SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The first week of May is National Small Business Week, honoring those who bring new ideas to life and grow our economy.

The week celebrates the critical contribution that entrepreneurs and small business owners make to our economy.

In Salt Lake City, 92% of businesses are classified as “small”, meaning that they have 50 employees or less.

ABC4’s Brian Carlson sat down with Salt Lake City’s Director of Business Development for the Department of Economic Development, Roberta Reichgelt, to discuss small businesses in Utah.

Reichgelt says that with over 17,000 businesses in Salt Lake City, and 92% of those considered small businesses, we are on par with the rest of the country, which she says is 96% small business.

The figure is surprising for most, especially as COVID-19 had quite an impact on small businesses. Reichgelt says the recovery from the pandemic depends on what industry you come from.

She says the food and beverage industry was hit the hardest, as well as arts/entertainment and hospitality. She continues, “Many are still struggling, and might be still struggling in 2024.”

“It’s really important that we want to particularly pay attention to those ones and support those businesses.”

Reichgelt says that inflation as well as a labor shortage is affecting business, but that the community is resilient, the mayor is in support, and that relief from the government has also been a factor.

Reichgelt says this about financial relief:

“Initially when we got recovery funding, it was coming in the forms of emergency loans, things like that to keep businesses afloat until they got the SBA (Small Business Administration) funding. Now, the funding that we’re getting, we’re seeing it go to support organizations that support local businesses, like our business centers, our diverse chambers, and if there are any grants that are coming out, those are really going to be directed toward businesses that have not yet received any type of funding.”

She says that with the job market flourishing in Salt Lake City, our small businesses are seeing the benefits of an influx of workers that are coming for those jobs.