Fortune magazine says Salt Lake City is the best place in the country to do business.
But Sid Green didn't need a magazine article to tell him that.Green, president of Terra Tek, a geotechnical services firm based in the University of Utah's Research Park, has lived and worked in Detroit, Pennsylvania and on the West Coast. Since moving to Utah, he has often boasted to out-of-state executives about Salt Lake City's plentiful and well-trained labor pool.
Yet, Green is delighted others are taking notice of Salt Lake City's attributes.
"It's nice to hear others say it so I don't have to go tooting our own horn," Green said.
Small-business owners contacted at random by the Deseret News said they believed the positive national publicity may attract new business to Salt Lake City, which, in turn, will provide spinoff benefits for smaller businesses.
Stan Nakano, district director of the Small Business Administration, says the good news may provide opportunities as well as challenges for Salt Lake City's small-business community.
"It will certainly make for a stronger and healthier business climate, which can only lead to more opportunities for all businesses," Nakano said.
Local small businesses may become suppliers or provide services to new industry or secure government contract work through companies that manufacture products under government contracts.
The challenge will come in terms of competing for the most competent, well-trained employees.
"That is a problem. I'm not able to give them the salary the larger companies would be able to," said Kathy Sorensen, owner of Hyland Floral/Stadium Gardens.
Nevertheless, Sorensen said she believes the benefits of attracting new business far outweigh the competition for new employees. "I'd love to get their commercial accounts," she said.
Jackie Nichols, owner of Quality Press, said past experience has taught her that new industry brings more business to the small-business community.
"Big business always brings to my industry more printing," Nichols said.
She described the news coverage generated by the Fortune magazine article as "fantastic." "I think a lot of small-business owners think Salt Lake City is a fantastic place to do business. There's so many myths about who we really are," Nichols said.
Overall, business owners agreed that it's high time U.S. industry recognizes Salt Lake City for its pluses rather than its peculiarities.