A scaled-down bill creating business resource centers throughout the state has passed out of a legislative committee.

The House Business and Labor Committee this week passed HB37, which creates five centers to provide information to businesses and better coordinate the state's economic development activities.

The bill's sponsor, Majority Leader David Clark, R-Santa Clara, described the new version as "a more modest proposal" than an earlier bill by trimming the number of centers from 10 to five and cutting the needed funding from $2.5 million to $805,000.

The bill calls for the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) to establish the centers as "one-stop resource and assistance centers to provide business support, education, sources of funding, training, and networking to Utah businesses."

The bill notes that "many new and existing businesses in the state fail for lack of support and from not knowing where to go for support services that could be available to help them succeed through one-stop business resource centers."

An executive board would determine the centers' locations. A center may contain state, local and federal agencies and institutions and private entities. Clark said the centers would be a joint partnership between GOED and higher education institutions.

Clark likened the centers to a quarterback on a football team. They would coordinate economic development efforts by various organizations "and hopefully avoid any duplications and costs and efforts that are kind of circulating between all these different players."

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