Having known the kudos were coming for weeks, Utah Governor Gary Herbert is excited to tell everyone that Fortune Magazine just listed Salt Lake City as one of the world's 15 "hottest" cities for business. The article is available online at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2011/hottest_cities/. Results came from both economic data and conversations with local leaders.
Among those leaders was Governor Herbert himself. En route from his monthly KUED news conference, he was notified by his economic development team that Salt Lake Chamber's Lane Beattie had already queued up Fortune reporter Josh Dawsey, one of two authors on the story, and that a call from the Governor could make a difference. After hearing that, the Governor made an unplanned stop to get on a landline.
"This was an opportunity to showcase how Utah is business-friendly, with low taxes and low energy costs, an impressive workforce and one of the strongest local economies," the Governor said. "I was thrilled to see Salt Lake City get this well-deserved and timely recognition."
Salt Lake City was one of only two U.S. cities listed, along with Austin, Texas. In addition to low tax rates and low-cost utilities, Fortune also cited the many start-ups emerging from the University of Utah, and a recent study indicating Salt Lake City's workforce as the most productive in the nation.
"I don't think that reporter got two words in," said Chief of Staff Derek Miller. "For 30 minutes, the Governor touted one accolade after another in rapid fire fashion--things the reporter had not considered. Those accolades require a broad-based effort by many in the private and public sectors, something the Governor calls 'Team Utah,' and he considers himself the chief cheerleader."