There is something remarkable going on in Utah. As the nation slowly rebuilds from the economic damage done by the coronavirus crisis, Utah is out front by a large margin. Their low unemployment and red-hot real estate market are the envy of so many others. And at the core of Utah’s success is small business.
In the U.S., we put a lot of stock in government institutions and corporate entities. There is little doubt that both have a role to play in building a stable society. But at the end of the day, the success of any society is built on the success of its individual members. It has always been that way.
Small Business Employment
Long before they were corporations, small businesses were the backbone of the U.S. economy. Those small businesses were owned by individuals. Some of them were run exclusively by families while others hired a few employees from the community. The concept worked so well that America was built on it.
In Utah, small businesses still account for a large percentage of the workforce. Official numbers say that more than 50% of Utah employees work for a small business. Just under 17% work for companies with fewer than twenty employees.
Success begins with the individual and works outward. It does not start in the corporate board room and trickle down. It certainly doesn’t start in the state house or in Washington. There are far more individuals than there are corporations and C-suite executives. There are far more individuals than there are government workers. Everything begins with us, as individuals.
Utah’s Small Business Recovery
Utah’s unemployment rate currently sits at 3.6%, making it the fifth lowest in the nation behind Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Vermont. It is only 1% higher than it was just prior to the onset of coronavirus. Once again, Utahans can thank small business.
Small businesses like Salt Lake City’s CityHome Collective real estate brokerage have continued to serve local customers throughout the pandemic. People are still buying houses. They are still spending money on essential goods and services, too. With such strong reliance on the local business community, consumers and companies alike have paved the way for a strong recovery.
Government Support of Small Business
If you doubt that small business is the backbone of a stable economy, just look at what the government has done to help facilitate the latest recovery. In the Beehive State, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has specifically targeted small business for economic recovery initiatives.
State government has helped by providing rent subsidies to small businesses. It created a grant program that allows businesses to recover the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing social distance protocols.
Additional grants in support of small businesses have helped many companies stay afloat during the pandemic. And because the assistance was made available, small businesses remained open and operational. Now they are leading the charge as the state embraces full recovery mode.
Yes, We Want Small Business
Recent rumblings by some of the elite in Washington suggest that Americans don’t want small businesses unable to meet a certain pay threshold for minimum wage. But Washington is an isolated world surrounded by a Beltway that seems to blind its occupants to reality.
The reality is that we want small businesses. We need small businesses. They are the backbone of economic stability no matter where you go. Local, state, and national economies are not built on corporations. They are built on the backs of hard-working Americans who own or are employed by small businesses.