Salt Lake County Deploys Pilot Program to Connect More Diverse Businesses with Resources
Posted By Regional Development
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/.