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Business, Tech Leaders Say Their Partnership Will “Lift All Ships”

Nicole Nixon
Tech and business leaders stand beside a new partnership agreement, which was signed on an electronic board.

The tech industry is growing faster in Utah than anywhere else in the country. On Tuesday, the tech nonprofit Silicon Slopes announced a partnership that industry leaders say will boost the state’s entire economy.

Business leaders say a new partnership between Silicon Slopes and the Salt Lake Chamber is long overdue.

The chamber represents more than 8,000 businesses across the state. Now, it says it can help tech companies in Utah advocate for their businesses and employees, especially when it comes to state policy.

“For a long time, the tech community tried to avoid this,” said Clint Betts, executive director of Silicon Slopes. “We’re entrepreneurial in the fact that we think we can hide in our basements and change the world.”

But Betts says as the community has grown, he’s realized how important it is for technology companies to have a seat at the table.

That’s where the Salt Lake Chamber can help. As a major presence at the state capitol, President and CEO Lane Beattie says the Chamber can forge connections and train entrepreneurs in connecting with government at the state and local levels.

Beattie says as the tech industry continues to expand in Utah, it can boost other businesses, too.

“You can’t just have one industry that does really well,” Beattie said. “All of the suppliers for technology come from within Utah. We think that’s very important.”

Beattie cited sheet metal manufacturing and software development as examples.

Business leaders and tech entrepreneurs said their new partnership could bring new solutions to long term-issues the state faces, such as air quality, transportation and developing Utah’s growing workforce. 

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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