PAST EVENT: You’re Invited to the 2022 Legislative Wrap-up Breakfast

You’re Invited to the 2022 Legislative Wrap-up Breakfast

Now that the dust has settled from the 2022 Utah State Legislative Session, the impact on local, small business is coming into sharp focus. Wondering how the bills that were passed will affect your Utah business? Join us on Thurs., March 31st at 8am for our Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast. UIBC Advocacy Chair Carol Elliott and Co-Chair Jon Parry will welcome special guest speaker Frank Pignanelli (Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser), who will share his own humorous take on the session’s high (and low) points.

Event Details

Location: FAV Bistro, 1984 E Murray Holladay Rd, Holladay, UT

Date & Time: March  31, 2022 – 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM

Admission: Tickets are $22/person for UIBC members and $25/person for non-members and includes a buffet breakfast.

Order of Events

7:45 am – Check in & light breakfast buffet is served

8:00 am – Welcome & Introductions – Carol Elliott & Jon Parry

8:05 am – Frank Pignanelli – 2022 Legislature Wrap-Up

9:00 am – Q & A

9:25 am – Closing remarks

9:30 am – Event concludes

Our Guest Speaker

Frank Pignanelli, Partner, Foxley & Pignanelli

Frank Pignanelli

Frank Pignanelli is one of the youngest Utahns ever elected to state office, where he served in the House of Representatives for 10 years. As a Democrat, he spent 6 of those years as Minority Leader. Frank was a practicing attorney and active in general litigation until 1993 when he was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.

Frank also serves on the Advisory Board for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at The University of Utah and The University of Utah Venture Fund (An investment firm that partners with well-known venture capital firms to provide college students with unique opportunities.). Frank is a recipient of Emeritus-Lifetime membership in the Utah Independent Business Coalition (formerly Vest Pocket), and is the longest serving member of the Utah Symphony & Opera Board.

Additionally, Mr. Pignanelli writes a Sunday column on political activities in Utah for the state’s second-largest daily newspaper, the Deseret News. Also, Pignanelli is a frequent speaker and political commentator for various civic and business gatherings throughout the state.



Event Recap: UIBC and the Wasatch Business Series: Cybersecurity For Small Business

On March 15, 2022, Utah Independent Business Coalition and the South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce co-presented Cybersecurity for Small Business, at the headquarters of Attendees gained practical knowledge for protecting their company website, critical systems, and sensitive customer information from digital attacks.

Click below to watch the event.

Special thanks to Pat’s BBQ for providing a delicious lunch for our event!


Ben Clapp

Ben Clapp,
Compliance Advisor, Wasatch IT

Ben grew up in a small town in Montana and has found his home in a few different mountain towns over the past 13 years. One of which is Bozeman, where he got his bachelor’s at Montana State University. Ben currently resides in Salt Lake City with his wife Courtney. Ben also enjoys giving back to the community and is always looking for ways to enrich the lives around him. He is a former foster parent, a non-profit board member, and a mentor to young leaders and couples.

Professionally, Ben has experience in developing organizational structures, teams, and workflows. He has engaged in the process of recruiting, developing, and mentoring teams of leaders. After transitioning to the technology sector Ben has applied his skills to developing a healthy cybersecurity culture, optimizing security structures, leading a team of security technicians, and developing solutions to help clients with their compliance needs. He is currently the Compliance Advisor at Wasatch IT, a locally owned managed service provider that serves as the I.T. department for over 500 organizations.

Doug BurtonDoug Burton,
Owner, Saltworks

Doug has more than two decades of experience in developing & managing websites and content for digital platforms. Doug has developed content for some of the world’s top brands including Quaker Oatmeal, Kroger, Dove Soap, Huggies Diapers, and Clorox. His company, Saltworks, is a full service digital marketing and web development agency. Doug is also President of Utah Independent Business Coalition.


Wasatch Business SeriesThe Wasatch Business Series is a collaborative effort that is focused on bringing impactful networking and educational opportunities to business owners across the Wasatch Front.

The Wasatch Business Series is brought to you by the Utah Independent Business Coalition, South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber, Holladay Chamber of Commerce, Sugar House Chamber of Commerce, Millcreek Business Council, Murray Chamber of Commerce, Utah Black Chamber, and the Cottonwood Heights Business Association.


Wasatch I.T. is Utah’s largest locally owned Managed I.T. & Network Services company, serving as the I.T. department to over five hundred businesses annually. Wasatch I.T. provides remote and scheduled on-site support nationally, with regular on-site support for businesses along Utah’s Wasatch Front, Southern Utah, Boise, Idaho, Murray, St. George, Cedar City, UT & Mesquite and Denver, Colorado.


Join us for UIBC’s Holiday Party & Fundraiser on Tuesday, Dec. 7th at Cactus & Tropicals!

Join us for Utah Independent Business Coalition’s Annual Holiday Party & Fundraiser, Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 7:30PM at Cactus and Tropicals in Salt Lake.

Come mix and mingle with UIBC’s community of local, small business owners to celebrate the season with an evening of great food, drink, and conversation.

Laziz Kitchen will provide delicious Modern Mediterranean Cuisine and Sugar House Distillery will have their new line of canned cocktails!

As a fundraiser for UIBC’s Advocacy programs, we invite you to bid in our silent auction! Silent auction items will include:

  • 1 year of Online Cooking Classes ($95 value) from Salt Lake Culinary Education (Slice)
  • Tailor Cooperative Custom Suit (up to $950 value)
  • Workshop SLC $100 Gift Card
  • Gift Card from Mountainside Spa
  • Cooking Class Gift Certificate from Caputo’s Market & Deli
  • Clothing from Kuhl Clothing
  • Register now and spend an evening with your friends at Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC).

Bidding for the silent auction opens at 7:15 pm and will close at 8:45 pm. Silent auction winners to be announced at 9:00 pm

Special thanks to our generous sponsors for this event: Cactus & Tropicals, Laziz Kitchen, Sugar House Distillery, and Gaetano’s Sub Shop.

Tickets are just $35 for non-members and $25 for members.

Register Now

Where: Cactus & Tropicals,  2735 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City

When: Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Lunch and Learn: The Millcreek City Center Project

Wasatch Business Series: Lunch and Learn – The Millcreek City Center Project

The Wasatch Business Series is hosting a lunch and learn about Millcreek’s City Center project, Millcreek Common.

This event is presented by Millcreek Business Council

Register Now

A few years ago, Millcreek discovered a major fault line that ran through a prime developable space (the highly trafficked area between Richmond St and Highland Drive north of 3300 South), rendering large areas of it undevelopable for building office and retail space. Instead of giving up on the area, the City determined to turn lemons into lemonade by creating a large, attractive community space that would become the new City Center.

The heart of the Millcreek City Center will consist of an open plaza surrounded by retail. The plaza space will be programmed continually throughout the year, which will draw people from all over the region.

Come enjoy food from ChaiYo Thai to Go as you learn about Millcreek’s new City Center and walk the site!

Register Now

Homelessness and its Impact on Local, Small Business

The problem of homelessness negatively impacts our entire community – including local, small-businesses. Homeless encampments near retail businesses and restaurants present difficulties for small business owners who are already struggling with labor shortages and ongoing challenges related to COVID. On August 25th, Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) presented a virtual discussion on practical and compassionate solutions to address the homeless problem while safeguarding the health of Utah small businesses.

Our guest speakers were Allison Dupler, Community Engagement Coordinator with Salt Lake City’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) and Dennis Faris, Business and Community Engagement Liaison for Homeless Outreach Program at Volunteers of America. UIBC Board of Directors’ member Bob Mack also details his experiences in working with local organizations to resolve the problems stemming from an encampment near his place of business.

You can view a video of the entire event above.


Dennis FarisDennis Faris, Business and Community Engagement Liaison – Homeless Outreach Program, Volunteers of America

Dennis Faris works as the Business and Community Engagement Liaison for Volunteers of American Utah, working in close collaboration with Salt Lake City government and other homeless service providers to assist all residents with mitigating the effects of homelessness.

Allison DuplerAllison Dupler, Community Engagement Coordinator – Salt Lake City’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART)

Allison works to mitigate concerns of businesses related to individuals experiencing homelessness and find a solution that meets the needs of the entire community. Allison also coordinates logistics for monthly Resource Fairs and Kayak Court outreach events which are part of the Community Commitment Program. Prior to joining the HEART Team, Allison worked with the City’s Public Services Department.

“Unwind” with UIBC After Work on Thurs., July 22nd at 5:30PM


Live events are back! Join us for Unwind, on Thursday, July 22nd from 5:30-7:30pm! Unwind is the premier after-work social event for local business owners — and it’s a great way to relax at the end of the workday. Unlike our educational events, Unwind is always free to attend and is open to anyone 21 and over. No need to register. Feel free to drop by for a drink and some good conversation with like-minded entrepreneurs and local, independent business owners.

Join us for “Unwind” at The Ruin (1215 Wilmington, SLC). We’d love to see you there.

Join Us For UIBC’s Economic Outlook for Small Businesses + Legislative Wrap Up on March 25th!

Economic Outlook for Small Businesses

Register Now
Small business owners in Utah are pinning our hopes on a fast economic recovery this year! Join Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) on Thursday, March 25th at 12 noon to hear economic insights from Rep. Robert Spendlove. Representative Spendlove proudly serves in the Utah House of Representatives, where he was elected in 2014. He represents District 49, covering parts of Sandy and Cottonwood Heights cities. He is the Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and serves on the Revenue and Taxation Committee, and the Social Services Appropriations Committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Tax Reform Task Force. Professionally, Robert is a Senior Vice President and the Economic and Public Policy Officer for Zions Bank. In this capacity he monitors and reports on economic indicators and public policy developments for the bank.

Also, UIBC Advocacy Chair Carol Elliott and Co-Chair Jon Parry will recap this year’s Utah Legislative Session, with insights for local business owners.

This collaborative virtual event will held via Zoom on March 25th from 12 noon to 1pm.

FREE Registration is required – Register now as attendance will be limited to 100 people!

Register Now

Event Recap: Independent Business Forum on COVID-19 – Economic Outlook Edition – Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

Utah small businesses have spent much of the past ten months scrambling to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. While the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet won, with a vaccine becoming more widely available, we’re setting our hopes for a good year of economic recovery for Utah. 2021 will be the year of transition. As business owners, what should we expect and plan for?

At UIBC’s February 25, 2021 event we heard economic insights from Natalie Gochnour, Associate Dean David Eccles School of Business & Chief Economist for the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce.  We also heard from  Brad Baldwin, President & CEO of First Utah Bank, who presented information and fielded questions about the availability of funding through SBA and other institutions.


Natalie GochnourNatalie Gochnour, Associate Dean David Eccles School of Business

Natalie Gochnour serves as an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as the chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. In these roles she helps connect the Eccles School with the broader business community and shares applied economic and business research.

Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business experience. From 2006 to 2013 she guided the public policy work of the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest business association, representing 7,700 member businesses. She helped create and lead the Downtown Rising movement, helped pass a ballot initiative to secure funds for the expansion of Utah’s TRAX light rail and FrontRunner commuter rail service, and assisted with the drafting and promotion of The Utah Compact.

During Gochnour’s state service she advised Utah governors Bangerter, Leavitt and Walker, and served as the media spokesperson for the governor’s office during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a deputy to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2012, Gochnour was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for business from the YWCA Salt Lake City. She has also been honored by Wasatch Women magazine as the “Wasatch Women of the Year,” an honor bestowed to women in the community who elevate the stature of women and serve the community good.

Gochnour serves on the Utah Department of Transportation Commission, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, Dominion Energy (Western), World Trade Center Utah, O.C. Tanner, and Primary Children’s Hospital Boards. She is vice-chair of Envision Utah, one of the nation’s most successful quality growth partnerships.

Gochnour is a sought after public speaker with the unique ability to translate policy-speak into everyday language. A native Utahn, her professional focus and passion are public policies that promote balance, civility and prosperity. She shares her views in regular columns in both Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News. She is also a co-host of KCPW’s (Salt Lake City’s public radio station) award-winning program, Both Sides of the Aisle, where she represents the political middle.

Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah. She teaches Public Finance for the Economics Department and serves on the Dean’s Team in the David Eccles School of Business.

When she is not working, you can find her cycling along the Jordan River Parkway, spending time with her two children and son-in-law, or up on the slopes skiing with her husband of 34 years.

Brad BaldwinBrad Baldwin, President and CEO at First Utah Bank

Brad Baldwin is President and CEO of First Utah Bank, a full service commercial bank ( First Utah Bank specializes in commercial loans and lines of credit, SBA and USDA lending, construction, equipment leasing, and treasury management services. Brad was previously President of Bank One, Utah, prior to its acquisition by JP Morgan Chase. Baldwin is an Utah licensed attorney with experience in banking, financial services and real estate and represented financial institutions, corporations, and real estate owners and developers. Baldwin serves on the Utah State Board of Financial Institutions and the Utah Bankers Association. He is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Bank Advisory Council and a member of the Utah State Bar.

Baldwin has experience in Commercial Real Estate and was the agent in complex investment transactions. He represented a Utah real estate multiple listing service with 12,000 Realtor members. He has served as an expert witness in banking and real estate cases.

He has been on the board of numerous public, private, and civic organizations, including the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Ballet West, Economic Development Corporation, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Salt Lake, Pioneer Theatre, the Salt Lake Country Club, and The First Tee of Utah.

Specialties: Banking, Law, Real Estate, Business Management and Corporate Governance. Experience in HR management, leadership, strategic planning, budgeting, compliance with laws, policies and procedures, and written and oral communications.

Finding Inspiration: Utah Small Business that Pivoted, Reinvented, & Persevered to Weather the Pandemic

Event Recap: “Finding Inspiration: Utah Small Business that Pivoted, Reinvented, & Persevered to Weather the Pandemic”

The past year was brutal for many Utah small businesses. While some small businesses sadly ceased to exist, many businesses made it through, and some have even thrived against all odds. How did they do it? What made the difference? What can we learn from these businesses to apply to our own businesses in 2021?

On January 21st, 2021, UIBC co-hosted the first Wasatch Business Series event of 2021. “Finding Inspiration: Utah Small Business that Pivoted, Reinvented, & Persevered to Weather the Pandemic ” featured local business owners that have saved and even grown their businesses by:

  • Pivoting to a new business model
  • Introducing a new product line/service
  • Partnering/joining forces with another business
  • Investing in new infrastructure/methods to deliver products and services
  • Perseverance and savvy maneuvering

Speakers included:

Lunch and a Shout-Out to Support Your Favorite Local, Neighborhood Restaurant

To help support locally-owned restaurants and cafes, we encouraged attendees to order lunch from a favorite local eating establishment to enjoy during the event. The following is a list of local restaurants that attendees sent a shout out to:

Sugar House Coffee
The Dodo
Diversion Eatery
Pat’s BBQ
Crowne Burger
Cucina in The Avenues
Tandoor Indian Restaurant
Peppercini’s American Eatery
Roots Café
Wasatch Brewery
Dragon Diner in Millcreek
Fav Bistro
La Barba Coffee & Breakfast Tacos (Austin style)
Yoko Ramen
SOMI in Sugar House

This Wasatch Business Series Event is hosted and presented by:

The Wasatch Business Series is a collaborative effort that is focused on bringing impactful networking and educational opportunities to business owners across the Wasatch Front.

UIBC’s Independent Business Forum on COVID-19 Thurs., June 18th @ 12 Noon

We want to sincerely thank Blake Thomas, Director of Regional Economic Development for Salt Lake County, and everyone who attended last week’s virtual forum on COVID-19. The topic was Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant for businesses affected by COVID-19.

You can view the video from June 18th here:

Until the next forum, we can continue this conversation throughout the week on our Facebook forum:

Special thanks to Salt Lake County Economic Development for the sponsorship of UIBC’s educational events.

P.S. You can support our mission by joining UIBC. Click here for more information: