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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

Q&A with Salt Lake County's New Economic Development Director Jevon Gibb

November 30, 2020

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Jevon Gibb.jpg

Salt Lake County has a new Economic Development Director that joins our efforts on Dec. 1. Jevon Gibb will support economic recovery and long-term economic development opportunities that address continued growth.

Jevon comes to Salt Lake County from Hartford, Connecticut where he most recently served as Director of Research and Economic Development for MetroHartford Alliance. His educational background includes a BA in International Relations and Juris Doctor from University of Texas; an MBA from Tulane University; and an MPA from Harvard University.

"The thing I'm really passionate about is economic opportunity -- a lot of that comes from my family background," Jevon said. "The year I was born, our family farm in Northeast Texas went bankrupt and my family spent 18 years rebuilding a business. When I work now, I think about my mom sitting at her black roll-top desk balancing the family checkbook and trying to keep us afloat ... I ask whether my work is creating impact for families and businesses like ours. Am I making a difference? Will this create economic opportunity and help them achieve their potential?”

Jevon is excited for the leadership opportunity and to work with Mayor Jenny Wilson to guide the county's regional economic development strategy. Learn more about Jevon from our digital Q&A with him.

Q: What lead you to economic development in Utah?

A: I started in international development and worked in places like Afghanistan (as part of the U.S. Navy JAG Corps) where I didn't have the success or impact I was hoping for. So, I pivoted to regional economic development, doing research in Boston, and then working in Hartford, Connecticut. I'm so excited to come to Utah, which is a very different story than Hartford, and work on some interesting challenges and opportunities that come with progress and growth.

Q: What excites you about Salt Lake County?

A: The potential for teamwork. Economic development is a team sport. The biggest challenge is communicating with stakeholders and delivering results that work with all of those folks. We won't agree on everything, but we'll agree on more than enough to have effective teamwork.

For Salt Lake County, the biggest challenges seem like creating alignment as we prove that we can maintain both economic growth and quality of life. Growth can come with inconvenient things: traffic, increased housing prices, natural byproducts. How do we mitigate or minimize that? It's an exciting challenge!

Q: What's the one thing you look forward to once you move to Utah?

A: My wife, Kristen, and I love the region and can't wait to get out there. We just got married in September and are excited to build a family in a place that's amazing for families. Outdoors, camping, hiking with our dog Jamie. Hopefully when life becomes more normal, we'll get to dive into the community and immerse ourselves in all the amazing things going on.

Q: We were interested in how you shared some failures as learning opportunities. Which do you think will inform your new role as economic development director?

A: My failed startup and my deployment to Afghanistan. On both, I put a lot of effort into something that lacked clear deliverables and outcomes. With my startup, I spent too much time on features and target audience and didn't get a minimum viable product out quickly enough. In Afghanistan, I felt like we were building sandcastles. Those frustrations drive me forward. At some point, if you’re working with me, you'll hear me say, "What are we trying to achieve? How do we test this? How are we going to figure out if this is a good idea or a pipe dream?" Failures are only bad things if you don't learn from them.

Q: What's one thing partners and staff can share with you to help you hit the ground running?

A: How do I communicate best with you? Email? Call? Once a week? Once a month? Are you a numbers person? Do you prefer real-life examples? I’m a process and results-oriented person, so sometimes it might seem like I’m very serious. I’m just loving my work. I really care about being a good team member, though, so it’s helpful to know how you like to communicate.

Contact Jevon Gibb via email at

12 Staff Favorite Small Businesses in Salt Lake County

November 27, 2020

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Holiday Shop Local in SLCo.png

The are literally thousands of businesses in Salt Lake County that provide shopping, services, entertainment, retail goods, and more. As residents Shop Small on Nov. 28, the Office of Regional Development staff shares 12 small businesses, in no particular order, that have gained their devotion over the years. 

Hatch Family Chocolates

"Hatch's makes the best ice cream in town, not to mention incredible chocolates. The owners and staff are always incredibly helpful and good-spirited. They have been a staple in my life for a long while, but when COVID hit, they became even more integral. Walks and bike rides to Hatch's helped me and my family get through the months of social distancing. While Hatch's is officially a purveyor of fine chocolates, it's also a purveyor of joy." -- Ruedigar Matthes, Economic Development Manager

Location: 376 8th Ave. Salt Lake City

The Nest Boutique

"My wife loves this Boutique that sells women's apparel and shoes, plus pillows, candles & kitchen accessories." -- Ryan Perry, Regional Planning & Transportation Director

Location: 11259 Kestral Rise Road South Jordan

Bjorn's Brew

"Their coffee tastes amazing. Nice and strong and their prices are fantastic, plus they donate to animal shelters and sponsor a different fur baby every month." -- Erika Fihaki, Housing and Community Development Office Coordinator

Location: 2358 Foothill Dr. Salt Lake City; 2165 State St. Salt Lake City

Street Tacos SLC

"There are few places to eat high quality food after 9 or 10 p.m. across Utah. Street Tacos SLC is one of them. They have a late-night drive through with authentic and AMAZING Mexican food that my wife and I love -- burritos, tamales, and tacos. They are new to Downtown Salt Lake, and really a wonderful family-run business." -- Vikram Ravi, Housing & Community Development Impact & Implementation Coordinator

Location: 243 W 400 South Salt Lake City

Delice French Bakery & Cafe

"Fantastic eye catching bakery items, desserts. sandwiches/panini's and breakfast." -- Mike Gallegos, Housing and Community Development Director

Location: 2747 S. State St. Salt Lake City

Central Book Exchange

"Amazing little bookstore in Sugar House that I love going to! It has a charming, cozy atmosphere, they have a good selection of different genres, and the prices are reasonable. Even if you're not looking for a specific book, it's fun to just browse for 15 to 20 minutes and find hidden gems that you weren't initially looking for. Their customer service is also some of the best I've seen. I had an experience where they went out of their way to help me find a certain book that they had in their database, but that I could not find on the shelves. I don't think many stores these days would be helpful at that level, and it really impressed me." -- Todd Andersen, Municipal Economic Development Coordinator

Location: 2017 1100 East Salt Lake City

Santo Tacos

"Umm, tacos! Doesn't hurt that the family that runs it is lovely and customer service is top-notch." -- Emily Burch, Regional Development Coordinator

Location: 910 900 W Salt Lake City

China Chefs

"It's family owned and great food!" -- Ryan Perry, Director of Regional Planning & Transportation

Location: 12487 Pasture Road Riverton

The King's English Bookshop

"Books are essential to my quality of life, and bookshops are essential to a vibrant city and community. Ever since the Waking Owl bookshop went out of business when I was a child, the King's English has filled a need for me. As a place to buy gifts, take part in children's story time, or just browse the shelves for new reading recommendations, The King's English has meant so much to me. The staff are thoughtful and kind. They are a local gem." -- Ruedigar Matthes, Economic Development Manager

Location: 1511 S. 1500 East Salt Lake City

Murray Car Care Center

"I've had great experiences and have come back many times. Kelvin is a very nice and straightforward mechanic. When I needed to replace the AC unit in my older car (that turned out to be a rare unit that was only used one year in production), Kelvin spent a lot of time calling around trying to find a replacement system for me, and I appreciated it. The manager, Ming, is a really nice guy as well. They also get you in and out in a decent amount of time, so you're not bored sitting in a mechanic shop all day. Quality mechanic shops like this don't come around too often!" -- Todd Andersen, Municipal Economic Development Coordinator

Location: 5815 State St. Murray

The Store

"I love that there's a central location where I can find multiple locally-made products, from salsa and pie to cheese, coffee, and chocolates. They're the ultimate supporters of local small business." -- Jordan Carroll, Regional Development Communications Manager

Locations: 2050 E. 6200 South Holladay; 90 S. Rio Grande Salt Lake City


"The macarons are a must! Also sells cookies and other desserts." -- Ryan Perry, Director of Regional Planning & Transportation

Location: 13292 S 5600 West Herriman

Shop Local at these 2020 Holiday Markets and Programs in Salt Lake County

November 24, 2020

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'Tis the season and Salt Lake County is asking residents who've experienced lesser impacts from COVID-19 to support local, small businesses in greater amounts during their shopping for the 2020 holidays.

There are a number of markets and digital events to allow for safe shopping that means a great deal to fellow neighbors.

Digital Crawl - Facebook.jpgLocalFirst's Shop Small Digital Crawl

When: Saturday, Nov. 28


LocalFirst Utah is an independent organization that promotes locally-owned businesses. Rather than holding an in-person "crawl" from business to business, this year the organization is hosting a digital crawl where residents can easily hop from one local business's website to another's. 

This will be a great opportunity to score some locally-made gifts and services for the holidays from business owners grouped in various geographical shopping districts.

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American Express Shop Small Map - Salt Lake County

If you're searching for small businesses across all corners of Salt Lake County, American Express has made it easier for you to do so. 

From restaurants to retail and entertainment to services, residents can search the map according to location or zipcode to identify many "Shop Small" options near you.

Search the Map

Shop in Utah.jpgShop in Utah Offers

Visit dozens of companies from all across Utah that have been hit hard by COVID-19 and are providing discounts or offers through this state grant program. A list of businesses and offers can be found here.

Want to support local businesses taking extra precautions due to COVID-19 for customer and employee safety? There's a directory of businesses that have taken the "Stay Safe to Stay Open" pledge.

Holiday Pop Up Market.jpgHoliday Pop Up Market at Trolley Square

When: Dates between Nov. 27-Dec. 20, 2020

Nov. 27-29; Dec. 4-6, 11-14, 18-20

Where: 700 East entrance of Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City

This local market features local artisans. Find more details on the event's Facebook page.

Winter Farmers Market.pngDowntown Winter Farmers Market

When: Started Nov. 14, continues through Spring, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: The Gateway

This market focuses on local produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, sauces, chocolates, and more. For more information, visit the Winter Market at the Gateway.

An adjacent Holiday Art & Craft Market will also take place across from the Winter Market on Saturdays, from Nov. 14-Dec. 19.

Downtown Dollars.jpgDowntown Dollars

Residents can get more bang for their buck shopping at downtown restaurants and retail shops when they buy a digital gift card for themselves or others for $50 or $75. Those that purchase $50 will receive an extra $10, and for $75 or more, purchasers will get $25 bonus bucks.

Learn more through the FAQ by Downtown Alliance. Purchase gift cards now through this link.

Craft Lake City's Online Holiday Market Artisans

When: Nov. 1-Nov. 30

Where: Online

Find Utah-based artisans partnering with Craft Lake City, and view exhibitor websites and social media pages where you can purchase gifts.

Battlecreek Boutique

When: 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. Dec. 3-5

Where: Schmidt's Farm and Greenhouse, 9120 S. Redwood Road West Jordan

The local market will feature 70 vendors and asks that visitors observe mask and social distancing measures. For more information, visit its Facebook event page.

Garten Gatherers Holiday Market

When: Noon-3 p.m. Nov. 28

Where: Mountain West Hard Cider, 425 N. 400 West Salt Lake city

Sip, shop, and support local in one trip where a smaller number of local vendors will share their wares at Mountain West Hard Cider. For event details, visit the Facebook event.

Shop in Utah - Utah's Own.pngUtah's Own

Utah's Own is a state program promoting local producers and has various lists, from artisans and gift ideas for the holidays, to Shop in Utah offers from Utah's Own members. To find Utah producers, artists, baked goods, meats, beverages, and more, visit their website.

Shop Local Programs

Cottonwood Heights:

Downtown Salt Lake:




November Shopping Tour of Sugar House: Nov. 25-30, visit the event page


Did we miss you? Send an email to to be added to the list of markets and programs available to Salt Lake County residents this holiday season.

Safe, Lead-Free Homes More Important for Salt Lake County Residents in 2020 Than Ever Before

October 29, 2020

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Salt Lake County Lead Safe Home Program Testimonial

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Salt Lake County Urges Homeowners, Renters, and Landlords to Apply for Free Services from Lead Safe Housing Program

In 2020, homes have adapted to beyond simply where you lay your head at night or where you cook meals. Salt Lake County residents have learned to telecommute, complete schooling, tune into streamed exercise classes, play, and quarantine all within their homes – making safe homes more crucial than ever before.

At least 30,000 homes and apartments across Salt Lake County still have lead-based paint. For children, exposure to lead-based paint – through inhaling lead dust or ingesting paint chips – is known to cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slow growth and learning, and cause behavioral problems. In pregnancy, lead poisoning has been associated with gestational hypertension, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and impaired neurodevelopment. In adults, lead poisoning can manifest in high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and reduced fertility. 

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 25-31, Salt Lake County urges homeowners, landlords, and renters to take advantage of the Lead Safe Housing Program’s free services to make their homes safer.

There is no cure for lead poisoning, but fortunately, lead poisoning is 100% preventable. In 2019, Salt Lake County provided remediation for 80 homes, and has continued efforts in 2020, despite COVID-19, to help nearly 50 more homes. With a grant and partnership with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 1,400 homes in Salt Lake County have become lead safe.

Residents can qualify for free services if they meet the following conditions:

  • The property they live at was built prior to 1978

  • A member of the household is pregnant or there are kids under the age of six living at or visiting the property

  • Household income is at or below qualifying level 

“Lead exposure and poisoning are preventable, and you can take actions to protect your children and prevent them from coming into contact with lead before they are harmed. Have your home tested. Have your children tested,” Ayda Posso, Salt Lake County Lead Safe Housing Program Coordinator, said.

Residents can find out their eligibility by visiting and completing a pre-application. For questions about the Lead Safe Housing Program, Salt Lake County residents can call Carol Dyskman, (801) 468-4892, or for questions in Spanish, call Ayda Posso, (385) 315-0049.