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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

4 Things You Didn't Know About Salt Lake County Economic Development


May 12, 2021

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It's Economic Development Week, so to mark the occasion, we're sharing four facts you might not have known about Salt Lake County Economic Development.

A regional approach to economic development means working cooperatively to meet needs and ensure the economic well-being of all the county's residents.

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1. Economic Development staff work to support economic growth in the Municipal Services District (MSD)

The Municipal Services District serves the metro townships of Copperton, Emigration Canyon, Kearns, Magna, White City, and the unincorporated communities.

One example of how Salt Lake County pushes and prioritizes growth in these communities can be seen in the events of 2020. Salt Lake County opened the Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) to disperse millions in CARES Act COVID-19 relief to small businesses. Salt Lake County Economic Development personally called more than 200 local businesses in MSD communities to encourage them to apply. Ultimately, 45 businesses in the MSD were approved for SBIG grants totalling more than $630,000.

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2. Economic Development facilitates the cleanup of contaminated land through EPA grants and loan funds

Economic Development works with partners to identify, assess, and facilitate environmental cleanup of polluted properties, from old gas stations and dry cleaners to auto shops and former manufacturing sites. 

In May 2021, the County was awarded an additional $600,000 from the EPA to assess contaminated properties. We look forward to helping property owners better understand potential contamination so that these sites can be cleaned up, leading to better health, community, and economic outcomes.

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3. Economic Development leads the Council on Diversity Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee

The Mayor's Council on Diversity Affairs (CODA) is a critical group composed of county employees and community volunteers and experts working to identify systemic failures, provide policy recommendations, and focus on measurable actions toward addressing equity, access, institutional reform and racial justice in Salt Lake County.

The Economic Opportunity Subcommittee works closely with minority chambers of commerce and organizations in Salt Lake County to identify and address the obstacles that prevent minority-owned small businesses from accessing and obtaining economic resources.

4. Economic Development plays a role in regional redevelopment

Salt Lake County is home to 17 municipalities and the MSD. Each municipality controls its own redevelopment agency, allowing the municipality to identify local constituent and community needs. The County partners with redevelopment agencies through tax increment financing (TIF) to rejuvenate blighted areas, stimulate private development, strengthen the city’s financial tax base, improve public infrastructure, and create new jobs.

Want to see where those TIF project areas are? Visit our Tax Incremental Finance Project Areas Dashboard.


Salt Lake County Awarded $600,000 by EPA to Further Property Cleanup, Redevelopment


May 11, 2021

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 151 communities to receive grants totaling $66.5 million in brownfields funding on Tuesday, May 11, with Salt Lake County one of just two applicants in Utah to receive funds.

The EPA approved Salt Lake County for $600,000 in new assessment funding. This will assist local efforts in planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach for brownfield cleanup and redevelopment.

“Salt Lake County and our coalition partners, Murray and Salt Lake City, are thrilled to receive another community-wide assessment grant,” said Jevon Gibb, Salt Lake County Economic Development Director. “Under previous grants, we have been able to assess key properties that have facilitated redevelopment and public health improvements throughout the county. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the EPA on this great program.”

Since its creation in 2019, the Salt Lake Brownfields Coalition — consisting of Salt Lake County, Murray, and Salt Lake City — has assessed 15 blighted properties for cleanup and redevelopment in Salt Lake County. According to the EPA, a study found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15% because of cleanup activities. 

The grant will specifically used to conduct environmental site assessments at dozens of properties, including:

  • Locations at Camp Kearns,
  • Seven Peaks Waterpark site,
  • Murray City Central Business District and
  • Magna Main St. target areas.

“These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a press release.

Brownfields are considered environmentally contaminated properties, often common sites of closed dry cleaners, auto shops, car washes, and gas stations; manufacturing and industrial properties; and even residential neighborhoods.

If you know a site in Salt Lake County that could benefit from cleanup, or are a developer seeking support, visit slco.org/brownfields for information about loan programs and resources available.


Economic Inclusion Grants Awarded to 10 Salt Lake County Organizations to Address Economic Recovery Gaps


May 10, 2021

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Salt Lake County awarded grants from the Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program (EICAP) to 10 organizations, as part of an effort to generate a more equitable and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic.

The 10 organizations will help Salt Lake County achieve a more inclusive recovery by connecting businesses with available resources, sharing their boots-on-the-ground experience, and identifying additional resource needs and gaps not currently being filled in African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Asian-Pacific, women, persons with disabilities, veteran communities, and geographic areas with lower economic opportunity.

The organizations leading these program efforts include:

  • Magna Chamber of Commerce: A chamber serving businesses in the township of Magna on the west side of Salt Lake County. Email: info@magnachamber.org
  • Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources (PIK2AR): A nonprofit with a mission to help Utah’s Pacific Islander communities in relation to economic impact, violence prevention, and cultural preservation.
    Email: susi@pik2ar.org
  • Salt Lake American: A multicultural nonprofit helping refugees survive and prosper by overcoming language and acculturation barriers.
    Email: saltlakeamerican@yahoo.com
  • Suazo Business Center: A business organization serving Latino/Hispanic and underserved entrepreneurs and business owners.
    Email: silvia@suazocetner.org
  • Utah Black Chamber: An organization serving the economic needs of Utah’s Black community.
    Email: james@j3motivation.com
  • Utah Cultural Alliance Foundation: An organization that amplifies the value and invests in the cultural industry, valuing representation and availability to all socioeconomic, racial, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and cultural backgrounds.
    Email: grants@utculture.org
  • Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce: An organization serving LGBTQ+ and allied businesses to grow and provide visibility, and advocate at various government levels.
    Email: tracey.dean@utahlgbtqchamber.org
  • Utah Muslim Civic League: An organization representing Utah’s Muslim population to make a difference in creating civic infrastructure for Utah’s Muslims.
    Email: luna@utahmcl.com
  • West Jordan Chamber of Commerce: A chamber serving business members and promoting profitable business environment.
    Email: laurie@utahteam.com
  • Women’s Business Center of Utah: An organization partnering with chambers of commerce across Utah to promote resources for women entrepreneurs.
    Email: annmarie@wbcutah.org

This unique, pilot program — running from April through October 2021 — will allow Salt Lake County to work with organizations’ business facilitators to create a feedback loop so governments, funders, and policymakers can learn what diverse communities need and lack, and how we can help.

If you’re a business owner, or know a business who needs assistance but has struggled to connect with someone to provide help, contact one of these organizations, or Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program Manager Samantha Mary Thermos at sthermos@slco.org or (385) 468-4847.