Salt Lake County Regional Development News
March 30, 2021
Salt Lake County is concerned about a K-shaped economic recovery from the pandemic, where some communities recover more slowly than others, and how this would make opportunity gaps that existed prior to the pandemic even more severe.
As a part of Salt Lake County’s continuous and evolving economic recovery efforts, a new program — Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program — is being launched to address gaps in connecting diverse business owners with existing resources, which have otherwise remained underutilized or unknown
County leaders want to leverage community organizations’ relationships to help connect diverse businesses with the support they need to recover from the pandemic’s effects and achieve long-term success.
“We believe community partners have the existing relationships, established networks, and cultural awareness necessary to effectively assist diverse business owners experiencing the devastating financial impacts of the pandemic, and this program will facilitate that one-on-one connection,” said Samantha Mary Thermos, Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program Manager.
The program will specifically fund partners that work with businesses in communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps, including: African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian-Pacific, Subcontinent Asian American, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, socially or economically disadvantaged businesses, and businesses located in areas with lower economic opportunity.
“I’m proud of the high levels of economic opportunity Salt Lake County has achieved, but we still have important work to do around inclusion,” said Jevon Gibb, Salt Lake County Economic Development Director. “Some communities are getting left behind, and COVID-19 has made that trend worse. All too often, this lack of opportunity goes overlooked. We’re excited to work with partners to help these communities achieve their potential, which will create a stronger economy for everybody in Salt Lake County.”
Applications are open March 29 - April 7, 2021. A recording of a webinar, and accompanying slides, reviewing the program are available at slco.org/covid-19/economy/grants/.
March 24, 2021
Rental Assistance is available now for Salt Lake County residents through rentrlief.utah.gov for those who meet a defined list of eligibility criteria.
But what do landlords need to know about the Utah program, especially if their tenants qualify or are applying?
1. The rental assistance covers current rent, as well as arrears AND potential future months' needs
If your tenant has been behind on rent any time since March 2020 due to COVID-19 reasons, this rental assistance can fulfill those needs, as well as any current, or future three months of rent for termed leases. Residents can get multiple months of rental assistance. This rental assistance can cover the following expenses:
- Past-due rent
- Security deposit
- Utilities, including internet and energy costs
2. As a landlord you will be asked to provide some official documentation
To certify the need for rental assistance, landlords will be asked to provide certain documents to their tenants, including:
- Landlord W-9
- A ledger showing outstanding rent and/or other feeds
If you are concerned about sharing sensitive information and have questions or want to confirm a request for information is not a scam, that's understandable. Call 801-526-9666.
3. You can apply to receive rental assistance funds on behalf of your tenant
Perhaps your tenant hasn't pursued an application or has experienced difficulties applying during COVID-19. If this is the case and your tenant meets eligibility requirements, landlords can apply for benefits on behalf of tenants. You will need the following documents to complete an application at rentrelief.utah.gov:
- Tenant Income Verification
- Lease Agreement (include all pages)
- Landlord W-9
- Past Due Rent Documentation in the form of a monthly itemized ledger
- Past Due Utility Notice or Utility Shut Off Notice and Internet Bill (if applicable)
- Eviction Notice (if applicable)
If you're a landlord applying for your tenant, provide the Tenant Application Form at https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19/lhaptenant.pdf. You will upload all of these documents online through the application portal.
4. Funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program will come directly to you
After a complete application is filed and approved (it can take as much as two weeks due to demand), the rental assistance will be paid out directly to landlords — not tenants.
If you are aware of potential fraud, waste, or abuse related to this rental assistance program please email email@example.com or call 801-526-9666.
Dr. Susan Madsen: How the Pandemic is Affecting Women in Utah and What Local Government & Orgs Can Do About It
March 18, 2021
Dr. Susan Madsen, director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project at Utah State University, spoke to Salt Lake County COVID-19 economic recovery work group on Wednesday about the impact of the pandemic on women — and women in Utah.
Dr. Madsen presented a significant amount of national data, including from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
Women of Color
"Everybody who is vulnerable is more vulnerable. Everything that is unequal is more unequal..." said Claudia Geist, associate dean for research in the U of U's School for Cultural and Social Transformation.
An exacerbated childcare crisis. Utah was already ranked as one of the three worst states in the U.S. for lack of access to licensed care. Women have consistently listed this as a top challenge and concern amid the pandemic, with additional childcare or homeschooling responsibilities.
Progress in women's careers from the past 5 years erased. Women are more likely to have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic. Two million more have reported to be considering leave of absence or leaving their jobs altogether. All of this could translate into fewer women staying on track to be future leaders.
Burnout/Mental Health/Anxiety — These three challenges have also been among the biggest for women during the pandemic.
What Governments & Organizations Can Do
- Initiate public policy
- Set an example in words and actions
- Shift policies and programs to meet employee needs
- Are you taking a look at performance reviews?
- Increase healthcare coverage
- Take steps to minimize gender bias
- Improve economic conditions
- Engage in childcare conversations
- Make work more sustainable
- Focus on shifting norms around flexibility
- Expand paid leave
- Raise awareness and provide education
- Understand research, resources and training already available
- Implement effective diversity, equity, inclusion efforts
- Continue offering women's professional development
View the entire presentation and data Dr. Madsen shared with us. Expect more Utah data to be released by the Utah Women & Leadership Institute in early April! You can learn more about women and girls in Utah at utwomen.org.