Why is Utah Home to So Many Great Businesses?
. . . because Utah is great for business
by Joel Carson
I hate to brag, but man Utah has attracted some stellar businesses in recent years. Utah is my home and I have watched all different kinds of industries grow (and die here). I couldn’t be more proud of the healthy mix of businesses our economy and therefore our residents enjoy today.
Forbes said it in December and I don’t mind reiterating the publication’s position: Utah is our nation’s best state for business. If you’re looking for a Utah home, you can rest assured this position is one the state intends maintain; after all, Forbes has arrived at the same conclusion three years in a row.
Utah was featured in a Forbes online article, “Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List of the Best States for Business,” by staff writer Kurt Badenhausen, Dec. 12, 2012. In his summary Badenhausen recognized the state’s ability to woo companies like:
Granted, there are many, many more (too many to mention here). These types of businesses are highly desirable and a great boon to the employment rate in this western state.
Forbes points to Utah’s “young, vibrant workforce.” With a median age of 29, the state’s workforce is the youngest in the nation.
The fact that a third of the state’s workforce is bilingual did not go unnoticed, “This is largely a result of the state’s large population of Mormons, many of whom spend time as missionaries overseas. It is an attractive benefit for companies in an increasingly global economy and has helped lure large U.S. companies with international operations . . .” Badenhausen said.
Economic development gurus who make their homes in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas have made a concerted effort to increase international trade – and it has worked. According to Badenhausen, “Utah has doubled its international trade over the past five years and this year  it is up nearly 40 percent.”
When it comes to attracting big business, the fewer regulatory demands, the better. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has focused on reducing government regulations according to the Mercatus Center’s Freedom in the 50 States study, “Utah is less likely to reward frivolous lawsuits or hand out excessive judgments.” Co-author Jason Sorens co-authored the report. He said, “Utah’s health insurance regulations are generally light, resulting in less costly policies and more choice for people in the small group and individual markets.”
The Forbes report also lauded Utah for low energy costs, 29 percent below the national average, and a AAA bond rating from the three rating agencies.
The publication’s state rankings were based on the following vital factors for business:
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