10 federal priorities of Utah's business community

10 federal priorities of Utah's business community


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Advocating for policies that support economic prosperity is one of the most important ways to serve the business community. As the voice of business in Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber represents various industries and companies, large and small.

Every year, the Chamber determines federal priorities that can boost economic prosperity for Utahns and the nation at large. These priorities cover a range of critical issues around energy reliability and sustainability, housing affordability, infrastructure, taming inflation, and other topline business priorities to make our state stronger.

Now, more than ever, leadership on the national stage is needed. Utah can serve as an example for better stewardship and cooperation, and help lead the way in finding solutions to issues that challenge our nation.

Here's a brief overview of priorities and potential solutions to the problems currently impacting business and the community.

Business environment

Utah's business climate has flourished over the past decade. Earlier this year, the National Bureau of Economic Research ranked Utah No. 1 in the country for its response to the pandemic. However, record inflation could catch up to the state and threaten its economic prosperity.

Utah's approach to business says a lot about our commitment to economic growth and prosperity. Utah continues to be a safe haven for companies seeking to build products and people with a national-leading strong business climate.

To ensure this continues, the government needs to pass legislation that will combat inflation and end harmful tax hikes that stall job creation. Congress should also streamline business regulations to optimize innovation, advance innovative research in target industry sectors, support workforce development programs that prioritize retaining or upskilling, and advocate for responsible fiscal policy.


A data-driven economy needs a public policy that can keep pace. Therefore, it is time for a federal data-privacy policy that promotes innovation, regulatory certainty and respect for individual privacy. Not only would this help businesses increase cybersecurity, but also create a more resilient infrastructure. This can happen by expanding liability protections to cover large-scale cyber incidents, helping businesses navigate these initiatives and funding infrastructure projects that enhance grid resiliency.

Education and workforce

Utah's education system is working to close the skills gap and meet the pace of change occurring in the workplace. The state seeks to promote a change in thinking and direction when it comes to workforce development and education. Many new training programs, apprenticeships and technical certifications provide low-cost pathways into high-paying occupations. There's room for innovation in higher education so that people can learn and grow at their own pace online.

Congress can help by ensuring that training programs are future-focused, innovative and aligned with employers' needs. It's also important to support community college training programs that lead to jobs for in-demand industries, provide a safety net for working families and help businesses that were affected by COVID-19 retain or rehire employees.

10 federal priorities of Utah's business community
Photo: Wesley Aston/Shutterstock.com

Energy and climate

The climate is changing and Utah is growing. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah projects that the population will increase by 2.2 million people by 2060. If the state hopes to sustain that many residents, something needs to be done and Utah has the ability to lead the nation in a balanced transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy future.

Water conservation, enhanced electric grid infrastructure and the use of nuclear energy technology are just some of the things Congress needs to address. The path forward will require the best thinking and collaboration to solve the climate challenge and navigate the energy transition.

Global competitiveness and national security

The U.S. should be a global leader in innovation, technology and economic competitiveness. Utah is full of entrepreneurial citizens who continue to bring innovations to market. Keeping the nation safe and competitive in the global market will take collaboration from public-private partnerships. The country needs to maintain our national security, create a long-term vision to keep businesses in the U.S. rather than relocating overseas for short-term gain, and durable artificial intelligence solutions to combat national security challenges and address supply chain issues.

Health care

The lingering effects of the pandemic have stretched not only supply chains, but also the health care system. In particular, mental health across the nation is reaching a crisis stage and many suffer in silence because they aren't getting the care they need. Revamping the approach to quality of care and insurance coverage in the digital/remote work era should be a top priority. Utah is in a good position to bring innovative policy ideas to a national audience.

As such, we call upon Congress to support value-based health care solutions that reduce costs, revise our entitlement and health care programs to provide equitable, effective services to those who need them most, and support telehealth initiatives through expanded coverage.

10 federal priorities of Utah's business community


First, Utahns couldn't find homes to buy. Now they can't afford them. Bankrate recently reported that the Federal Reserve lifted rates "to levels not seen since 2008." This makes housing one of the biggest challenges when it comes to economic expansion and attracting talented workers. Therefore, fair and equitable housing plans and projects should be prioritized, as well as support for initiatives and workforce development efforts to address the ongoing construction and skilled-trade labor shortage.


Utah needs a secure border and a functioning, legal immigration system that will help the economy grow. Comprehensive immigration reform will take political courage from both parties, and incremental steps to get that outcome should be welcome. The state has led in this area on numerous occasions with The Utah Compact being a national achievement.

The state's business community supports legal immigration to help the workforce shortage and promote diversity. We ask our leaders to support immigration reform that creates a business-friendly environment for all skill levels and ensures a talented workforce, to build an employment verification system that is equitable and provides ease of access for the employer, and to protect Temporary Protected Status recipients and employment-authorized H-4 dependent spouses from losing their work authorization


Since infrastructure is fundamental to business, the economy and family needs, strengthening America's infrastructure should be a top priority for both parties. Recent investments and commitments from the Biden Administration bring promise to a lingering need. By building out the country's capacity through roads and telecommunications, bridges and satellites, waterways and energy development, the nation can strengthen its foundations.

10 federal priorities of Utah's business community
Photo: Gary Whitton/Shutterstock.com

International trade and supply chain

Millions of U.S. jobs depend on America's ability to trade with other countries. Half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs depend on exports, and one in three acres of American farmland is planted for international sales, according to the U.S. Chamber. Utah businesses need free markets and fair trading practices built on balanced agreements that sustain economic growth. They also need a strong manufacturing base that provides jobs, opportunities and financial security to individuals and families.

Find out more

This list is a brief overview, but the Salt Lake Chamber has also outlined the specific actions government leaders can take to bring about these changes. Learn more about these federal priorities by visiting slchamber.com.

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