marketing specialist at GOEO. She joined the office as a part-time intern for the marketing and communications team in 2018 and started working full-time for the office in May 2021. She received her associate’s degree from Weber State University and was certified in UX/UI website design in 2021 by the University of Utah. She resides in Farmington and enjoys spending time with family and being creative through art, music, baking, and more.


Members of the marketing and communications team at the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) assembled the 2024 Business In Utah magazine.


Ashley is the public information officer for GOEO, managing media relations. Ashley earned a B.S in public health with an emphasis in health promotion from Brigham Young University. She began her career with the state of Utah in 2016 and has served in various offices and capacities. Ashley’s experience as a contract and freelance writer/ editor has included clients from Sundance Film Festival screenwriters to entrepreneurs. She is an avid reader, yoga enthusiast, and enjoys painting, gardening, interior design, traveling with her dog, and raising her five chickens.


Britany is a project coordinator at GOEO. She joined the office in July 2023 and has served in various roles with the state since 2017. Britany earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in organizational communication and advocacy from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She is passionate about creativity and enjoys reading, writing, and designing — usually while listening to music. Britany resides in the Salt Lake Valley and loves spending time with family, friends, and her Alaskan Klee Kai.



Utah’s continued economic progress continues to make headlines and set an example for other states around the country — and we owe it all to our state’s wonderful people and businesses. Utah is a place where ideas become a reality and reality becomes a success.

This publication features insights from some of our state’s brightest minds and aims to illustrate Utah’s superior business environment and exceptional quality of life. With a spirit of innovation and a commitment to collaboration, Utah’s economic growth continues to surge forward, showing no signs of slowing down.

Whether you are a native Utahn whose roots run deep in our stunning landscapes or a newcomer who has made this incredible state your home — we are grateful for your indispensable contributions to our thriving economy. In addition to our vibrant business environment, Utah is a place where outdoor adventures beckon, opportunities abound, and the quality of life is second to none. It’s your support and dedication that make Utah not only a great place to live and work but also a place to create memories and savor life’s finest moments.

Together, we’ll continue to build a future filled with sustainable growth and opportunities, ensuring a legacy that future generations will cherish. We thank you for being part of our incredible journey and look forward to the shared successes that lie ahead.

SPENCER J. COX Utah’s 18th Governor



High school is a time for students to enjoy academic exploration, experience personal growth, and prepare for the future. The goal set for them after graduation is to join and participate in our communities as contributing members of society.

While textbooks, homework, and exams play a crucial role, another essential element that has enhanced many students’ education is participating in service learning.

One of the main goals for Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson this year is to implement a high school service pilot program in Utah schools. Providing students with more opportunities and resources to volunteer in their communities will help increase Utah students’ academic, civic, social, and mental health.

Utah is no stranger to service learning. According to the most recent research of “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” by AmeriCorps, Utah ranked No. 1 nationally in volunteerism. Our communities and neighborhoods are a true reflection of the benefits service provides.

In October 2019, Utah Valley University released a report titled “The Impact of Service Learning”. The report examines different studies and the positive impact service learning has on student success. Those impacts include higher levels of academic engagement and enhanced learning of course content, changed attitudes and increased awareness of issues facing people they worked with, and increased likelihood of earning a bachelor’s degree.

Schools are encouraged to integrate new service opportunities into their curriculums. They can range from experiences outside of school to in-class activities and assignments. The different options throughout the school year guarantee more students can participate and learn from their service.

In the past few months, Lt. Gov. Henderson has met school leaders and students from Garfield, Nebo, Granite, and Sevier school districts and Mountain Heights Academy to present the pilot program and get feedback.

This pilot program will showcase these benefits for our students, and we hope the culture of volunteering and service learning will become a more significant part of the state, not only in education but in businesses as well.




Those of us who have long known and lived in the Beehive State understand the tremendous appeal of Utah as a place to do business, recreate, and call home. As Utah’s renown has grown, the rest of the nation — and the world — are starting to see what we see.

Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Utah as the nation’s best economy and the best state overall, an immense mantle to uphold. While we are proud to bear this title, we recognize the hard work that got us here and the need to keep climbing new peaks; after all, we Utahns embrace living in higher elevations.

According to a recent report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, economic data shows that Utah’s population increased by nearly 56,000 people last year, with the major driver being net migration, rather than natural increase. Utah is now a medium-sized state expected to continue increasing in size and stature. Our people are globally minded and speak around 130 languages, while approximately 25% of Utah’s population is ethnically diverse — a wonderful blessing to the fabric of our society. The word is out that Utah is the place to live, work, and play.

While our population is undoubtedly increasing, our economy has likewise grown. The report also estimated the highest labor force participation rates since 2010 due to robust job opportunities and higher wages. Utah’s labor markets are strong, and our targeted sectors — aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing, software and information technology, life sciences, and financial services, continue to thrive.

As our state grows, we strive to address the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that will fuel Utah’s strong economy. This means providing critical resources to our rural communities, preparing a more skilled workforce, attracting companies with high-paying jobs, increasing broadband access, strengthening supply chains, and coming together with our neighbors to lift our communities.

As the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, we support Gov. Cox’s vision of creating prosperity for all Utans. To accomplish this, we aim to foster economic opportunities for individuals, companies, and communities in all corners of the state — from strengthening Utah tourism marketing to supporting our immigrant neighbors and propelling innovation.

Among our many business services, we are particularly excited about our new Startup State Initiative. As the Startup State, Utah is a place where people can still start businesses and succeed. Where things may have changed elsewhere, Utah still encompasses the American dream. Our office is working to build the infrastructure to support entrepreneurs and equip innovators with the tools they need to prosper.

I invite you to learn about our office at and read about the real people and stories that make up who we are. Our team works tirelessly to elevate Utah’s economy and support a bright future. May we continue working, climbing, and reaching new heights together.



Leaders in industry, the public sector, and expert speakers gather at the One Utah Summit series to discuss Utah’s economic development trends and gain insights into the state’s opportunities and challenges. The events encourage attendees to network, learn, and give back.

Gov. Cox’s One Utah Summit is a biannual gathering of community leaders, business and nonprofit executives, and decision-makers. It features timely conversations about the intersections of emerging technologies, government, and business in Utah. The summits provide a platform for professionals to engage with and contribute to one of the nation’s most resourcerich states and top-performing economies.

The One Utah Summit series is the only statewide event focused on Utah’s economy and hosted by Gov. Cox. Attendees can network with the state’s elected officials, business owners, leaders, and other executives.

The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity presents the spring summit in partnership with the Utah Office of Energy Development, World Trade Center Utah, and Salt Lake Chamber. The fall summit is organized and hosted by Southern Utah University.


The summits provide an interactive space for engaging in policy conversations. Programming encompasses today’s important topics and helps Utah businesses understand and seize local and international opportunities.

Summit attendees participate in mainstage and breakout sessions, engaging with Utah’s foremost leaders and decision-makers across business, government, energy, and

academia. Individual presenters and panelists share their expertise on Utah’s current business and energy climate, exploring central themes such as the state’s growth and economic status, energy technology and innovation, global investment and partnerships, and more.


The northern and southern summits spotlight Utah’s entrepreneurial spirit.

The Startup State Entrepreneur Challenge occurs at the spring summit. In this entrepreneur speed pitch competition, Utah-based entrepreneurial competition winners from the previous calendar year compete for a finalist position. The top Utah-based companies are selected to present at the entrepreneur challenge. Judges, including Gov. Cox, rank them, and summit attendees choose a people’s choice winner.

The State Bank Business Challenge happens at the fall summit. It identifies high-potential early-stage businesses and offers cash awards and in-kind prizes. Gov. Cox and other business, university, and government leaders judge the business challenge.


The summit welcomes sponsorships. Elevate your business by supporting and participating in the One Utah Summit. It’s your chance to gain insights and contribute to the ongoing success and growth of Utah’s vibrant business community.

Contributed by: ONE UTAH SUMMIT TEAM



The Startup State Initiative celebrates, inspires, and empowers Utah entrepreneurs and those who support them. It includes a statewide entrepreneurship brand and business resource portal. This collaborative initiative encourages entrepreneurs to start in Utah and supports them throughout the lifecycle of their businesses.

There’s no better place in the world to start a business than Utah, where small businesses represent 99% of Utah businesses and employ over 46% of Utah’s workforce. It’s the perfect place for startups to thrive.

Utah’s vibrant business community is established on a collaborative spirit that lifts everyone. Small businesses can tap into valuable resources, connect with mentors, and launch cutting-edge technologies, propelling them locally and globally. The state continues to lead the nation through its business-friendly approach, with low taxes and minimal regulations. Starting a business is never easy, but it’s much easier in Utah.

Efforts from previous administrations led Utah to be the No. 1 state in the country to start a business. Now, Gov. Cox has named Brad Bonham the state’s first entrepreneur-in-residence. As part of his responsibilities, Bonham was asked to make recommendations to enhance the state’s small business ecosystem and launch the Startup State Initiative, a new effort that supports, celebrates, inspires, and empowers Utah entrepreneurs and others who champion them.

“Through the Governor’s Startup State Initiative, we’re taking an unprecedented approach to empowering entrepreneurs, cultivating startup ecosystems, and expanding resources for our early-stage companies,” said Bonham. “Utah will be the startup capital of the world.”

Over the past year, Bonham met with hundreds of small business owners across the state to hear about their experiences in starting a business in Utah. He listened to their success stories, challenges, and failures. He made recommendations for the Startup State Initiative based on business owners' feedback and his own entrepreneurial experience.

The Startup State Initiative supports Utah entrepreneurs and tells the story of Utah as the startup state. The initiative includes a statewide entrepreneurship brand and business resource portal. This collaborative effort aims to help startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs at every stage of business by connecting them with the resources they need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

The Startup State Initiative highlights what already exists in Utah and elevates it to new heights. It isn’t just about Utah; it’s about setting a new global standard for innovation and entrepreneurship. Utah is the startup state.

Learn more at




The Utah Center for Immigration and Integration and the Utah Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Initiative joined forces to help close the gap in Utah’s workforce. Through its demonstration project, it works with advanced manufacturing companies to hire New Americans while providing wrap-around support to ensure their success.

The Utah Center for Immigration and Integration is a newly formed business service for the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO). The center assists businesses with navigating employment-based visas and engaging with the local immigrant workforce. It accomplishes this mission by building bridges and networks with industry and immigration populations and educating companies on existing and new opportunities to recruit and retain a global workforce. Like many states nationwide, Utah faces talent shortages, from essential workers in food and hospitality to highly skilled professionals in education, healthcare, and manufacturing.


According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are fewer available workers today than in 2020, with only 44 available workers for every 100 jobs in Utah.* Along with other states, Utah faces challenges from changing demographics, with an aging population and smaller families creating even further workforce shortages for years to come. Immigrants, or New Americans, are vital to sustaining Utah’s fast-growing and robust economy.

Utah is home to over 278,000 New Americans, or foreignborn individuals, including immigrants, refugees, and other members of the international community, totaling just over 8% of the population.** In the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their counterparts born in the U.S. Consequently, they are more likely to be active in the labor force, allowing them to contribute to the economy.


In 2023, the center and its partners at the Utah Department of Commerce and the Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging surveyed internationallytrained professionals seeking to return to their professions before arriving in the United States. Over 6,000 people responded to the survey and provided critical information on their education, skills, and experience that helped inform strategic investment areas and alignment with Utah’s targeted industries. Of the respondents, 70% held or had a license to practice their occupation or profession outside

the United States. On average, respondents had 11 years of experience in their profession, predominantly obtained in their country of origin.

A survey respondent noted that being recognized for their talents and willingness to make this state a better place to live means a lot to them. They felt like a true New American and loved being recognized.


New Americans are crucial to closing this gap in Utah’s workforce, and there are opportunities to bridge barriers to obtaining employment in sectors related to their education and experience. GOEO partners with the Utah Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Initiative (UAMMI) to offer resources and education to business members on attracting and retaining an immigrant workforce through models that build English language skills, provide mentorship, and offer education for employers on integrating immigrant workers into their companies.

UAMMI is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure Utah is a global leader in advanced materials and manufacturing through public-private partnerships. It accomplishes this by bringing together industry, government, and academia. Through a demonstration project, UAMMI will work with 12 advanced manufacturing companies to hire 30 New Americans while providing wraparound support to ensure their success.

“UAMMI is excited to provide this outreach to internationally trained professionals to join Utah’s advanced manufacturing industry,” said Dr. Tulinda Larsen, president of UAMMI. “These workers will contribute innovative ideas from their past experiences to Utah’s advanced manufacturing industry.”

Partnerships like this make Utah an incredible place to do business. They demonstrate that welcoming immigrants into the workforce coupled with strong business practices can create sustainable pathways that benefit businesses, the community, and the state's economy.

For more information on the survey for internationally trained professionals and the work of the Utah Center for Immigration and Integration, visit Contributed by: UTAH CENTER FOR

*Makinizi Hoover, Stephanie Ferguson, & Isabella Lucy, “Understanding Utah’s Labor Market,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, November 1, 2023, **“Immigrants in Utah,” American Immigration Council, 2023,


Utah is renowned as a hub for technology and innovation, fueled by a vibrant startup ecosystem, state-of-the-art university research, and a robust workforce. From life-saving technologies to tools for space exploration, Utah’s tech community is gaining momentum.

The Utah Innovation Center catalyzes technology innovation and helps drive new technology development. The center works with Utah startups and emerging companies developing novel technology to access federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding, a highly competitive program with over $4 billion available annually. Center clients, including Wasatch Ionics, have brought over $250 million to the state.

Wasatch Ionics, a company based in Utah County, stands at the forefront of cutting-edge technology with remarkable innovations in lithium batteries. One of the company’s groundbreaking achievements lies in developing incredibly powerful and small lithium batteries.

Through pioneering research and engineering, Javier Alvare, the CEO and founder of Wasatch Ionics, successfully created a 3D-printed lithium battery. The compact battery has a width comparable in size to a

strand of human hair. Lithium batteries, known for their high energy density, can be found in electronics such as cellphones, laptops, pacemakers, electrical energy storage devices, and an ever-growing list of other applications.

Partnering with Dr. Dean Wheeler at Brigham Young University, Wasatch Ionics and university students are pushing the boundaries of battery innovation. This collaboration amplifies research efforts and represents a significant leap forward in military technology, offering portability and efficiency previously unavailable.

Wasatch Ionics’ lithium battery opens a world of possibilities, especially for U.S. warfighters requiring lightweight, high-performance energy sources. The company’s exceptional work in lithium battery technology garnered substantial support from the U.S. Army through its SBIR and STTR funding. Wasatch Ionics has also received support and funding from the Utah Innovation Center and the Utah Technology Innovation Funding program.

To learn more about the free research and development counseling and support available from the Utah Innovation Center in the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, visit



Edward Bennett, director of business development for the Suazo Business Center, recently narrated the compelling story of the organization with vivid details and profound respect. The center, a participating lender in the Utah Small Business Credit Initiative program (USBCI), empowers minority entrepreneurs and is a premier hub for minority-owned businesses that foster entrepreneurship. It offers various services, from assisting in creating new business ventures to providing ongoing guidance for the intricacies of day-to-day operations while providing other resources and support to small businesses.



In the 1990s, Gladys Gonzalez, a seasoned bank executive and respected Colombian dignitary, faced an untenable situation. The escalating violence and political instability in Colombia became a dire threat, especially for professionals in the banking sector. Consequently, she was compelled to leave behind her native land, a country that shaped her identity and career, and she and her family immigrated to the United States.

Upon her arrival, Gonzalez encountered a harsh reality. Despite her extensive experience and expertise, her credentials from Colombia were not recognized by the American banking industry, which led to an abrupt and disheartening end to her decades-long banking career. Faced with the pressing need to provide for her family, Gonzalez accepted a role working for a commercial janitorial service. This job, often stereotypically associated with Latina women, stood in stark contrast to her previous stature in the financial world.

Recognizing a gap in Spanish print news, she quit her janitorial job. Gonzalez became an entrepreneur, embracing one aspect of the American dream. She launched the newspaper Mundo Hispano, which grew quicker than she was able to keep up with. She sought assistance from organizations to collaborate with struggling entrepreneurs, and quickly realized many of them did not have the cultural competency necessary to help women like her.


Gonzalez struggled to find proper guidance until she was introduced to Pete Suazo, the first Latino elected to the Utah State Senate. In 1997, Suazo helped Gonzalez write a business plan and obtain a loan for the newspaper. Gonzalez gained valuable experience from struggling to find assistance and manage a business that grew quickly before she knew how to sustain it, and she wanted to pass on that commitment and service to the entire community.

After Sen. Suazo died in 2001, Gonzalez gathered support from the greater Salt Lake and Utah communities to create a center to honor the late senator. She provided the same service, commitment, and expertise Suazo had given her to help reach other prospective small business owners.


The many challenges she faced didn’t define Gonzalez’s story. Her resilience and determination to forge a new path in a foreign land were undeterred. Recognizing immigrants’ challenges, especially those from Latin American communities, she envisioned a platform to empower them. This vision was the genesis of the Suazo Business Center — a beacon of hope for many.

The center is a testament to Gonazalez’s journey from a revered banker to a housekeeper and then a catalyst for change, inspiring countless individuals to overcome barriers and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Now, 20 years later, the center has three locations (Salt Lake City, Ogden, and St. George) that serve the entire state of Utah.


In 2022, the Suazo Business Center was certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This certification significantly improved the organization’s access to capital programs. For example, the organization is a participating lender in the Utah Small Business Credit Initiative program (USBCI).

“We are extremely grateful for the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and their administration of the USBCI program,” Bennett said. “Since obtaining our CDFI status, we have been very excited to be able to expand our access to capital programming and get more money out to our community. GOEO has become a prized partner in this process.”

Subscribe to the USBCI newsletter at

BUSINESS IN UTAH | 2024 Contributed by: MICHELDA G. CASTRO Utah Small Business Credit Initiative



Utah’s economy has thrived thanks to a businessfriendly environment and strategic tools such as post-performance corporate tax incentives. These incentives attract and keep major businesses in Utah, spurring economic growth, job creation, and increased capital expenditure. Utah’s appeal as a business destination has led to a dynamic and diversified economic landscape, reaching out into the state’s rural communities.

It is no secret that the Wasatch Front has been the epicenter of Utah’s business growth and prowess. In Utah's fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023), the Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (EDTIF) program, which focuses on the urban areas of Utah, brought in some impressive companies to the state. Perhaps the foremost of these was Texas Instruments, which committed to an estimated $11 billion capital expenditure associated with its new semiconductor manufacturing project in Lehi. While the EDTIF program is doing an amazing job at helping Utah remain the number one state for business, another one of Utah’s incentive programs hit a significant milestone in FY 2023 that perhaps hasn’t received the recognition it should.

The Rural Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (REDTIF) program was designed to incentivize companies to invest and create jobs in Utah’s rural areas. Since its inception in 2021, it has made silent but profound strides in catching up to its EDTIF counterpart. What makes REDTIF the unsung hero of FY 2023 is that for the first time in almost 20 years — since EDTIF began — more companies were approved last year for tax-increment financing in rural areas than in urban areas of the state.

In FY 2023, approved REDTIF projects have a projected $1.25 billion in total capital expenditure in counties including Box Elder, Juab, Tooele, and Uinta. Furthermore, these projects are estimated to create over 1,000 jobs, paying an average of 67% more than the respective average county wage. REDTIF participants are not only bringing jobs and capital expenditure to their rural communities but also developing physical and social infrastructure to make these communities even more attractive for businesses in the future. The following are two companies approved for REDTIF in FY 2023 that are supporting business in rural Utah.



Central States Manufacturing is a steel manufacturing company focused primarily on roofing and siding. Since its start in 1988, it has become one of the largest companies in the country’s metal building component market and is 100% employee-owned. It came to Utah to better service its western U.S. customers formerly supplied by plants in Texas, South Dakota, and Arkansas. Tooele County proved advantageous due to its proximity to the logistic strengths of the Wasatch Front, and because the company can reliably hire from the nearly 25,000 people commuting out of the county for work every day. The new plant in Tooele County broke ground in November 2023 and has a livestream of construction progress accessible on its webpage.


Procter & Gamble is a household name across the U.S. and a local employer for the residents of Box Elder County. It has had an operating facility there since 2011 and with its REDTIF project approved in 2023, it won’t be leaving anytime soon. In fact, the company has plans to construct an approximately 1.2 million square foot production and

warehousing facility. The facilities in Box Elder County primarily manufacture paper products for Charmin and Bounty. Procter & Gamble has improved water efficiency by 27% per unit of production globally since 2010 with a system in which the company recycles and reuses 3.3 billion liters of water annually. In 2022, it announced a partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Business for Water Stewardship program to preserve natural wetlands throughout the Bear River Basin in Utah and Idaho.

Utah’s business landscape holds a promising future, as evidenced by the success of the EDTIF and REDTIF post-performance tax incentive programs. With a track record of attracting major businesses, fostering economic growth, and creating jobs, Utah’s economy is positioned to continue forward.

Contributed by:



Utah is earning its place on the world map as a center for international trade and diplomacy. In 2023, Gov. Cox led two trade missions — the first to France and the United Kingdom and the second to Mexico. Utah companies from various industries, including aerospace and defense, manufacturing, life sciences, and technology, accompanied the governor to explore new global business opportunities.

Picture this: a dozen Utah legislators and state leaders wait in the courtyard of the Old Admiralty Building in downtown London, about to witness the ratification of an agreement that will thrust the Utah-U.K. trade relationship into a new era. They are creating history.

Under a massive display of Delicate Arch, Utah companies speak animatedly about our state’s aerospace industry in Paris at the largest airshow in the world, and their booth is a magnet for global attention. They are creating opportunities.

On another side of the world, four Utah entrepreneurs speak to a packed room on the 22nd floor of a Mexico City skyscraper, sharing their stories with Mexican business owners. With conviction, they explain how Utah became home and a place where they could grow their dreams. They are creating a Utah brand.


Under Gov. Cox’s pro-business leadership, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) and World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) work hard to provide Utah businesses with opportunities abroad. Over 40 companies participated in the two trade missions last year and are projected to generate more than $40 million in new trade revenue, according to WTC Utah. The moments described above are a few of many such success stories. Utah companies spent 2023 across the globe, creating history, opportunities, and an amazing Utah brand.


As Utah's economy soars, diplomats worldwide are paying attention. In 2023, GOEO hosted 26 visiting dignitaries interested in strengthening their countries’ relationships with Utah, including ambassadors and consul generals of important trade partners, such as Mexico and the Netherlands, and heads of state, including the president of Hungary and the prime minister of Samoa. GOEO was also honored to meet with the United Nations president of the general assembly, and the U.K. under-secretary of state for the Americas.


Far more than bureaucratic acronyms, these abbreviations stand for three new international trade pacts and initiatives that the state of Utah entered into in 2023. Gov. Cox signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.K. Minister of Trade, a Letter of Intent (LOI) with President Renaud Muselier of Région Sud in France, and introduced the Joint Utah-Mexico Partnership (JUMP) initiative with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These agreements and joint initiatives have already brought new opportunities to our state, including a visiting U.K. delegation of trade experts. They met with Utah businesses and leaders to tackle challenges such as supply chain issues within aerospace, AI research collaboration across universities, and government contract applications in the U.K. A month later, a delegation from Région Sud arrived in Salt Lake City and discussed film, education, tourism, and preparations for an upcoming Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

And there’s no slowing down in 2024. Once again, Gov. Cox will lead one international trade mission, this time to South Korea and Japan. With the hottest economy in the country, Utah is perfectly poised to find new global opportunities and share its success with the world.

Contributed by:




Nestled between high rolling hills, mountains, and a beautiful reservoir, the peaceful community of Mantua in Box Elder County has experienced growth and change from its agricultural roots. Much of the newer development includes high-speed broadband internet, while the older community remained in the 20th century of antiquated phone line internet service. The cost of bringing new infrastructure to these older areas and smaller rural communities doesn’t fit in with most internet service providers’ expansion plans, and it may be years down the road before it comes to fruition.

Shovels hit the ground in 2023, and fiber optics now cover all of Mantua thanks to the state’s first-ever broadband grant, managed by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity’s Utah Broadband Center. Overall, nearly $10 million in awards went to projects in Utah's rural areas that would not be fully served without the incentive. Most funding will build out multiple communities in Box Elder County by Beehive Broadband.


Funding will also impact Millard County through an award to Centracom Interactive, and the White Hills area of Utah County through an award to Direct Communications Cedar Valley, LLC. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority will serve the Montezuma Creek area. Another mountain valley, Croydon, is being served by All West Communications, which finished its grant-funded buildout at the end of 2023.

Access to high-speed internet in Mantua has been a work and life game-changer for Jan Palmer, resident and former small business owner. Palmer has deep roots in Mantua and works from her home helping with inventory

and processing orders online for her daughter’s store in Montana. There were data issues, slow speeds, and frequent outages with her old internet.

“When my daughter said she was looking to expand her business and add another store, I was disheartened thinking I would not be able to meet her needs nor have the supplemental income in our retirement years,” said Palmer. “But this broadband is amazing. I went from 21 megabits per second to 250. I can do all my work for her in far less time and will be able to handle the expansion easily.”

Palmer has two health conditions that require her to swim daily to build her lungs and to keep her muscles from atrophy. She said with her high-speed internet, she can now use Bluetooth to regulate the water in her swim spa, which is especially helpful in the winter.

“Because of my muscle condition, my children bought me a robot vacuum, but it just went in circles. I thought it was a problem with the device, but now it performs perfectly,” she said when recounting other benefits of increased internet speeds. “Maybe it seems frivolous, but we also enjoy how clearly and reliably our television comes through. At my age, I never dreamed how many aspects of my life Beehive Broadband, the internet service provider, would impact.”


This year and next will see additional opportunities to connect all Utahns to high-speed internet with the state’s allocation of $317.4 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant, or “BIG,” available through the federal Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program. The goal is universal broadband availability to every Utah household and business.





Located in the southern Utah town of LaVerkin (population 4,400), LV Swiss is an integral part of the state’s manufacturing community. In its 25,000-square-foot facility, the company employs 43 highly skilled individuals who pride themselves on short turnaround times, competitive pricing, exceptional quality, and on-time delivery. The company was named the Utah Rural Business of the Year by Gov. Cox in 2023.



LV Swiss has unique expertise in three of Utah’s five life sciences and healthcare targeted industries — advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. Its strongest selling point includes its ability to manufacture small or large precision parts while holding tight tolerances of 0.0003 of an inch. LV Swiss accomplishes this by using specialized equipment that includes 20 Swiss screw machines and two vertical mills. In 2022, the company served 41 customers and manufactured 412 different part codes, producing 3.6 million parts annually.

Not only does the company serve clients in the local Utah aerospace and defense ecosystem, it also serves national advanced medical manufacturers. Without LV Swiss providing its customers with these critical components, these companies’ products would not be built. TThanks to its processes and specialty precision machines, the company manufactures specialty parts that cannot be 3D printed.

Because of its consistent and outstanding productivity and reputation, the company was named the 2023 Utah Rural Business of the Year by Gov. Cox at the One Utah Summit in October.

“This recognition means a lot to our company and our outstanding employees. We enjoyed working with GOEO and appreciate the support and attention,” said Rich Hoffman, LV Swiss owner. “Our sales in the first quarter of 2024 far exceeded our projections, and because of this, we hired and are training additional team members. We look forward to continuing to grow our business from our base here in LaVerkin, Utah.”


• Diversity in shop — 7% African American/Hispanic, 26% female, and 60% over 40 years old.

• Above average, family-sustaining wages — average wages are roughly $49,000 per year, plus average benefits of $9,600 (120% of Washington County’s average wage).

• An established training program — most employees are homegrown — provides new opportunities for existing and new employees.

“I’m beyond impressed by the LV Swiss team and what they can accomplish in their rural community while being connected to large national and multinational manufacturing projects,” said Colette Cox, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity southern Utah outreach manager. “I have the privilege of working with hundreds of rural businesses across the southern part of the state, and LV Swiss is a clear standout in resilience, smart growth, and implementation of best practices.”


Thanks to its state-of-the-art facility, LV Swiss is one of a small handful of companies in southern Utah that can complete prototyping for an ever-growing regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The company prototypes and manufactures parts so other companies can grow and be successful. This ecosystem is fueled by clients working with Utah Tech University Atwood Innovation Plaza and the Southwest Tech Cedar Innovation Center.

LV Swiss has a positive impact on the local community by:

• Being a steady employer that has diversified the community economy, which consists mostly of lowwage hospitality jobs.

• Serving on the economic advisory board for LaVerkin City and the Dixie Tech College industrial studies advisory board.

• Helping develop curriculum for Washington County high school career and technical education programs.

• Donating to local causes.

For more information, visit

Contributed by: COLETTE COX

Center for Rural Development


Discgenics: advancing Life Sciences With Innovative Solutions for Degenerative Diseases of the Spine

In Utah’s economic landscape, small businesses play a pivotal role in sustaining and propelling the growth of targeted industries. These companies serve as the backbone of innovation, job creation, and a diverse and thriving economy.

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a painful and progressive condition affecting more than 250 million individuals worldwide every year. It is a leading cause of disability globally and is the primary non-cancer reason for opioid prescriptions in the U.S.

DiscGenics is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing regenerative cell-based therapies that alleviate pain and restore function in patients with degenerative diseases of the spine.


As the only company in the world to develop an allogeneic cell therapy derived from intervertebral disc cells to treat diseases of the disc, DiscGenics addresses this biological problem with a unique biological solution.

The company’s lead product candidate is an Injectable Disc Cell Therapy (IDCT), a single-injection biologic treatment designed to halt the progression of lumbar disc degeneration and regenerate the disc from the inside out.

The active ingredient in IDCT is a live manufactured progenitor cell population derived from donated adult human intervertebral disc tissue. Each manufactured lot of IDCT is tested to meet rigorous Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) release standards, which include purity, potency, and viability to ensure the safety and performance of each lot. The therapy is injected into the degenerated disc in an outpatient procedure requiring no surgery and no donor matching. Following one to two days of recovery, the patient is allowed a near-immediate return to life and work.

A recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-allowed, randomized, double-blind, vehicle- and placebo-controlled Phase I/II clinical study showed IDCT’s potential to safely increase disc volume and provide rapid, durable, and clinically meaningful improvements for patients.

“These clinical results demonstrate the incredible potential of DiscGenics’ IDCT to safely treat not only the pain and disability associated with DDD with a single injection but also to address the underlying cause of the disease — the degenerating disc,” said Matthew F. Gornet, M.D., boardcertified spine surgeon at the Orthopedic Center of

St. Louis and top enroller in the IDCT study. “This is unlike any treatment I have seen in 30 years of practice and any currently available on the market.”

As a result of these outcomes and several pre-clinical studies indicating the regenerative potential of IDCT, the product received Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT, 2023) and Fast Track (2019) regulatory designations granted by the FDA.

DiscGenics is in advanced discussions with the FDA regarding preparations for its pivotal Phase III clinical program to target pain and disability in patients with lumbar DDD, which it expects to initiate in 2024.


While DiscGenics is focused on delivering an effective product to treat the huge problem of DDD, there’s no question that its platform culture technology has multiple potential applications throughout the musculoskeletal system. The company initiated pre-clinical work on another allogeneic cell line that produces cartilage and can hopefully repair cartilage defects in shoulders, knees, hips, etc.

DiscGenics built and validated an in-house scalable, allogeneic cell manufacturing process and cGMP facility at its headquarters in Salt Lake City to further develop these unique therapies and to maintain control over compliance, cost, and production timelines.

“Utah is home to a tremendous amount of resources, both in terms of human and physical capital,” said Flagg Flanagan, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for DiscGenics. “We’ve built an incredible team here in Salt Lake City that leverages the expertise of local, STEM-trained professionals to support the development of our allogeneic cell therapy platforms, and have happily put down roots with our 25,000 square-foot built-for-purpose, cGMP allogeneic cell manufacturing facility.”

Having successfully translated its clinical stage manufacturing process into a scaled-up commercial cGMP process with the capacity to produce thousands of doses per donor lot, DiscGenics has the potential to revolutionize how patients with degenerative conditions are treated.

Contributed by:

Company in the Life Sciences Targeted Industry BUSINESS IN UTAH | 2024
“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
-Helen Keller

Unified Economic Opportunity Commission: Collaboration at Its Best

In the face of complex economic challenges, Utah has a history of collaborative problem-solving, recognizing that some issues require a unified effort. The Unified Economic Opportunity Commission (UEOC) brings together diverse stakeholders, resulting in innovative solutions that enhance Utah’s economic resilience and amplify its distinctive strengths.

Some problems are too big, complicated, and multifaceted for one person to solve. Fortunately, Utah has a history of collaboration.

In the aftermath of COVID-19, many businesses have faced the growing economic challenge of finding qualified workers. Utah has more than two job openings for every unemployed individual. In some industries, the talent gap is even larger.

The Unified Economic Opportunity Commission recognized this as a significant challenge to Utah’s economic future and, in 2022, tasked the Subcommittee on Talent, Education, and Industry Alignment with developing solutions to the talent gap. The subcommittee brought together its members, including legislators, education professionals, and private industry representatives, to study the occupations projected to grow faster than Utah’s education pipeline could supply. The group’s recommendations resulted in significant new investments in critical fields, such as computer science, that will relieve future bottlenecks in higher education and support critical supply chains.

There are still opportunities to prepare Utah’s workforce better, and there will always be new challenges. Accordingly, the UEOC currently includes the following working groups and subcommittees:

• Working Group on Growth & Transportation

• Working Group on Water, Energy, & Natural Resources

• Working Group on Technology, Innovation, & Investment

• Working Group on Government Efficiency

• Subcommittee on Talent, Education, and Industry Alignment

• Subcommittee on Housing Affordability

• Subcommittee on Women in the Economy

Through these working groups and subcommittees, the UEOC brought together more than 170 stakeholders in 2023. These stakeholders, including policymakers, industry representatives, and subject matter experts, each brought different ideas and strongly held opinions into the conversation. While this might seem like a surefire way to generate policy gridlock, the process resulted in the opposite. With everyone committed to staying in the conversation and with everyone united under the common goal of advancing Utah’s best interests, policies have not only moved forward but have been refined by differing perspectives.

Using this process, the state developed solutions to some of its most pressing economic challenges while amplifying what makes Utah great.

As we advance Utah’s economy, we need your perspective. If your organization has any feedback, questions, or — best yet — ideas, we invite you to contact

Contributed by:



The regulatory sandbox is a framework implemented by regulatory authorities, typically in the financial or technology sectors, that allow innovative businesses and startups to test their products, services, or business models in a controlled environment with monitored regulatory requirements.

Utah was the first state to create an industry-agnostic regulatory sandbox in 2021, administered by the Office of Regulatory Relief. A success story and graduate of the regulatory sandbox is TowPro, a business operating a webbased application designed to innovate how public safety dispatchers and towing companies communicate and automate the dispatch process. By automatically rotating between towing companies until a tow is accepted, the platform improves response times, clears crashes faster, and reduces the risk of secondary accidents.

In July 2022, the company began its demonstration period and received a waiver of Utah Code Ann. § 72-9-603 (16), which regulates a tow truck motor company’s ability to charge or pass along fees to vehicle owners when charged in response to a) a peace officer dispatch call, b) a motor vehicle division call, and c) any other call or request where the owner of the vehicle, vessel, or outboard motor has not consented to the removal. Utah Code Ann. § 72-9-604 was also waived, prohibiting counties and municipalities from charging fees for dispatch costs of a towing rotation. During the demonstration, 3,712 tows were completed. Some jurisdictions reported that TowPro cut the response time in half for a tow truck to arrive on the scene. This profound outcome helped lead to S.B. 27 being passed during the 2023 legislative session, and the provisions to fees related to tow truck dispatch services were amended.

The path that led Julie Edwards, owner of TowPro, to utilizing Utah’s Office of Regulatory Relief started when she ran into a legislative issue while pursuing her business idea to dispatch tow trucks more efficiently in emergencies.

She knew of a vague legislative rule and went to her representative, Tim Hawks, who shared his thoughts and suggested getting a legislative attorney to help clarify its intention. The attorney read it another way and thought she was okay to proceed. The different interpretations led her to take the challenge to the regulatory commission. In the end, her idea led to legislative change.

When asked about some of TowPro’s greatest accomplishments, Edwards explained how she enjoys visiting clients to see how the technology is being used. She shared one experience visiting a 911 center.

“A dispatcher was explaining to a mom how to give CPR to her baby. In the scheme of things, dispatching a tow truck is not important, but necessary. TowPro can save dispatchers time when they’re not on the phone calling tow trucks. They can dispatch a tow truck with a couple of clicks. That saved them so many minutes, and minutes to dispatchers means saving lives."

Last year, Edwards was featured in the Business Elevated podcast published by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. She shared her journey as a woman entrepreneur in both the towing and tech industries, detailed lessons she learned along the way, and highlighted the supportive and collaborative nature of the Utah business community.

The Office of Regulatory Relief invites residents and businesses to make suggestions regarding laws and regulations that could be modified or eliminated to reduce the regulatory burden borne by Utah residents and businesses. You can also refer to the website for more information at

Contributed by:



As the state’s tourism industry grows, the Utah Office of Tourism strategically navigates tourism development that is thoughtful, authentic, and sustainable. Utah’s tourism is thriving with a focus on community-led visions and innovative marketing initiatives that showcase the state’s diverse offerings.

The word is out — Utah is incredible. Our state’s boundless beauty is punctuated by world-class ski resorts, five national parks, and endless outdoor opportunities. Utah’s urban areas are increasingly vibrant centers of culture, art, education, and commerce. Together, these assets attract an increasing number of tourists each year.

According to research done for the Utah Office of Tourism, visitors spent nearly $12 billion in 2022, supporting 152,800 jobs and resulting in $2.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.

While these numbers are impressive, sustaining and growing Utah’s tourism economy requires a great deal of careful planning. After all, the goal isn’t simply to attract more tourists, but the right tourists who appreciate and honor Utah’s unique offerings.

The Utah Office of Tourism’s community and partner relations team leads this effort, with a staff of five led by Camille Johnson. She joined the office in 2023 after spending nine years with Kane County’s Office of Tourism, navigating the challenges of southern Utah’s fast-growing tourism destination economy. This background gives her an invaluable perspective, which aligns perfectly with the Utah Office of Tourism’s overall mission: community-led vision.

For example, when Congress passed the American Rescue Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of dollars were set aside to help states address the negative impact on tourism. While several states enabled leaders to choose how funds are spent, the process in Utah is different. Individual communities and nonprofits can apply for a competitive grant through the Utah Office of Tourism, with the best-qualifying applicants receiving portions of Utah’s $4 million share of funds.

Winners in the first round of these Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants include:

• Tremonton: to explore ways to draw more visitors from the interstate and into towns where local businesses will benefit.

• Juab and Millard counties: for a joint program that will enhance dark sky tourism in their rural areas.

• Ogden City: to help with the sustainability of its tourism offerings.

• Green River: to explore a community-led vision of developing a convention center.

Continuing rounds of EDA grants will support more projects throughout Utah.

The Utah Office of Tourism’s community and partner relations team oversees a long-running traditional co-op marketing program that allows cities, counties, and nonprofits to apply for matching funds for out-of-state marketing efforts. Last year, the co-op distributed $4.7 million to 55 applicants to amplify unique marketing messages. Since its inception, the program funded over 900 applications, totaling more than $53 million. Some communities used these funds to advertise lesser-known destinations in rural Utah, while others developed online visitor resources. Educational and wayfinding signs have also been added, which is especially important in regions of Utah where cell phone service simply doesn’t exist.

The community and partner relations team also assists with long-range destination development planning that can result in feasibility studies for a future business district or help develop a public event. But the end goal is always the same — to foster tourism development in thoughtful, authentic, and sustainable ways that benefit visitors and, more so, the communities that host them. After all, if we like where we live, others likely do, too.

The tourism industry in our state is strong and evergrowing. Many are discovering the secret of Utah — that the hospitality of our communities is as grand as the landscapes surrounding them.

Contributed by:




The Utah APEX Accelerator is a government procurement assistance program within the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Its counselors provide free services to help Utah entrepreneurs identify, apply for, and win government contracts for products and services.

In 2023, APEX counselors provided 2,670 hours of free consulting, helped 559 new clients, and supported a combined win of over $1 billion in federal, state, and local government contracts for Utah companies.

APEX’s success stories include:


Wendy Paris, owner of BP Weeds, has been an APEX client since 2007. For over 10 years, her company has specialized in treating noxious and invasive weeds throughout the western U.S., employing various methods such as chemical, biological, and mechanical treatment. BP Weeds services include monitoring, inventory, seeding, mapping, consulting, and pest management.

Joni Anderson, Cedar City APEX regional manager, regularly assisted when issues or questions arose with government contracting. BP Weeds recently had a deadline to update its System for Award Management registration, known as, a government-wide registry for vendors doing business with the federal government. The company’s SAM registration was activated just before being awarded two contracts with the U.S. Department of the Interior for $230,904 and $27,125, respectively. Under the contracts, the company will provide its services to the Bureau of Land Management.


Carrie Rogers-Whitehead founded Digital Respons-Ability, a mission-based company researching and working in digital citizenship. The company believes in a prevention science approach to preventing unhealthy online behavior and offers curriculum development for parents, educators, and students around digital citizenship, STEM programs, and digital literacy. Its platform encompasses event planning, training, and community outreach to help companies use technology ethically and responsibly.

Digital Respons-Ability’s Respons-Able Educator Certificate Program was named the Best Digital Citizenship Solution 2023 for the annual Software & Information Industry Association CODiE Awards. These prestigious awards recognize companies producing the most innovative business and education technology across the country and around the world.

“This past week, I did something I thought wouldn’t be possible when I first started my business — I advised women interested in government contracting,” said RogersWhitehead. “Government contracting can be overwhelming. There are many terms to know, and it can feel daunting. There’s a lot of misinformation and scams that capitalize on that confusion and those overwhelming feelings.”

Rogers-Whitehead explained how Utah’s APEX Accelerator assisted her in the process.

“Women can utilize resources, like APEX, to help them bid for and win government contracts. APEX helped make a complicated process simpler,” she said. “I spent hours initially bringing sheets of paper of bids and proposals and getting walked through them and still spent hours utilizing APEX’s resources. I’m the first to know what I don’t know, but I’m also very aware of what I know, thanks to the resources I’ve utilized.”


The APEX symposium was held in late October 2023, where business owners gained valuable insight into the government marketplace. Guest speakers provided a wealth of expertise, while attendees learned about innovation grants, cybersecurity, mentor-protégé programs for the Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration, and the ins and outs of Idaho National Labs, the General Services Administration, and more.

Additionally, 30+ government agencies and large primes were available for one-on-one matchmaking appointments to foster networking and collaboration. With over 250 attendees, the event assisted Utah clientele in navigating the government marketplace and fostering strategic partnerships.

To learn more about Utah’s APEX Accelerator program or connect with an APEX counselor, please visit


Utah’s iconic landscapes have starred in countless films and captivated audiences in film and television for a century. As the state commemorates 100 years of cinematic history, we’re reminded of the legacy of hard work, determination, and economic success that shaped Utah’s thriving film industry and drawn visitors and filmmakers alike.

Utah is the backdrop for thousands of movies and television shows, from the red buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to the otherworldly sandstone formations in Goblin Valley State Park, the streets of any town USA in Salt Lake City, and the snow-capped mountains of the Wasatch. These breathtaking landscapes, combined with the people working behind the scenes, are why this state is known as Utah. America’s Film Set.®


The year 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the first movies filmed in Utah. One century ago, Ogden-born director James Cruze set out to produce a Paramount Pictures film on the rugged landscapes of Utah. Hundreds of cast and crew members, including 750 Native Americans from the Bannock Tribe, were hired to produce “The Covered Wagon”. They took the motto “rain or shine” seriously, filming the river crossing scenes in the mud and wetlands of Garrison Reservoir and crossing the desert plains in the sun and heat of southern Utah.


Hard work and grit are attributes that continue to permeate the Utah film industry. There are several early filmmaking pioneers, but two families shine in Utah film history. The Parry brothers, Gronway, Chauncey, and Whitney, regularly went to Los Angeles to drum up movie business. The trio

brought Tom Mix, the most famous Hollywood cowboy of their time, to Utah in 1924 to film “The Deadwood Coach”. The brothers built the Parry Lodge in Kanab, which hosted hundreds of movie icons including Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, and Ronald Reagan. The lodge is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Gouldings were another influential family. Harry and his wife Leone, who was also known as “Mike”, created a trading post and later a lodge to entice moviemakers to come film in Monument Valley. Once John Ford filmed “Stagecoach” in Monument Valley in 1939, many Western filmmakers repeatedly returned, iconizing the landscape as the symbol of “The West”.


The economic success of the early pioneers of film continues today. Utah’s film incentive program generated $669.1 million in economic impact over the last five years. In addition, $6 billion was spent in Utah in the previous 10 years by tourists, with 37% of the visitors saying that a film or television show has some influence on their decision to visit Utah. Today’s film industry and its subsequent economic impact are shaped by the business endeavors of thousands of men and women who came before. Their drive and determination to capture the state's landscapes in film created a long-lasting filmmaking legacy in Utah.

Celebrate with us this year by visiting our exhibit at the Utah State Capitol and attending events throughout 2024. Visit our website for more information.





In 2023, Utah achieved notable recognition as the best place to start a business and ranked as the top economy in the nation. Despite these accomplishments, the state faces challenges in maintaining quality of life amid unprecedented growth.

In 2023, U.S. News & World Report named Utah the best place to start a business and ranked Utah’s economy No. 1 in the nation. Utah also welcomed the most significant capital investment from corporate recruitment in the state’s history: Texas Instruments’ (TI) $11 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility expansion.

Considering this unprecedented success and the natural challenges a growing state faces related to quality of life, it may be tempting to scale back efforts in economic development or corporate recruitment. However, this

approach fails to account for an increasingly competitive economic landscape and corporate investments’ farreaching benefits to our state’s economy. To secure economic prosperity for future generations, Utah must continue to foster strategic economic opportunities and recruit significant companies, while also planning for growth.

The world is experiencing a seismic economic shift with the rise of industrial policies contributing to increased economic competition. Massive investments across the globe are being driven by two events: the reshoring of critical industry manufacturing out of China into more secure markets, and the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. The United States introduced nearly $2 trillion of federal incentives to facilitate this realignment. Other fiscally conservative and rapidly growing states


aggressively pursue these opportunities, including Idaho, Texas, and South Carolina. Utah cannot afford to pull back while other states vigorously compete for prized capital investments that could set the economic stage for decades. The long-term benefits for future generations are too significant to ignore.

Attracting the best businesses brings a host of benefits to Utah. For example, in fiscal year 2023, EDCUtah, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, recruited businesses that plan to create approximately 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for Utahns and more than $650 million in new annual wages. The companies are also expected to generate $2 billion in annual revenue. This recent economic activity is well underway and means additional tax revenue that state and local governments can use to provide vital public services.

Business investments in community infrastructure such as roads, utilities, rail, and fiber enhance our quality of life. Corporate social responsibility programs also contribute countless volunteer service hours and direct investments to civic causes — for example, TI’s $9 million donation to the Alpine School District.

As Utah continues to recruit and retain businesses, water, housing, transportation, and open space concerns must be carefully considered to sustain future prosperity. State

and local governments and private sector organizations are addressing these concerns in several ways — including plans by associations of governments and initiatives like Guiding our Growth ( Data from the recently completed Guiding Our Growth survey show most Utahns understand business retention and recruitment remain an economic imperative even as inevitable growth brings change to our communities.

In recalibrating Utah’s economic strategy, we must not allow complacency to betray progress. States and nations continuously compete for the most innovative companies, top talent, and catalytic investments — Utah must be part of that. Utah can remain the No. 1 economy in the U.S. and, with foresight, maintain a high quality of life. Community leaders and residents should carefully consider the risks and opportunity costs of scaling back economic development efforts at a time when the competition is aggressively moving forward. Utah must continue engaging in robust long-range planning while proactively attracting strategically important businesses and industries.

Learn more at



World Trade Center Utah, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, plays a pivotal role in showcasing Utah’s global presence at top trade shows. The Utah booth, a familiar sight at trade shows worldwide, provides a platform for Utah companies to exhibit their products and innovations at events around the world.

Welcome to Utah! This phrase — and others like ‘largest little cluster’ and ‘best backyard ever’ — increasingly pop up at trade shows worldwide each year.

A home away from home, the Utah booth is not to be missed. World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) partners with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) to lead Utah companies to top global trade shows in the aerospace and defense, composites, healthcare, natural products, and outdoor industries.

The Utah booth provides companies throughout the state a space to exhibit their products and innovations globally and find new buyers, partners, and markets for their burgeoning business.

In 2023, 63 Utah companies exhibited in seven Utah booths at trade shows in France, Germany, Dubai, and California.


WTC Utah can help. We identify and lead delegations to trade shows that connect Utah-based companies with industry leaders. Interested companies can apply to join a WTC Utah-led delegation; they can also apply for a Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant through WTC Utah to help cover their international travel costs. Companies approved for the grant receive a financial award that covers 75% of their international travel and lodging expenses.

But don’t just take our word for it. Outdoor brand Pingora utilized the STEP grant to attend the past four ISPO Munich trade shows in the Utah booth.

“While at ISPO Munich, we met a new partner from Japan, which just resulted in a hugely successful launch of our brand in Tokyo,” shared C.J. Whittaker, Pingora’s founder. “Before learning about the STEP grant and the Utah booth, we didn’t think that exhibiting at ISPO would be an option for us this early in our growth, and now the


show allows us to connect with our global contacts each year while finding new partners and growing our brand internationally.”

The STEP grant also covers the cost of the state’s booth space and build — a financial obstacle for many small- to mediumsized companies who want to exhibit at trade shows.

Exhibiting in a booth also positions Utah companies to receive well-earned global recognition. At the 2023 JEC World Composites show in Paris, the Utah company IsoTruss was named the JEC Composites Innovation Awards winner for their innovative carbon fiber tower.

“Anything you can think of in composites is at JEC World,” shared Nathan Rich, founder and CEO of IsoTruss, Inc. “We are super thankful for the support. Without that, it is difficult to attend these international shows and look to advance our technology.”


The booths themselves garner international attention, too. At the 2022 Farnborough Airshow in the U.K., the Utah booth was awarded “Best in Show” in the USA Pavilion. The 20-foot 3D cutout of Delicate Arch at the booth’s

center drew in curious attendees from around the world, and businesses within the booth were the show’s buzz.

“We want our companies to feel a strong sense of pride for our state wherever they are in the world,” shared Julia Pappas, senior director of brand for WTC Utah.

In addition to forging international partnerships, Utah companies exhibiting in the booth have the benefit of establishing relationships with other local companies in the same industry.

“It’s funny that you meet some of your best connections 5,000+ miles from home,” shared Ana Van Pelt, co-founder and creative director of Niche Snowboards. “And those connections are great partners, mentors, and friends.”

Want to join #TeamUtah at a trade show in 2024? It’s not too late. Coming up: Bio International, Florida International Medical Expo, Farnborough International Airshow, Medica, and ISPO Munich.

To learn more and apply, visit




Utah’s aerospace, defense, and cyber ecosystem reached a pivotal moment by unveiling 47G, representing a call to push the limits of innovation and human achievement. 47G is set to drive unprecedented growth and welcomes diverse partnerships for building the next generation of technology companies.

Late last year, we gathered industry executives, elected leaders, and community stakeholders to mark an essential moment in Utah’s history. At Delta Air Line’s iconic hangar at Salt Lake International Airport, and with the support of Gov. Cox, we unveiled 47G as the new voice of Utah’s aerospace, defense, and cyber ecosystem.

More than just a name, we designed 47G to be a clarion call. In 1952, Colonel John Stapp became the fastest man on earth when he strapped himself into a rocket-propelled sled and launched down a 3,500-foot track at 632 miles per hour. He experienced the greatest acceleration ever endured by a test pilot: 46.2G. The name 47G invites us to go where no one has before — to push the limits of innovation, technology, and human achievement.

47G is also an homage. Utah’s early pioneers settled in the Salt Lake Valley after completing a treacherous, thousand-

mile journey across the American Plains. The year was 1847. They reached, suffered, endured, and ultimately attained their goal. Their pioneer spirit inspires us today to push the limits of technology.

We have been working tirelessly to build the world’s premier ecosystem for aerospace, defense, and cyber companies. In 2023, we welcomed over 100 new members into our association, hosted 35 events, facilitated $9.5 million in transactions, engaged seven international delegations, and recruited new companies to the Beehive State. We also signed a historic, collaborative agreement with the Ministry for Strategic Industries of Ukraine. Our ecosystem is growing at an unprecedented rate and with global reach.

We call on the most ambitious entrepreneurs to build with us. We call on students and job seekers to work with us. We call on government organizations and nonprofits to partner with us. We welcome all people who believe the future will be better than the past to help us build the next generation of great technology companies in Utah, America’s Deep Tech Frontier.

Join us and learn more at



Use the Utah Women-Owned Business Directory

The Women’s Business Center of Utah, part of the Salt Lake Chamber, champions the growth of women-owned businesses in the state. To further support their success, the Women’s Business Center hosts the Utah Women-Owned Business Directory, featuring more than 2,000 businesses owned, operated, and controlled by women.

Despite experiencing unique obstacles, women in Utah consistently start and grow businesses at an accelerated rate. These businesses create jobs, provide products and services that drive innovation, and improve the lives of individuals and organizations. However, these businesses lag behind men-owned enterprises in measurements that include the number of companies with at least one employee, average revenue, and number of employees.

Utah is the best state in the country to start a business, and supporting women-owned businesses helps strengthen families, communities, and our state’s economy.

One of the simplest ways to accelerate success and opportunity for women-controlled businesses is to buy from them more often. Knowing which companies are women-owned is critical. As a fierce advocate for these businesses, the Women’s Business Center of Utah, part of the Salt Lake Chamber, hosts the Utah WomenOwned Business Directory ( as a public service platform featuring businesses owned, operated, and controlled by women. The directory can easily be filtered by keyword, city, or county, ensuring anyone searching can find a business in just a few minutes or clicks.

“Utah has an unbelievable number of businesses led by talented, hardworking, and innovative women,” said Ann Marie Wallace, state director of Utah’s Women’s Business Center. “Purposefully changing one monthly purchase to a women-owned business will make a difference.”

But you don’t have to stop at one. The directory features nearly 2,400 Utah women-owned businesses in almost every county in the state. When Utahns buy from these companies, they encourage growth, seed communities with opportunity, and expand the middle class.

Next time you need something, visit UtahWomenOwned. com. Find a local, woman-owned business when looking for a place to eat, visit, or purchase something. Supporting Utah women entrepreneurs is a win-win for our state and our economy.


The Women’s Business Center of Utah is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with free women-focused services, including mentoring, training, and support, to help women owners and aspiring entrepreneurs build confidence, create opportunities, and experience success in business ownership.

If your women-owned business still needs to be listed, sign up for a free listing and access complimentary assistance at


Dr. Susan Madsen, driven by a sense of urgency to enhance the status of women and girls in Utah, launched the initiative “A Bolder Way Forward”. Focused on creating impactful change by 2030, with a checkpoint in 2026, the initiative addresses Utah’s persistent challenges to women’s equality.

Dr. Susan Madsen has a compelling urgency to significantly impact the progress of women and girls in Utah. As a grandmother to three granddaughters, she is eager to see them flourish in the state she holds dear.

Last year, she was on a flight to Costa Rica, reading a book about societal change, when she had a profound epiphany. “In Utah, we’ve been working on related efforts using the ‘parts’ strategy for too long,” said Dr. Madsen. “If we are serious about ensuring Utah women and girls thrive, we must create change by 2030, with a checkpoint in 2026.”

For nine years running, Utah has been ranked by WalletHub as the worst state in the U.S. for women’s equality. Year after year, Utah continues to have high levels of domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and genderbased discrimination. Additionally, it has low levels of women’s leadership representation in nearly all domains, including politics and business.

Although the needle has moved slightly in a few areas, its trajectory will take two, three, or even four decades to make notable progress. “That is not acceptable,” says Madsen. “We need to do everything possible to make this state a better place for women, girls, and their families.”

Madsen started mapping out the statewide initiative, “A Bolder Way Forward”, which was launched in June 2023. The movement, as Madsen calls it, is framed around systems thinking — “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

community engagement, safety and security, and health and well-being. The wheel also has four “rim” areas on the outside — sexism, identity, culture, and male allyship — which are issues that permeate every spoke. The 12 related impact teams will help with the significant work required for successful societal change in Utah.

Each of the 18 spokes represents an area of focus: childcare, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, finance, gender pay gap, health across the lifespan, higher education attainment, home and family, K-12 initiatives, leadership development, organizational strategies and workplace culture, political and civic representation, poverty and homelessness, sexual assault, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination, STEM fields, and workforce development.

This past year, Dr. Madsen’s team secured and trained spoke leaders and coordinators, along with impact team leaders; established coalitions in Utah’s 29 counties; conducted a baseline survey; launched fundraising plans; started metric dashboards; and launched a monthly newsletter.

Jennifer Smith, Zions Bancorporation’s executive vice president and chief technology and operations officer, who is a “champion” for the movement, said it is personal for those becoming engaged in it. “‘A Bolder Way Forward’ is a call to action to strengthen our communities. Our community, state, and nation need us to stand up and participate and change outcomes. We are at a pivotal point in history where we can make a difference.”

To learn more about this initiative, including its funders, partners, and focus areas, visit




Silicon Slopes began as a small, hard-working community and has grown into a globally recognized tech, business, and entrepreneurship hub. At the heart of this rise are countless Utah entrepreneurs who channel the mercurial blend of ideology, application, and work ethic.

This is the story of three entrepreneurs, recognized by Ernst and Young as Entrepreneur of the Year Mountain West 2023 award winners: Marti Wymer, Steven Wymer, and Scott Gustafson of Spoonful of Comfort.

Our most meaningful pursuits arise from the deepest tributaries of our love. These pursuits are often inspired by events, positive or negative, that bring out both voluntary and intentional reactions to the triumph and tragedy of life. The most profound actions that define humans are forged in this process: all the things life throws at us, met by each individual’s choice to express love and move forward, even in the face of profound loss.

and friends to help with production and shipping. No one rested until every order was delivered.

“It was the complete entrepreneur situation: awesome, disastrous, make it happen, figure it out,” Steven said of that time. “That was the real transition from grief towards, this is a business with something here.”

Steven recruited his former business partner Scott Gustafson (now Spoonful of Comfort’s president) to come aboard. He believed there was a niche for comfort-type offerings and began game-planning to first figure out the market, and then to maximize scale. The Wymers relocated to Salt Lake City in 2010, and the slow, intentional rise of Spoonful of Comfort has marked the ensuing decade-plus.

“I love the organic way this all came about: it’s pure,” said Scott. “The intent is to comfort people, and at the time, Marti didn’t care if it was a business. She wanted to give people this thing she needed in her moment that wasn’t available.”

Spoonful of Comfort was born from one such tragedy. In 2008, Marti Wymer was living in Florida with her husband, Steven, and their young children when she received some of the worst news a person can get: her mother, living in Canada, had cancer. Separated by a vast distance, Marti wanted to send her mom some comfort, a simple yet elegant expression of her love. She combed through online options — flowers, candy, fruit, but nothing felt appropriate for the situation, and Marti eventually found other ways to express the depth of her feelings.

Six weeks later, her mother passed away.

“I was crushed and devastated; I wanted to show her how much I loved and cared, how much I wanted to comfort her,” said Marti. “What do you send someone who is sick? Chicken soup? This idea would wake me up at night. Why is no one doing this? I thought, what better way to honor her than to start a business that helps others in my situation.”


Spoonful of Comfort did not begin as a business — in Marti’s words, “Originally it was a labor of love, I was pouring my grief into this.” With Steven by her side, the Wymers began making soup and taking it to friends and family as a source of comfort in hard times, operating their not-yet-a-business out of their home and garage. Marti recalls her elation over their first actual customer — someone outside the sphere of people they already knew — and excitedly delivered the soup herself. When the door opened, a woman showing the effects of chemotherapy stood on the other end.

“I told her who I was and why I was there. She started to cry, and I started to cry, and it was a really special moment,” said Marti. “It was this validation: maybe there is something here, the impact we could make on people’s lives.”


The labor of love slowly began transitioning into a growing business. The first big breakthrough came when the company was highlighted by a USA Today blog; orders increased exponentially and the Wymers didn’t know how they would be able to fill them. Steven canceled an impending business trip and the couple recruited family

As Spoonful of Comfort grew, all three co-founders made it a point to retain the humanity that sparked its creation. They opened their first warehouse in 2016 and completely took control of the customer experience from start to finish, an experience backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Tied into every transaction is a buyer and receiver. This unique aspect of the business helps drive organic growth and marks a choice on the part of the company to take care of both buyers and receivers with no questions asked.

“Our customer is our north star: everybody says it, but we mean it,” said Marti. “We treat every package and order with the same care.”

“As we’ve become more profitable, we’ve been disciplined in reinvesting the profits and scaling them on a bootstrapped basis, rather than taking venture capital money that might not 100% agree with our approach to customer experience,” added Scott. “It might have taken us a bit longer to scale, but we are grateful we have been able to do it our way.”


Spoonful of Comfort is now shipping out roughly 6,000 care packages per day in their busy season, an incredible metamorphosis from a not-business into the polar opposite. Marti, Steven, and Scott recall the early years as being instrumental in both solidifying the values they stand for and inspiring the choice to infuse Spoonful of Comfort with those same values. They will continue to innovate, build, and strive for growth while also remembering and celebrating the continued expression of love that has propelled them to this point.

“The impact of 5,000-6,000 people being comforted by loved ones each day indicates what we’ve grown into,” said Scott. “That’s how we measure our success, by what those numbers and packages represent.”

To join and participate in the Silicon Slopes community, visit


utahinland port authority

The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) is spearheading transformative initiatives in Iron County, exemplifying the effectiveness of state, local, and private collaboration. The establishment of the Iron Springs Project Area on April 4, 2023, signifies UIPA’s commitment to enhancing global connectivity for businesses through streamlined supply chains and cost-effective infrastructure.

In the scenic landscape of Iron County, Utah, a groundbreaking initiative is taking shape, illustrating the powerful synergy between state, local, and private entities.

On April 4, 2023, the Utah Inland Port Authority established its first port project area in Iron County: The Iron Springs Project Area.

An Inland Port Project Area offers significant value by enhancing global connectivity for businesses, leading to a broader customer base. UIPA achieves this through efficient infrastructure, streamlining supply chains, and reducing costs to potentially increase profitability. Additionally, UIPA provides unique financial tools and customized solutions, fostering innovation and giving businesses a competitive edge in logistics.

This project area, emblematic of UIPA’s impact, revolutionizes material handling in Utah, showcasing the benefits of collaborative logistics solutions, and is a blueprint for collaborative progress.


One of UIPA’s key strategies is the development of specialized project areas across the state. Each area is designed with specific industry needs in mind, offering unique opportunities for businesses to thrive. For instance, the Central Utah Agri-Park Project focuses on agricultural development and food security, reflecting the organization’s commitment to supporting varied economic sectors.

Another striking example is the $70 to $100 million investment by Northrop Grumman in the Northwest Quadrant.

“Our significant facility expansion involves the construction of 11 new buildings and stems from UIPA’s strategic collaboration, blending state incentives with local support and private sector innovation,” said a Northrup Grumman spokesperson.

Another notable accomplishment is the initiation of the Golden Spike project area. The UIPA awarded its first

incentive to Lakeshore Learning Materials for the Garland/ Tremonton portion of this area. The company plans to build 1.2 million square feet of industrial space dedicated to distribution and manufacturing and hire 500 employees in the first phase.

“In the Golden Spike Project Area, we’re creating new partnerships and can remain competitive in rural Utah,” said Garland mayor Linda Bourne. “Lakeshore Learning Materials’ decision to call Garland home has set the stage to continue attracting other high-quality and communityminded businesses.”


For businesses and site selectors, UIPA’s project areas offer unique opportunities underpinned by a robust collaborative framework. This partnership model ensures businesses operating in these areas benefit from a cohesive ecosystem of state support, local community engagement, and private sector dynamism.

“Our approach is about more than logistics,” said Ben Hart, executive director for UIPA. “It’s about building communities of innovation through collaboration. UIPA is a testament to what can be achieved when state, local, and private sectors work together.”

In addition to these remarkable successes, UIPA is working on reducing traffic and environmental pollution. The Northwest Quadrant, a key focus area, has seen significant progress in developing a logistics plan emphasizing these goals. UIPA’s collaboration with stakeholders aims to protect the Great Salt Lake and its critical wetlands, highlighting its commitment to environmental stewardship.


In 2024, UIPA plans to shift from concept to execution, increasing engagement in business marketing and recruitment and targeting opportunities in advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, and life sciences.

UIPA is developing logistics hubs and creating collaborative economic development models. This unique blend of state, local, and private partnerships under UIPA’s stewardship offers a compelling case for businesses looking for a balanced, innovative, and responsible approach to growth.




The Point is a state-owned property at Point of the Mountain, strategically positioned at the heart of the state’s fastest-growing region, that stands as a landmark opportunity in Utah’s history. Shaped by the vision of over thousands Utahns, The Point aims to create a world-class community for living, working, shopping, and more.

The 600 acres of state-owned property at Point of the Mountain, known as The Point, offer one of Utah history’s most significant quality-of-life opportunities. It is uniquely positioned at the epicenter of the fastest-growing part of the state, close to major universities, and conveniently located between Utah’s two most populous counties and job centers.

The Point reflects Utahns’ vision to create a world-class community where people can live, work, shop, learn, and recreate. Guided by feedback from over 16,000 Utahns, it will provide a range of housing options and new career opportunities, invite restaurants and shops, and create a gathering place for residents and visitors.

The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority (Land Authority) oversees development at The Point. The Land Authority, in close collaboration with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management, is moving forward expeditiously with the installation of critical backbone infrastructure such as roads and utilities. This infrastructure will help to address regional needs and catalyze development.


The first phase of development will encompass approximately 100 acres. In November 2023, the Land Authority signed a historic agreement with its Phase I development partner, The Point Partners. The agreement establishes robust design and performance standards and outlines a path to ensure The Point benefits Utahns today and for future generations.

With a team including national and local developers, The Point Partners invested $2.3 billion in Phase 1 alone to bring The Point to life. Located at the heart of The Point, the first phase reflects Utahns’ vision. It includes a pedestrian-friendly promenade, Central Green, regional trail connections, transit-oriented development, a balanced mix of jobs, housing, retail, shopping, entertainment, and much more:

• 3,300 multi-family residential units, including approximately 400 affordable housing units.

• 16 acres of parks and open space.

• Six miles of roads to ensure convenient onsite vehicle travel.

• 12,650 stalls in multi-level parking garages.

• 10 miles of sidewalks and trails, including the River-to-Range trail.

• 2,320,000 square feet of office space.

• 540 hotel rooms.

• A 60,000-square-foot event venue that seats 2,000 people.

• 356,000 square feet of world-class shopping, restaurants, and grocery stores.

• 100% drought-tolerant landscaping.

• 14,000 high-quality new jobs.

Phase I will house the first elements of The Point’s Innovation District, which will serve as an ecosystem that advances technological innovation, fosters a startup environment and facilitates meaningful relationships among universities, businesses, and entrepreneurs. It will nurture new ideas from the research stage to commercialization to help solve Utah’s unique challenges.


With support from the Utah Legislature, the Land Authority is working with the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority to connect The Point to surrounding communities through roads, transit, and trails. A planned new FrontRunner station will connect The Point to the entire Wasatch Front, and TRAX will run directly through the site. An internal circulator will provide residents and visitors with a safe and convenient way to quickly access areas around the site.


The Point will provide a refreshing sense of community, offering both convenience and autonomy to residents and visitors. All these elements make The Point an unmatched opportunity for companies exploring a move to Utah, an incubator for entrepreneurs preparing to launch, and an accelerator for those looking to expand. Learn more at




Utah, long known for its breathtaking red rock landscapes and world-famous skiing, is gaining attention across the country — and the world — in more ways than one.

Utah is the No. 1 state to start a business, No. 1 for social mobility, and the No. 2 healthiest in the nation. And that’s just since the start of 2024. These accolades join a long list of rankings and recognition from 2023, including Utah being named the overall best state in the country.

Why Utah, and what makes it so unique? Utah has a confluence of factors that contribute to its strong economy, appeal to an ever-growing population, and make it a state full of opportunities.


In 2023, Utah was ranked the No. 1 economy in the country, with the best economic outlook.

While many factors contribute to Utah’s strong economy, some elements stand out.

Utah is known for its robust workforce. Last year, Utah had the country’s highest labor force participation rate at nearly 70%. It also has the youngest population in the country with access to new talent through reputable universities and colleges statewide.

Unlike many states that rely heavily on specific industries, Utah has diverse, thriving industries that create resilience to economic fluctuations. Utah is a hub for innovation, from life sciences and healthcare to aerospace and information technology.

Utah’s location also plays a strategic role. Many national and global organizations looking to enter the western U.S. market have selected Utah to establish their roots. Utah’s proximity to major markets helps facilitate trade and commerce.




Last year, Utah had the highest population growth in the country at 15.05%. Utah has much to offer as an ideal place to live, work, and play.

There is no denying that Utah struck gold when it came to its scenic landscapes and outdoor opportunities. Utah is the fourth most physically active state and benefits from over 20,000 miles of hikeable trails and nearly 32,000 acres for skiers and snowboarders. From hiking, camping, and skiing in the mountains to boating on lakes and floating down rivers, Utah has it all.

Utah was named the No. 1 happiest state and the most charitable state in the country. Many are drawn to Utah’s emphasis on community and family — Utah was even named the best state for trick-or-treating. Utah also offers a wealth of cultural opportunities, from traveling Broadway shows, museums, and the Sundance Film Festival in the north to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in the south. In Utah, there is something for everyone.


Last year, Utah was ranked the best state for social mobility or the opportunity to better oneself.

The state’s founders looked to Utah as a land of opportunity, which still remains the case.

Utah was ranked the best state to start a business. Of the top five large cities in the country to start a business, two were in Utah — Salt Lake City at No. 4 and Provo at No. 5, with St. George ranked No. 4 for small cities. Utah entrepreneurs benefit from access to capital, with reports showing Utah to be the most accessible state for business loan financing. According to the most recent data, Utah has the highest percentage of self-employed women in the nation.

In a country known for valuing freedom and independence, Utahns should be proud of its rank as the most independent state in the country. Utah is a place that values self-reliance but also community — hard work but also recreation. It’s no wonder why Utah keeps topping the charts.

The most up-to-date accolades and rankings can be viewed at


In 2023, GOEO, The Utah Women & Leadership Project, Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, and Women's Business Center of Utah partnered with RUMOR Advertising to design and launch the Inspire In Utah public education campaign and 100 Companies Championing Women In Utah.

The award-winning initiatives connect women to entrepreneurship resources, community building opportunities, business funding sources, and support networks across the state and country.

Thank you to all Utah businesses who exemplify championing women in the workplace.

Learn more at

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