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Applications for businesses licenses still strong

The economy may be slowing down, but applications for new business licenses aren’t.

Some of those are from businesses leasing new office space in Kimball Junction or Kamas, but mostly it’s new in-home or home-based businesses that have kept the numbers from declining.

Jill Segura, deputy clerk with Summit County said she gets about 30 per applications per month.

Dori Snyder, Kamas city treasurer and business license administrator said new endeavors like snow plow removal and day care are a lot of what she’s seeing.

Jim Coe, owner of COE Property Maintenance, started his home-based business five years ago after he was laid-off when his company was bought out.

Even though he’s found other work since, he’s kept doing property maintenance because it’s profitable. Rather than putting all his eggs in one basket, Coe said he dabbles in real estate and keeps other projects going.

He credits his ability to do this to being an empty-nester and his wife having a job with benefits. Without the risk a younger man might face, entrepreneurship has been a good option for him.

As the economy slows, he predicts others like him to get creative.

"I think people do what they have to do to survive," he said.

Accountant Lori Hammond, owner of 8N Business Solutions, said she started working from home for the freedom. She had a job in Salt Lake City that was a lot of hours and driving. Her line of work didn’t really require an office for clients to come to, so she tried staying home and making calls or driving to them.

"With technology, you don’t need to be in the office every day to get the job done," she said.

Not having benefits with an employer can be challenging, she said, but having control of her life and career was more important.

Ernest Oriente, founder of Power Hour, said he thinks employee benefits are overrated.

"If you’re inside of a company, you feel security, but all it takes is one ‘no’ or one pink slip, and you’re done," he said.

Having control of your career is more important, he said. He’s worked from home for 13 years and has clients all over the world. If someone says no, or he loses a client, he’s got plenty more to keep him afloat. People whose business is tied to an area rise and fall with the economy of that area.

With a home-based business, he said, he’s able to diversify enough that a slowing of the market in Park City, or even Utah, only affects him marginally.

"Working from home, you pick your clients, so you have many more choices," he said.

Iona Thraen, founder of Analytx International, said she’s always found diversification to be a plus.

She works part-time in Salt Lake City and then spends 10 to 20 hours a week with her own consulting business.

Within that business, she developed and is preparing to market a product that could potentially become a third job.

She has been affected by the economy.

She had leased office space to market the software from, and has now decided to back out of that preferring to do it from home as well.

Her part-time job provides a security net giving her a steady income. But if she were to lose that, she still has her own endeavors.

"I think the economy forces you to be more flexible. What’s going on now is forcing us to be thrifty," she said.

These home-based projects have been in the works about five years, she said. Having a long-term plan gives her confidence in the future.

"When the tsunami is over, we need to think how to get back in the marketplace and catch the next wave," she said.

Colleen Burke, membership director for the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said more people have joined the group and retention is up since the economy declined.

"Memberships and associations have an inverse relationship to the economy," she said. "When it goes down, people look for ways to leverage their dollars get a bigger bang for their buck."

People have a belief that there’s strength in numbers. That benefits the Chamber/Bureau’s marketing ability, she explained, because the more members it has, the more credibility and force it has when promoting the community to potential clients.

"It’s a vehicle to talk to consumers and be an ear to the ground of the business community resolving issues and creating opportunities," she said.

Whether it be starting a new business from home or joining an association to strengthen a network, Oriente had a similar perspective regarding survival.

"In the end, we all revert back to the basics of survival," he said.

He said he’s hearing that from Canada, New Zealand and around the world. People are watching the U.S. economy and are nervous.

"I think there’s a lot of fear in the marketplace, a lot of fear in the nation and in the world. I think we’re moving in uncharted waters," he said.

From his perspective, he’s expecting the slump to last a year to 18 months. He recommends families make wise fiscal decisions.

"I’m concerned about where we are and I have a global view," he said.


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