SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)-The first week of May is National Small Business Week, which honors those who come to life with new ideas and grow our economy.
The week celebrates the critical contribution that entrepreneurs and small business owners make to our economy.
In Salt Lake City, 92% of businesses are classified as “small”, meaning they have 50 employees or fewer.
Brian Carlson of ABC4 sat down with Salt Lake City’s Director of Business Development for the Department of Economic Development, Roberta Reichgelt, to discuss small businesses in Utah.
Reichgelt said that with more than 17,000 businesses in Salt Lake City, and 92% of those considered small businesses, we are on par with the rest of the country, which he said is 96% small businesses.
The number is surprising for most, especially since COVID-19 has had a huge impact on small businesses. Reichgelt said that recovery from a pandemic depends on which industry you come from.
He said the food and beverage industry was the hardest hit, as well as arts/entertainment and hospitality. He continued, “Many are still struggling, and may still be struggling in 2024.”
“It’s really important that we want to pay particular attention to those and support those businesses.”
Reichgelt said inflation as well as labor shortages are affecting business, but the community is resilient, the mayor is supportive, and relief from the government has also been a factor.
Reichgelt said this about financial aid:
“Initially when we get recovery funding, it will come in the forms of emergency loans, things like that to keep businesses afloat until they get SBA (Small Business Administration) funding. Now, the funding we get, we see that it will go to supporting organizations that support local businesses, such as our business centers, our diverse rooms, and if there are any grants that come out, that will actually be directed at business has not yet received any kind of funding. ”
He said that with the booming job market in Salt Lake City, our small businesses are seeing the benefits of the influx of workers coming in for those jobs.