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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah-based tech company Domo recently announced its plans to expand its American Fork office through an economic development incentive from the state aimed to bring more than 2,200 high-paying jobs to the area over the next 10 years.
"We think that's very doable given our plans and hopes and goals that we set for ourselves," said Julie Kehoe, a spokesperson for the company
The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development approved a post-performance tax credit if Domo meets its end of the bargain and brings in 2,230 new jobs over the next 10 years. Domo could earn up to a 25% tax credit on what the company would have paid to the state over the 10-year period, not to exceed about $23 million.
Each year the company fulfills its criteria for the contract, it earns a portion of the total tax credit. If Domo doesn't complete its obligations, the company doesn't get the tax credit.
"This expansion is a big win for Utah, with the potential to create thousands of jobs for the state," said Dan Hemmert, the economic office's executive director, in a statement. "We couldn't be more excited to start the new year off with this announcement, and we wish Domo success as they continue to grow and help anchor Utah's strong technology industry."
Domo is a cloud software company that specializes in data intelligence and helps customers manage business. As part of the expansion, the company will move its Utah headquarters to a bigger 150,000 square-foot building, which is next to the company's current offices.
"We're proud to call Utah home," Josh James, Domo founder and CEO, said in a statement. "We've always believed that great tech companies could be built and flourish here, providing great opportunities for Utahns. I'm looking forward to our next decade in business and demonstrating through continued growth that Utah is the place for tech."
The company plans to move into the new building in fall, but it depends on what the work-from-home situation looks like when the time comes. As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available to the public, the company's head of human resources, Ray Ball, said it's likely most employees will return to work in the office.
"We care first and foremost for the safety and well-being of our employees, and that's always going to be first and in the front of our minds as we go through the decision making process on what to do," Ball said, adding that the company plans to be flexible and might keep some positions remote.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced Domo to layoff 10% of its workforce in March as it braced for the worst, Kehoe said Domo ended up doing better than expected. In the last quarter, Domo became cash-flow positive — a significant milestone for the company that will fuel their growth, Kehoe said.
Prior to the pandemic, the company employed about 800 individuals globally. That number is sitting around 700, with about 500 based in the Utah office.
Domo worked hard to find its laid-off employees work and connect them to resources, Ball said, while adding that the company tracks those who were laid off. Most have since been re-employed elsewhere.
Domo has already begun the hiring process for its first batch of new employees, which will mainly be focused on Domo's growth, Kehoe said.
"It allows us to be on the offense more about growing our business and driving our business," she said.
Utah's Silicon Slopes, home to the state's growing tech industry, has been exploding recently with several fintech companies achieving unicorn status (valued at over $1 billion while still private) in recent months and tech giant Qualtrics going public this week. Domo, which was founded in 2010, went public in 2018.
"You're seeing people and companies, saying, 'We're going to leave (Silicon Valley)' — it's very expensive to live in that area — and they're choosing other locations throughout the country, Utah being one of them, because of Utah's tech footprint," Ball said.
The state has partnered with other Utah companies for the incentivized tax credit before, but this is a first for Domo.
"We really love Utah and we want to continue our growth here and contribute, and so the incentive to do that commits us to growing our jobs in Utah versus growing in other states or moving our business to other states," Kehoe said. "It should work for everyone."