Local, close and online
In an effort to promote tourism and businesses in the East Side of the Summit County, local leaders and business owners are taking their services online.
One year ago, the Summit County Council created an Economic Development Task Force to examine Summit County’s local businesses, primarily on the East Side, and see what was needed to help them grow.
According to Anita Lewis, a member of the task force and assistant Summit County manager, the committee has made significant strides in the past year and showed what they have achieved to the County Council on Wednesday.
"First thing we wanted to do was focus on existing businesses and how we can help them," Lewis said. "So we created an online directory, a local yellow pages of sorts, so that if people want a plumber or a certain service, they can find a local business first."
According to committee member Carson Moench, the online local business directory should be available soon, but first he wants to make sure every business is included.
"We only have one chance to make a good first impression," he said. "We want people to be able to narrow down their search by service and town. We are sending out postcards and emails to all of the businesses so they can tell us what keywords are associated with their company."
Francis resident and committee member Allison Weyher said that so far, the biggest hurdle has been organizing all of the businesses in Park City.
"Anyone who operates a company or makes money at anytime in Park City is registered as a business," Weyher said. "So we are sorting through actual year-round companies and those who only rent out a room for a week during Sundance. So far, we have narrowed it down to 1,500 businesses in Park City and are hoping the Park City Council can help us bring down that number even more."
The site is expected to be unveiled later this summer, along with an economic development web page for each Summit County town on the county’s website.
According to Lewis, the new section of the website will promote each town and hopefully attract new companies.
"It will show each area’s medium income, population, and feature anything the town may want to showcase," she said.
A link to the website will be available on Summit County’s and the Park City Chamber/Bureau’s websites. The committee is hoping it will help businesses know what town will be the best fit for them to relocate to.
The committee will also hold a meeting on June 13 to bring East Side business owners together. Lewis said she is hoping the meetings encourage business owners to work together and give the county feedback on what regulations are hindering their companies.
"Anyone can come, interested citizens, business owners, or those who want to start a business," Lewis said. "We want to know what rules we should change or what concerns the local companies have."
Two local business meetings will be held on June 13 at 7 p.m., one in the North Summit High School Auditorium and one in the South Summit High School Auditorium. Lewis said she is hoping for a large turnout and lots of feedback.
A critic of a Park City workforce or otherwise affordable housing project in Old Town said he is considering an appeal of the Park City Planning Commission’s approval of the development.