Business & Labor

The possibility of a new convention hotel in Salt Lake City is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Utah House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would provide tax incentives for a private developer to build the hotel.  

File: Canyon Country Discovery Center Campaign

The Four Corners School in Monticello has announced they’ll start construction on the new $8.5 million Canyon Country Discovery Center Campus in June. Janet Ross, the executive director of the school, says it’s the realization of a dream that began in 2002.

File: Governor's Office of Economic Development

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, or GOED put its newly redesigned website on line today Monday. Michael Sullivan is the communications director for GOED. He says the new Business.Utah.Gov answers a request by businesses and the legislature for more transparency in the operation of the office.

File: C.R. England Trucking

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded a 496-thousand dollar grant to reduce the emissions of Wasatch Front-based heavy-duty trucks. The funding comes from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. Lisa Burr is senior research analyst with the Utah Division of Air Quality. She says the money goes directly toward improving engine technology.

A bill that would give a private developer financial incentives to build a new hotel and convention center in downtown Salt Lake City has been made public. The proposal recently gained the support of Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, but opponents say it’s not good policy.

Brian Grimmett

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, is one of a few legislators introducing bills that would give consumers more protection when dealing with payday lending companies.

HB127 would require deferred deposit lenders, also known as payday lenders, to start reporting detailed information about the loans they give out and how long it takes people to repay them. Rep. Dunnigan says this will help get to the bottom of the claim that payday lenders help create a cycle of debt for people with low income.

File: Governor's Office of Economic Development

Utah is the top destination state in the nation for products coming from Mexico but ranks only 37th among states exporting to Mexico.  The Governor’s Office of Economic Development hosted a free Mexico Business Symposium Monday at The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City in an attempt at reaching a better balance of trade. Harvey Scott is the director of International Trade and Diplomacy for the Office. He says while Utah already has strong business ties with Mexico, there is room for improvement.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams unveiled a new proposal today to get a hotel built to support the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake. 

File: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors all-electric cars still aren’t for sale at a traditional dealer showroom in Utah but at least now you can charge one in the southeast area of the state. The Blanding Visitor Center parking lot is the place to find the first Tesla Supercharging station located in Utah.

Jeremy Redd is Blanding’s city manager. He says the supercharger station fits there and the company is thrilled.

Josh Romney has been appointed to the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Romney is founder of a real estate company, serves on the board of Charity Vision International, and has done political and fundraising work for his father’s presidential campaigns. Director Spencer Eccles says Romney brings valuable experience and contacts to the group, which aims to recruit and grow companies in Utah.

Credit Credit Jakemaheu via Wikimedia Commons

The director of a group that advocates for the availability of electronic cigarettes says Bountiful City’s plan to let four e-cigarette shops stay open through 2014 without a business license, might do more harm than good.

Bob Nelson

For a fifth straight month, Utahns used the money they saved on lower gasoline prices and spent it on everything from cars to food to utility bills. The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index decreased 0.1 of a percent from October to November on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, driven by lower gas prices. Randy Shumway of the Cicero Group conducts the survey for Zions Bank. He says that drop further boosted the positive attitudes about the state’s economy.

File: Ski Utah

If there is an aversion to the inversion from tourists visiting the state to ski, there are very few signs of it. This is the biggest week of the ski season with visitors paying up to $2,500 dollars a week to rent an SUV, if they can find one.  Susie English is the communications director of Ski Utah, a non-profit organization that promotes the ski and snowboard industry in the state. She says the weather and snow are excellent even though some resorts still have early season conditions.

Jakemaheu via Wikimedia Commons

Four electronic cigarette stores in Bountiful are being forced to close down because the city has declined to renew their business licenses for the year 2014. The city attorney says it’s closing the shops at the requested of the Davis County Health Department because they’re violation of a state zoning law.

Brad Parsons, the co-owner of e-cigarette store VaporLoc received a letter from the city attorney on Thursday, informing him that he will have to close his doors by January 1st. 

National Cancer Institute via Wikimedia Commons

The state of Utah has adopted a new workforce assessment that officials hope will give the most highly qualified job applicants an advantage.

Boeing

Boeing has selected a Salt Lake City manufacturing plant to produce the composite fiber frame for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Many Utah residents have already wrapped up their Black Friday shopping today. But for those who are still on the hunt for holiday gifts, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is making a call to shift some of that spending to locally-owned businesses.

At The Old Flamingo, an art boutique in Millcreek, McAdams joined shop owner Shauna Barrett and Nan Seymour with the non-profit organization Local First Utah to stress the benefits of shopping at neighborhood stores like these.

Retailers and Shoppers Prepare for Black Friday

Nov 27, 2013
Karina Puikkonen

Utah consumers and retailers are getting ready for the biggest shopping weekend of the year.  Some stores are opening as early as tomorrow afternoon running through the night into Black Friday.

Some stores like Toys R Us open as early as 5 pm Thursday while Costco and other large retailers aren’t scheduled to open until 9 am on Friday.  Niki Copeland is a Team Leader at the Downtown Target store in Salt Lake City opening at 8 pm Thursday.  She says their preparation began weeks ago and focused on popular sales items.

Office of Senator Orrin Hatch

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was in Salt Lake City Friday to check in on a major foreign trade deal being negotiated here. Consumer advocates and some members of Congress have criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but Senator Hatch remains supportive.

Avenues Bistro in Salt Lake City has started a petition to get its outdoor patio back open and the owner has enlisted the help Salt Lake City Attorney Pat Shea. Back in October, the restaurant was ordered to close the space because it violated a Salt Lake City Zoning ordinance.

tppinfo.org

Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel is hosting closed-door talks on a major trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Negotiations between the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries begin Tuesday and run for five days. Trade representatives will be greeted by protestors. Labor, environmental, and consumer advocates will be rallying outside the hotel at noon Tuesday, demanding the agreement be released to the public.

Boeing

Utah Governor Gary Hebert says Boeing officials spoke with him yesterday to ask if the state would be interested in assembling the new 777X airplane, a proposition that could have an economic impact for the state in the billions of dollars.

Ski Utah

How will the Utah ski season be this year? Well, that mostly depends on the snow. But ski resorts and the state’s tourism organizations are optimistic that this could be one of Utah’s better years.  Not only will it be a winter Olympic year which brings more attention to the ski industry, but this is the first year Utah will be included as part of the Epic Pass – a special pass for selected resorts around the world. The Epic Pass will likely mean more out of state visitors, and it also means better deals for locals.

File: Flickriver, Thad Roan-Bridgepix

The Downtown Farmers Market is moving to inside the Rio Grande Depot starting Saturday morning.  With Salt Lake City’s Downtown Farmers Market ending its 21st summer season at Pioneer Park, the Downtown Alliance is leveraging its success into the new indoor venue to become The Winter Market.

Andrea Smardon

Rio Tinto Kennecott has opened a major access road, restoring full access to Bingham Canyon mine. Kennecott officials say the opening comes months ahead of schedule, but they say it will still take about two years to restore the mine to normal operations.

Where once there was a massive slide, now a road cuts through. Trucks as big as houses motor along back and forth from the mine. Matt Lengerich General Manager of the Bingham Canyon Mine, says it was no small feat to build the new mine access ramp.

Utah Department of Workforce Services call center
Dan Bammes / KUER

A state audit released this week shows that the Utah Department of Workforce Services has cut down on errors enrolling people for benefits and training, and is doing a much better job complying with federal regulations. A previous state audit of the Department showed a consistent pattern of non-compliance, resulting in millions of dollars in questioned costs. 

Bob Nelson

About 80 Utah employers held a job fair for veterans at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy Wednesday.  Along with vets, they were hoping to reach their spouses and members of the National Guard and reserves.

Sergeant Major Wayne L. Bowser represents of one of the sponsors, “Hero 2 Hired.”  He says knowing where to start is key.

Bob Nelson

The Utah Transit Authority has just concluded its year-long analysis of future transportation needs for Utahns. Michael Allegra, general manager of UTA, says expanding use of technology, more focus on residents’ needs and air quality are becoming focal points of the board.

“So air quality is certainly one if those agendas and our pricing and fare policies are all part of that initiative that they’ve given us discharge to go forth and try to implement,” says Allegra.

Oregon Department of Transportation

The Public Service Commission of Utah is changing a rule that will make it easier for businesses to install charging stations for electric vehicles.

DoD photo by Airman Allen Stokes, U.S. Air Force/Released

Federal workers and furloughed employees are holding a rally Thursday at the Ogden Federal Building to protest the government shutdown. Ogden-Clearfield is one of the top 10 metro areas in the country affected by the furloughs. Hill Air Force Base is Utah's largest employer with some 25,000 federal employees and contractors. 

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