Utah Cities Among Best in Nation for Minority-Owned Businesses

Pete CodellaNews

According to a recently released ranking from Nerdwallet, the Wasatch Front is a top 10 leader in the U.S. for minority-owned businesses. Citing low unemployment, a fast-growing Hispanic community and a high amount of SBA loans issued, three Wasatch Front metro areas are primed to provide opportunities to minorities interested in starting a business.

“Utah’s hard-working Hispanic business community is an important part of the state’s economic success,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said. “Working together, Utah continues to lead the nation in business opportunities.”

Nerdwallet looked at overall business climate, local economic health and access to financing opportunities to help determine rankings. All three areas Ogden-Clearfield (ranked no. 8), Salt Lake City (no. 9) and Provo-Orem (no. 12), experienced at least 40 percent growth in minority-owned businesses from 2007-2012. The Provo-Orem area experiencing the highest rate in Utah at an astounding 75.1 percent growth. These high growth rates coupled with access to low-cost SBA loans results in an excellent entrepreneurial environment.

“The business environment has been good to all Utahns, including the 10,000 Latino owned businesses in the state,” said Francisco Sotelo, president and CEO of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “If you are Hispanic and want to start a business, there has never been a better time.”

The Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is holding its Annual Convention with more than 1000 attendees on May 20 at the Salt Lake Sheraton Hotel. With the theme, “Utah’s Super Consumer: A Blueprint to Winning the Hispanic Market,” participants can learn about how to effectively reach the Hispanic market.

Several Utah businesses also recently returned from a trade mission to Mexico where they experienced key networking opportunities, business to business meetings, a special media event highlighting Utah’s economic offerings and concluded with Expo ANTAD, Mexico’s largest food and consumer goods retail trade show.

These opportunities allowed Utah companies to meet directly with both retail buyers and potential distributors to drive increased sales in Mexico, which resulted in two different companies receiving orders totaling over $500,000. State representatives also had the chance to highlight Utah as a premier business destination in order to increase investment from Mexican companies.