Yong Itto, owner of Itto Sushi in Midvale, prepares sushi for a takeaway order on March 25, 2020. Last week, the Utah branch of the National Federation for Independent Business released the voting records of state lawmakers’ votes on seven issues of commercial importance assumed during the 2021-2022 session of the Utah legislature, indicating that Utah may be the nation’s most small business-friendly state. (Kristin Murphy, Desert News)
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SALT LAKE CITY – Silicon Slopes draws most of the fanfare and headlines, but Beehive State is also home to a vibrant small business scene that is bolstered by legislation designed to support small businesses.
This notion was supported when the Utah branch of the National Federation for Independent Business last week released voting records of state legislators on seven issues of small business importance taken during the 2021-2022 session of the Utah legislature.
“The story I think our voting record tells is that Utah is, on the whole, a very small business-friendly state and we want people to know that,” said Casey Hill, Utah state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Hill said 14 senators and 36 representatives achieved 100% perfect voting records.
“This means that of the seven bills we included in our voting tracker, they voted 100%, seven by seven on those bills,” Hill said, adding that there were numerous additional politicians who were six on. seven or not qualify on the scorecard because they were unable to vote.
Having a legislature made up of people who “are not professional politicians, but people who pass laws and then have to go back to their district and live with the laws they passed,” is a big reason Utah is so small. to business, Hill said.
“When 74% of the entire legislature has small business voting records of 80% or more, I believe any other state would have a hard time matching or beating it,” Hill said.
He added that many of the individuals who pass the laws are themselves small business owners or have been involved in small businesses in some way and on a personal level.
“They understand the challenges a small business owner faces,” Hil said.
Nine other senators and 18 representatives amassed voting records in the 80th percentile, while the lowest score in the Senate was 71% and the lowest score in the House was 43%.
“Overall, our state is very supportive of small businesses and has done a lot to try to reduce taxes, reduce regulatory burdens and drive business growth in Utah,” Hill said. “You see it reflected in our state’s economy … we came back from the pandemic faster than most states and we came back stronger than most states.”
This has led to problems stemming from a thriving corporate landscape that the Utahns are only too familiar with lately: growth.
“The growth and needs that are created as a result of growth through infrastructure and some of the work challenges we face are all really positive problems we have and reflect a legislature that has made some great decisions in recent years,” he said. said Hill.
However, a growing population that poses a challenge for Utah’s counties, cities, and towns is also a challenge for small businesses.
A growing population can also bring other problems out of woodworking. For Utah, it looks like a rising cost of living and a super competitive real estate market.
“One of the challenges small business owners face … they want to create a job and they want to grow and they want to take their business to the next level, but find someone who can afford to live in the area where their business is located. localized can be a significant challenge, ”Hill said.
Finding ways to lower the cost of housing will be key to increasing small business success in Utah, he said.
“Those people who want to work for (small businesses), make sure they have the ability to afford to live in our state,” Hill said.