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

Join the UIBC Board of Directors

Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) has a few new openings on our board of directors!

If you’re an owner or manager of a local, small businesses and you have the desire to help other business owners like yourself, you may be a a good candidate. Our board is comprised of some of Utah most’s innovative and accomplished small business owners — each of whom has a passion for building a stronger independent business community in Utah.

Candidates for our board of directors will have:

  • Experience as the owner or manager of a local, small business
  • The desire to actively guide the organization as a board member for a term of two (2) years
  • The time to attend monthly board meetings and volunteer 2-3 hours per month on our Advocacy, Education, or Membership Committee

If you meet these qualifications and you have an interest in serving the local, small business community, click here to send an e-mail to our board President, Doug Burton.

About Our Accomplishments

In the past two years, UIBC has:

• Hosted a monthly forum for independent business owners on COVID-19

• Written and issued a Proclamation Requesting Relief For Small Businesses in Utah (which was presented to the Governor and the Speaker of the House)

• Hosted a community event about Homelessness and It’s Impact on Local, Small Business

• Presented the Local Business SLC Mayoral Debate

Click here to learn more about UIBC and our mission.

To indicate your interest in a position on our board of directors, contact:

Doug Burton
Utah Independent Business Coalition

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.

Calling all members and friends of UIBC! Take our UIBC Planning Survey

Take our UIBC Planning Survey

The past year and a half has been perilous for independently-owned local businesses in Utah. From lockdowns to mask compliance to navigating PPP loans, many business owners were dealt the biggest challenges of their lives. Some small businesses have only survived due to the innovative thinking and sheer perseverance of their owners and employees.

I believe one result of the pandemic is that the business climate in Utah is forever changed. The UIBC board recognizes that the post-pandemic needs of many business owners have also changed. This is why we want to hear from you. If you own or help run a small business in Utah, please take a few minutes and complete our short planning survey.

Click here to take the survey now.

The UIBC board will be meeting this summer to plan for upcoming advocacy, educational, and mentoring programs. Your feedback is timely and valuable. Thanks in advance for your participation.

Doug Burton
Utah Independent Business Coalition

The New COVID Relief Package Provides Additional Help For Small Business Owners And Employees Who Need Help With Health Care Coverage


March 12, 2021

This week’s passing of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus federal relief package is good news for small business owners in Utah. Among the many benefits of the bill, small business owners or employees who get health insurance through the exchange will have more help in paying their premiums through increased subsidies.

Additionally, a provision of the bill expands the number of middle-class Utahns who can get help with the cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if premiums cost more than 8.5% of their incomes. Currently under the ACA, people who earn 400% of the federal poverty level aren’t eligible for the tax credits, also known as subsidies, that help offset the cost of buying health plans. That means a single person who earns more than about $51,000 isn’t eligible, nor is a family of three that makes about $87,000. The new legislation will mean more many more small business owners and employees qualify for a subsidy and can get coverage.

“Because so many small business owners, especially sole proprietors and companies with less than 10 employees, rely on the exchange to get health insurance for themselves and their employees, this added assistance is going to be very valuable,” says Doug Burton, President of Utah Independent Business Coalition.

Another special exception being made this year, unrelated to the COVID relief bill is that has added a special enrollment period (created by executive order), that runs through May 15th and allows anyone who needs health insurance to enroll and get coverage through the exchange. “It’s critical for business owners to make sure their employees are aware of the changes, and the opportunities they have to get access to healthcare right now,” says Rebecca Yates, owner of Ark Insurance Solutions (a member of UIBC). “For the first time ever, the federal government will pick up most of the tab, and as business owners it’s our duty to make sure our people have access to that support.”

Who will benefit the most:

  • Part-time employees, gig workers, and 1099’s. Most in these categories are not offered health insurance. Often this type of work leaves people uninsured.
  • Employees who work for small businesses. Many small businesses do not offer insurance or offer unaffordable plans. The increases subsidies and the expanded enrollment window gives these businesses an opportunity to help their employees get affordable insurance, without the company paying for it.
  • Adults that are 55 to 64. Their premiums are up to 3 times that of their younger counterparts. The new subsidy will cap premiums at 8.5% of their income, which is estimated to be a 61% savings for this demographic, according the Congressional Budget Office.

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:

UIBC’s Independent Business Forum on COVID-19 Thurs., June 4th @ 12 Noon

We want to sincerely thank everyone who attended last week’s virtual forum on COVID-19.  As was mentioned on the call, we will now host this call bi-weekly, but would still like to 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.

The next virtual meeting will be on June 18th.

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

UIBC’s Independent Business Forum on COVID-19, Thurs., May 21, Wrap up


We want to sincerely thank Adam Affleck and everyone who attended last week’s virtual forum on COVID-19.  As was mentioned on the call, we will now host this call bi-weekly, with the next call scheduled for June 4th but would still like to continue this conversation throughout the week on our Facebook forum:

Adam Affleck, attorney at Richards Brandt Miller Nelson law firm discussed topics on:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Fiduciary duties

You can access the video from May 21st here:


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

The next virtual meeting will be on June 4th.  Click here to register to join the meeting.

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