Summer Meeting a Great Success

The Utah Alliance would like to give Dixon Holmes and his associates a big THANK YOU for the successful meeting held today at their Start-up Building. All the presentations were very informative, the meeting space was great and as a bonus, the food was pretty good too. AND speaking of food, thanks for the "dine-around" last night. Also a big hit!

As soon as possible, we will be posting the presentations online for those of you who were unable to attend.

Also, mark your calendar for October 11-12 for our next quarterly meeting to be held in Duchesne.

Wayne County now home to Rural Development Field Office

BICKNELL – The quarters and furnishings may seem unassuming — one woman, a small desk, a computer and a cell phone. But no mistake about it, Wayne County has landed a high-powered linkage to one of Utah’s best economic development resources.

Wayne County is now home to the field office of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Rural Development Program, with Nan Anderson at the helm. Previously housed in Cedar City, GOED’s Rural Development field office moved to Wayne County with Ms. Anderson’s hire back in February.

“One of the requirements for the position is that the field office person reside within a rural county,” said Anderson.

GOED’s rural development office is best known for its Rural Fast Track grants and for its work with businesses to tap into the benefits of Enterprise Zones. However, the rural development office works at a variety of levels to support job opportunities and economic development in rural areas, including support for Governor Herbert’s challenge to create 25,000 new jobs in rural Utah by 2020.

Anderson’s territory includes the bulk of southern Utah. “If you were to run a line across the state from Juab County South that’s my territory,” said Anderson. But being located in Wayne County does provide entrepreneurs in the region with a leg-up on introductions and face-to-face meetings.

“Basically we do rural outreach, we work to support the county’s economic development priorities. We learn and listen about those priorities and try to see how our GOED program can accommodate and support those priorities. All counties want enhanced economic development, but the difference from county to county can vary tremendously. For example, some are tourism oriented, others not so much,” said Anderson.

“Rural Fast Track grants are one of the best tools we have in our program,” Anderson said. She noted that she is currently overseeing approximately a dozen projects that are “somewhere in the pipeline” between application, approval or project completion.

“It has been for me so rewarding and fun to watch the application, get it through a rigorous process–which is necessary when using taxpayer dollars–and get it through the process,” said Anderson. Rural Fast Track guidelines require, for example, that a business be already established for a minimum of two years, and business owners must provide matching funding.

Anderson serves as one member of a three-person team. Linda Gillmor is Director of the GOED Office of Rural Development, and James Dixon is the BEAR (business expansion and retention) officer. Each of the other two positions are based in Salt Lake City.

“Entrepreneurship is so vital to Rural Utah. A company that employs one or two people in Wayne or Garfield County is huge,” said Anderson.

Anderson says that the first step for any individual or previously established business person to tap into economic development resources is to first contact their county economic development officer. In Garfield County that would be Justin Fischer, and in Wayne County, Adus Dorsey.

“County economic development are our partners and extensions of our sales force, if you will. For start- ups, the first step is reach out to your county economic director. They know the resources that are available,” said Anderson.

GOED’s Rural Development field office is located at 111 W. Main Street in Bicknell. Nan Anderson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 801-631-0141.

Three Takeaways from the Point of the Mountain Dev. Commission

Rapid growth and technology are pulling our state together. Nowhere is this more visible than at the Point of the Mountain where the state's two largest economies are integrating with a nationally recognized technology hub.

In the 2016 legislative session, the Utah Legislature created the Point of the Mountain Development Commission to head a process to develop a vision for the future of the area surrounding the border between Salt Lake County and Utah County.

The Phase One Report of the Point of the Mountain Visioning Process was released earlier this month, while there is a lot of great information, here are three big takeaways:

A Worthwhile Process: Despite its central location, the Point of the Mountain contains over 20,000 undeveloped acres that are available for urban growth, with much of this land in highly desirable locations. The Commission is currently engaged in a robust process as to not squander this kind of an opportunity for our state's future.

The data showed how recent development in the Wasatch Front has begun to concentrate along I-15, and has shifted south towards the POM area. This area has captured a significant share of new offices developed in the region between 2010-2017 as shown in the heatmap below.

Economic Development, Air Quality, Transportation, and Land Use: Transportation is a significant challenge for the areas, as it was mentioned as a primary concern four to five times more often than anything else during the outreach. Already transportation planners, agencies and stakeholders are advancing solutions for the region, including UDOT accelerating the “Tech Corridor” thanks to the $1 billion bond passed this past session.

Additionally, air quality was the number one reason employees in the region might move out of Utah. This shows, yet again, that addressing our region’s air quality challenges matters in a significant way to economic development. It also demonstrates why the region can be a national example of smart development that mixes economic development, housing, and transportation planning.

National Research Institution Among Top Big Ideas: In April, Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, wrote about the potential of a national lab at the Point of the Mountain. Stakeholders and the consultant experts seem to agree: "a nationally-relevant research facility presence is the top big idea" and "a large-scale research facility is one of the key factors that could catalyze high-quality job growth." Establishing or attracting a new research university or institution or new campus of an existing institution can develop strong connections to the region’s innovation sectors will be explored in further phases of the effort.

What's next? Phase 2 of the Point of the Mountain vision will be guided by the Point of the Mountain Development Commission and focus on alternative scenarios for the region, public outreach and selecting a preferred direction. You can learn more at

Written by Salt Lake Chamber
Category: Today At Utah Policy
Created: 24 May 2017