Javascript is required to view this site. Skip to main content
Text:    -   | Translate

Salt Lake County Regional Development News

Online Sales During the Pandemic Continue to Grow in Salt Lake County

December 21, 2020

Email This
October 2020 nonstore retailer.JPG
In the 3rd Quarter of 2020, Salt Lake County continued to see an increase in taxable sales despite the ongoing pandemic, even surpassing 2019 taxable sales for the same time period.
The Utah State Tax Commission released on-time filings for October 2020 taxable sales last week. Here are a few insights from that new data in the Salt Lake County Economic Info Portal.

Nonstore Retailer Sales Continue to Grow

Perhaps it's no surprise that during the pandemic and a time when more residents and consumers are staying home, that online purchases have increased in 2020. October 2020 taxable sales in Salt Lake County show the continuation of that trend with a 36% growth amounting to a total of $178.2 million.
Application of the "nonstore retailer" tax NAICS code for businesses that have both physical stores and online sales depends on whether the business has a separate account for online business or not. If a business doesn't have a separate account, then sales -- including ones made online -- are likely categorized under whatever type of business is conducted at the store and not "nonstore retailer." 
Online sales are typically sourced to the buyer's location, even if the store has other locations.
October Taxable Sales by Greatest decrease.JPG

Industry Decreases

The industries that continue to suffer the greatest decreases in taxable sales dollars are:
  1. Accommodations ($27 million) 53% decrease
  2. Food Services and Drinking Places ($23 million) 12% decrease
  3. Information ($21 million) 20% decrease
  4. Arts, Entertainment, Recreation ($16 million) 58% decrease
  5. Retail-Clothing ($7 million) 9% decrease
The biggest percentage changes in taxable sales for October
  1. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil & Gas Extraction (62%) at $7 million
  2. Arts, Entertainment, Recreation (28%) $11 million
  3. Accommodation (53%) $23 million
  4. Educational Services (43%) $2 million
  5. Information (20%) $85 million

October Taxable Sales by Greatest decrease.JPG


For more data and local economic indicators, visit

From the Planetarium to Homelessness Plans, Kerry Steadman Retires from Salt Lake County with 40+ Years of Service

December 17, 2020

Email This

Kerry Steadman (1).png

In 1976, Kerry Steadman started a graduate internship with Salt Lake County social services, under the direction of Karen Shepherd, earning about $250 a month.

It spurred a celebrated 40+ year career in public service to Salt Lake County residents, a rare achievement.

Across those five decades, Kerry served in appointed and merit positions, including Director of the Hansen (now Clark) Planetarium, Associate Director of Administrative Services, Commission Staff Manager, Deputy Auditor, Associate Director of Human Services, Director of Human Services, and Associate Director of Aging Services.

He also worked several years for the State of Utah as Director of the State Department of Human Services, but returned to the County following that role.

For the past 15 years, Kerry has focused on housing and homelessness as Associate Director of Housing and Community Development. The challenges for this population, whose needs have swelled in recent years, has been deeply felt by Kerry. A particular moment stands out to him from more than a decade ago, although it could have appeared in 2020.

“I was reading the paper one day and read a Want Ad from a mother in the housing section. She was looking for an apartment for her daughter,” Kerry said.

‘Daughter looking for apt, needs to live downtown. Low income, doesn’t have much money and had struggles in life, but she is worth saving and I need some help. She can be fixed, she’s not a lost cause.’

“That struck me, a mother publicly advertising in the Want Ad section needing some help for her daughter. There are people out there in that boat and we need to help them. Those people, we need to remember they are in situations that are tough.”

Finding solutions to challenging issues like housing stability and homelessness was made a little bit easier, because, Kerry emphasized he always found people in local government who had a passion for what they did and a vision that allowed them to deliver services in such a way that they were making a positive impact on residents of Salt Lake County.

“There were always dedicated, hard working people day in and day out.”

For newer public employees, Kerry’s advice is to stop and listen -- and be willing to take a risk. Some might be asked to do a project that’s outside your comfort zone; Kerry had that moment when asked to direct the Planetarium.

“I told them I don’t even know if I can name the planets in order,” Kerry said. “But you learn to get out of your comfort zone and realize you can learn a lot of different things. Working on a tough project and everyone’s holding back? Jump in! You learn a lot and meet a lot of people. You’ve got the support of others; you’re not a lone ranger.”

What’s in retirement for Kerry? Likely continued service in the community on boards or volunteering. He especially looks forward to spending more time with his family of 10 kids, 23 grandkids, and one great-grand kid.

The Debt Load Salt Lake County Businesses Carry and How PPP Loan Forgiveness Can Help.

December 15, 2020

Email This

COW PPP Forgiveness_2020 Dec 15_Page_3.jpg

The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) deployed 20,381 loans to Salt Lake County businesses in the early months of the pandemic.

From April 3-Aug. 8, small businesses in Salt Lake county borrowed $1.8 to $3.5 billion dollars.

Utah as a state saw a total of 52,275 PPP loans approved totalling $5.3 billion; the average loan was $101,000. Salt Lake County entities accounted for about 40% of the loans.

These numbers do not include Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), which totaled 22,221 statewide amounting to $1.3 billion -- likely another $555 million in loans carried by SLCo businesses.

It is important ask: What debt load will our small businesses be carrying due to the pandemic?

As the pandemic stretches into a new year, businesses can find further relief by applying for PPP Loan forgiveness to avoid taking on additional debt caused by the pandemic.

It is critical that small businesses stabilize and have the ability to grow their operations and prosper going forward; they are a key part of Salt Lake County's diverse economy. 

Applying for Forgiveness

Borrowers can apply for forgiveness up until the maturity date of the loan. About 16% of businesses in the U.S. have already received a forgiveness decision as of Nov. 22. Approximately 69% of loans nationally were under $50,000.

COW PPP Forgiveness_2020 Dec 15_Page_4.jpgTo apply for PPP Loan forgiveness, businesses must:

  1. Contact your lender and complete the appropriate form. Your lender should be able to provide guidance on the type of form and how to submit the application.
  2. Compile documentation. Visit for a full list of requirements.
  3. Submit the completed application to your lender. Make sure to address any of their extra questions or additional documentation they need from your business. Your lender will notify you of your application status and the SBA's decision.

Questions? Our Business Relief Hotline is happy to help. Call 385-468-4011, M-F.

Salt Lake County Regional Planning & Transportation Welcomes Toby Lowry as New GIS Analyst

December 11, 2020

Email This

Toby Lowry Web.png

Salt Lake County Regional Development’s Award-Winning Planning & Transportation department welcomed a new GIS Analyst, Toby Lowry, this week.

A Utah native, Toby graduated from the University of Utah in 2019 with a degree in Urban Ecology – planning with a focus on the environment. His interest in equity and the possibility of creating opportunities for more people and improve lives at the same time was a significant motivator for his career path.

“I’m excited to work for an organization focused on improving situations for people and the environment, and that’s true for the Office of Regional Development and Planning & Transportation. Their goals are in line with my goals – to help people,” Toby said.

As a Transportation Planner and GIS Analyst, Toby will create maps and enable clear communication of different projects as they develop across the county. His goal is to make maps and documents for projects that are easy to read and understand so residents understand future Salt Lake County plans and maps. 

“I like that it requires collaboration from a lot of different people and different organizations,” Toby said. “At Salt Lake County we work with different cities in the County and organizations like UTA and UDOT. That kind of collaboration is exciting; it requires problems in planning consult with a variety of perspectives to find solutions that work best for the most people.”

Toby joins the County from Colliers International, where he worked as a GIS Analyst to collect geospatial data to inform brokers and clients to make informed decisions, as well as creating different kinds of maps and materials to provide easily digestible material.

Toby takes on the position most recently held by Jared Stewart.

When he’s not assisting with planning and analyzing map data, Toby enjoys doing all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking to Lake Blanche to camping and is talented in woodworking and has a soft spot for brownies.

To connect with Toby, he can be reached at or by phone at 385-468-4872.