COVID-19 Action: Proclamation Requesting Relief For Small Businesses in Utah

The Board of Utah Independent Business Coalition has issued the following Proclamation Requesting Relief For Small Businesses in Utah:

The COVID-19 crisis has hit Utah’s small business community especially hard. Facing weeks or months with limited or no revenue, many companies have been thrown into financial peril. On March 19, more than 100 people participated in the Utah Independent Business Coalition’s town hall web conference expressing fear and looking for answers regarding what they can do to save their businesses. Tens of thousands of small hospitality and retail businesses have been forced to close completely or greatly scale back operations. Yet, the monthly expenses for the businesses (commercial rent, wages, utilities, insurance, etc.) persist. As most small businesses already have loan obligations, non-loan remedies are necessary at this time.

We, the signers of this Proclamation, implore the State of Utah to help small businesses. By offering one-time emergency grants, the state can be instrumental in helping small businesses weather this economic storm.

In Utah, locally-owned, small businesses are the lifeblood of our state. These enterprises include the small stores, restaurants & cafés, manufacturing, and professional services businesses that are at the heart of our communities. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses employ a massive 46.3% of the Utah workforce, and 99.3% of Utah businesses are small businesses.

The residents of Utah will benefit greatly from keeping independently-owned, small enterprises in operation because for every dollar spent at a locally-owned business, $.55 stays in the local economy, four times more than if that same dollar was spent at a national retailer. At no previous time have so many Utah small businesses been so suddenly thrown into such peril.

The State of Utah’s rainy day fund currently stands at $550 million, key to what the governor’s budget labeled a few years ago as “an effort to be ready for an economic downturn.” We believe the state should leverage funds from the rainy day fund to help small businesses survive.

Therefore, we request that the State of Utah act without delay to help sustain the small businesses that serve our communities.

-Board of Directors, Utah Independent Business Coalition