In a recent article from Inc Magazine, ten cities were named at the Best Small Cities for Entrepreneurs. Would you guess that four of the ten cities were in our own backyard? Logan, South Jordan, Taylorsville and Lehi to be exact! Utah has nabbed the title for Best State for Business by Forbes Magazine five plus times. Our tech sector is booming, our population is increasing and our economy is reported to be one of the fastest growing in the nation. So if you've been thinking about taking your business idea and turning it into a reality, keep reading for why now might be the time to take the plunge.
"The Utah economy is doing very well right now," said Wells Fargo economist Charlie Dougherty in a recent Deseret News article. "It's doing well for all the reasons you'd want to see an economy do well — mainly a fast-growing labor force (that) is very well-educated and young." The number of working-age adults in the state is projected to grow by 15.1 percent between 2020 and 2030, more than triple the 4.6 percent projected national population growth. So not only is there a great pool of talent to hire from, but also more people to utilize your products and services.
A Burgeoning Food Scene
It's no secret that the bulk of our clients are in the food industry, from food trucks to bakeries to BBQ to sit-down restaurants, we love the passion for the current food scene in Utah and boy is it growing! The dining climate in Salt Lake City and beyond has grown tremendously and we are seeing more cultures, cuisines and types of dining than ever before making their mark. So much so, that the Utah Office of Tourism is sending chefs, cocktail mixers to L.A. and N.Y. to pitch Salt Lake City as a foodie hotspot. Managing director of UOT was quoted as saying “Our brand around the Greatest Snow on Earth and red rock country are well-established. Now we want people to understand there also is this urban adventure that involves a lot of amazing food.” So if people are already traveling to Utah for the beauty and adventures in our state, why not add dining to the list? The picking is ripe for a company looking to capitalize on the excitement and focus on our growing culinary scene. We don't mind because we get to try a taste of the the food of every food company who applies for a loan! ;)
Diversity is on the Rise
If you have a business or are thinking of starting one that caters to our growing minority population, now is a smart time to get your plan into action. From a recent Salt Lake Tribune article we learned that new estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau show that Utah’s Hispanic population grew by 25.6% between 2010 and 2018. That’s more than twice as fast as the 10.8% growth in Utah’s non-Hispanic white population.The Asian population in Utah also grew by 48.5%; people who are “two or more races” grew 42.5%; blacks by 37.9%; and Pacific Islanders grew by 27.5%. American Indians had a slower 9.9% increase. So with all the growth and movement to Utah, there will be more unique needs for products and services catering to these specific populations and beyond.
How can we help?
The Utah Microloan Fund is here for you for the biggest hurdle in opening a new business, funding! We provide loans to small business owners up to $50,000 and accept both start-up companies as well as established enterprises. While we consider factors like credit score and collateral, a lot of what we do is based on a solid business plan and your personal character. We try to look at the big picture of your idea when it comes to businesses instead of just one factor as we want you to succeed!
In addition, whether you are looking for help on how to best apply for a loan or assistance after the fact, we have many resources to help. Through our Program Manager of Lending we provide one on one consulting to prepare you for our loan committee and get you in the best position to be approved for a loan. If you need additional help we have amazing partners who are ready and willing to provide assistance to match your unique needs. After we get you approved, we also have a dedicated Program Manager of Client Training who is there to help you with all your next steps, free of charge. Three free classes a month are also held to provide additional training and learning opportunities with topics ranging from development, financials, social media, websites and more.
So if any of the above sounds good and you are ready to start your entrepreneurial adventure let's get in touch! Write us an email, give us a call or stop by one of our loan orientations to learn more about how the UMLF can help you get your venture off the ground as we've been helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1991!