EDCUtah Dec. 29, 2009
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Economic Review
Jeff Edwards, president & CEO of EDCUtah President's Message
2009: A Year for the Record Books

Each December, as the year draws to a close, I like to look back at our accomplishments and reflect on what we've achieved during the previous 12 months.

2009 was an amazing year for EDCUtah and for economic development. Strangely, while the national economy is still trying to pull itself out of one of the worst recessions in history, we have set a record for the number of projects we are working (307). In fact, during 2009 more companies expressed an interest in locating or expanding their businesses in Utah than at any other time in our history. I attribute this phenomenon to many factors, including our young, highly educated workforce, fiscally responsible state and local governments, lowers costs of doing business, and exceptional quality of life. Together, these factors and many others make Utah stand out and businesses across the country have taken notice.

Indeed, it was no coincidence that just a week or two ago, Salt Lake City was ranked by MarketWatch as the 8th best U.S. city for business, out of 100 metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more. Here's a timeline of other accolades heaped upon the state during the past 12 months:

  • November: Milken Institute ranks Salt Lake City third best in the country for economic activity; Forbes ranks Logan City the 14th best place to start a business.
  • October: Utah is ranked 10th in the nation for its state business tax climate.
  • September: Forbes ranks Utah the third best state for business, while Business Facilities magazine ranks Utah the fourth best business climate.
  • July: CNBC ranks Utah one of the top states for doing business, and Moody's ranks Provo/Orem area in the top 23 metros for recovery from the recession. Also in July, Utah is recognized as the state with the best economic outlook.

Such accolades are a reflection of all the great things that are happening in the state. Furthermore, the accolades keep the spotlight on Utah and help make our phones ring off the hook -- in November we added 17 new projects! With our project load so great, our board of directors agreed we should hire an additional business developer, which we did. Also, as we mentioned in a previous newsletter, in October we opened an office in Southern California and are now engaged in a comprehensive proactive recruitment program. This is an exciting new effort for us -- something we have always wanted to do, but previously didn't have the manpower to do it. In 2009 that dream became a reality.

Best of all, in 2009 we added over 4,000 jobs to the state, the tough economy notwithstanding. These jobs came through a combination of Utah businesses expanding their operations and the recruitment of other new businesses to the state. Some of our 2009 project wins included:

  • Duncan Aviation -- this was a fun project and a great win for Provo. Duncan is a wonderful, family-owned company with values compatible to the Utah scene.
  • EBay -- the company already had a presence in the state, but with its two new expansion projects in South Jordan and Draper, it will have over 1,000 employees in Utah.
  • Microsoft -- it's great to have Microsoft back in the state with its new software development center in Lehi.
  • Edwards Life Sciences -- this was a great business retention win. Edwards had a small presence in Midvale, but for a time looked like it might move the jobs offshore. We are thrilled the company will be able to expand its R&D in Draper and possibly add some new product lines there.
  • Quality Bicycle -- in November the company announced its decision to build a $5 million distribution facility in Utah and locate one, possibly even two of its brand headquarters in Ogden, creating up to 100 jobs in the state. This was a great win for Utah's outdoor products cluster, as well.
  • Sun Products/Huish Detergents, Inc. -- this was another great business retention/expansion win for Utah. Huish Detergents was a local company acquired by Sun Products. After the acquisition, the plan was to relocate the company in the east. We were able to help the company retain 183 jobs in Salt Lake City, while adding another 80 new jobs.
  • Nelson Laboratories, Inc., -- a bio medical testing laboratory, was looking at expanding its operations. We were able to help the company stay in Taylorsville, where it will retain 350 jobs and add as many as 350 more.
  • Boart Longyear -- which moved its global headquarters from South Africa to South Jordan. This was a great win. The company retained 250 jobs here and will add as many as 215 new jobs.

Obviously, EDCUtah's success and strength as an economic development organization is largely the result of our wonderful, hardworking staff and exceptional partnerships with our investors, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the Salt Lake Chamber, and many others. Thank you for helping make 2009 so productive. I look forward to another exciting -- and busy -- year in 2010.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the economic development-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Join the Utah Pavilion at BIO 2010

In the News

Salt Lake City Ranked 8th in MarketWatch's 3rd Survey of the Best U.S. cities for Business
After flirting with the top 10 the past two years, Utah's capital finally made it in the upper echelon, and it may be one to watch in coming years.
(MarketWatch)

Komatsu breaks ground on new Salt Lake facility
Komatsu Equipment broke ground Tuesday on a 100,000-square-foot facility that will be both the corporate offices and Salt Lake headquarters of a business that services and sells massive equipment used primarily in mining operations.
(Deseret News)

Streetcars could pump more life into downtown Salt Lake City
A return to yesteryear could be one of the most important pieces to the future of Salt Lake.
(Deseret News)

Study shows Ogden area surviving recession better than most; economic woes easing in Utah County
A six-state study on the effects of the recession shows Ogden and Provo have fared better in many ways than other Western metropolitan areas.
(Standard-Examiner) (Daily Herald)

Harmons to break ground on 2 stores in Salt Lake City and Farmington
Harmons Grocery Stores said Monday it expects to break ground next year on a pair of new stores, with both completed in 2011.
(Deseret News) (Standard-Examiner)

Economic recovery is building momentum
All signs suggest the economic recovery will end the year on firmer footing despite a report Tuesday that the economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the third quarter, less than previously thought.
(Deseret News)

SLC company one step closer to constructing salt caverns near Delta for natural gas storage
A Utah company that wants to develop eight salt caverns north of Delta to store up to 45 billion cubic feet of natural gas is a big step closer to its goal.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Target to build new store on 300 West in Salt Lake City
Young Electric Sign Co. had a 60-year presence on Salt Lake City's 300 West. As of next October, it will be Target's turn to take over the space and begin competing against Walmart, Lowe's and two membership wholesalers farther south.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Davis OKs 2 tourism contracts
Davis County will spend more than $1.1 million in 2010 with two agencies dedicated to increasing tourism in the county.
(Deseret News)

28-Acre mixed use development proposed for Centerville
A Layton firm is proposing a 28-acre, mixed-use project that will include a Larry H. Miller 14-screen Megaplex Theater, similar to the theater at The Junction in Ogden.
(Standard-Examiner)

Salt Lake City ranked 6th in ease of finding job online
Salt Lake City is ranked sixth in an index calculating the ease of finding a job through online advertising.
(Deseret News)

Ski resorts: Industry faring better than last year
Headed to Las Vegas, Calgary residents Ian Stephens and Sophia Tang made sure they stopped in Utah for a two-day snowboarding layover.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Calendar

January 13, 2010
13th Annual Washington County Economic Summit 2010 at the Dixie Convention Center. (St. George)

January 21-24, 2010
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (Salt Lake City)

March 18, 2010
EDCUtah Quarterly Investor Update

March 22, 2010
Governor's Economic Summit

May 3-6, 2010
BIO (Chicago, IL)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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