Entrepreneurs, there’s assistance arriving in Park City next week
November 26, 2010
Entrepreneurs as early as next week might be heading to the Zions Bank branch on Snow Creek Drive for more than some financial assistance for their endeavor.
The Miller Business Resource Center, based at Salt Lake Community College, is expected to open a site inside the branch, an effort to assist startups in an area that attracts businesspeople from across the United States seeking a nice place to live.
Rex Falkenrath, a director with the Miller Business Resource Center, said the satellite office at Zions Bank, located in space donated by the bank, will act as a consultant for businesspeople. It could assist with the incubation of an idea as well as provide consulting or training for existing businesses, he said. It will serve Park City and surrounding Summit County, and it will be called the Park City Business Resource Center.
Falkenrath said the consulting and mentoring services will be provided free of charge, and the services are available to any business in Summit County. Some of the training programs will carry a small charge, he said.
The Miller Business Resource Center site in Park City is its second, with the other being in Sandy. Falkenrath said there are a handful of other similar centers run by other organizations throughout the state, though.
Falkenrath said the Miller Business Resource Center over the past year assisted 12 businesses in Summit County. They remain clients, he said.
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The group, meanwhile, is seeking funding for the Park City location from City Hall and the County Courthouse.
The Miller Business Resource Center has asked for a $12,000 grant from City Hall’s economic-development program, according to Michael Kovacs, the assistant city manager. He anticipates the Park City Council could consider the request as early as Dec. 16.
The City Council also recently authorized City Hall officials to apply for federal funding on behalf of the Miller Business Resource Center, with an $80,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development being requested.
The arrival of the Miller Business Resource Center in Park City comes as local leaders continue to try to diversify an economy that has relied heavily on the closely related industries of tourism, construction and real estate, segments that suffered terribly in the recession. Park City officials desire a broader economic base that could lessen the city’s vulnerability to downturns.
According to a report submitted to the City Council before the authorization to apply for the federal funding, the Miller Business Resource Center was responsible for more than $23 million in economic impact in the most recent fiscal year in Salt Lake County. The report to the elected officials, coauthored by Kovacs and a Salt Lake Community College official, indicated the organization was responsible for creating or saving 401 jobs in that period.
Salt Lake Community College is putting $15,000 toward the Park City location, the report said.
In his recommendation in favor of the authorization to apply for the federal funding, Kovacs said the Park City Business Resource Center "will provide the community with business assistance resources and promote home-grown economic strength and employment."