Utah State University Extension recently partnered with the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG), with support from the Utah Association of Counties (UAC), to provide online training for rural Utah businesses. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SEUALG received $1.2 million in funding from the Community Development Block Grant program with a mandate to distribute it to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly $700,000 will be used to assist businesses in southeast Utah counties that have experienced pandemic-related challenges.
To assist in the training, the USU Extension Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will provide online courses to help businesses as they go through the SEUALG’s CARES Small Business Grant Program.
“SBDC has extensive statewide experience in helping small businesses in Utah and is well positioned for this partnership,” said Val Potter, who focuses on economic development and special projects for USU Extension. “The training course modules cover a range of business topics, such as cash flow, expenses and overhead, financial report cards and others. Our hope is that this business training and the training modules provided can be used in other counties also in need of help.”
Stuart Clason, UAC regional growth director, said it is exciting to see partnerships like these because it produces market efficiencies while limiting operating costs.
“You have three well-respected organizations in USU, SEUALG and UAC working together on this effort, which will benefit our counties and businesses; and we plan to replicate this approach in several other efforts across the state,” said Clason.
Jade Powell, SEUALG regional economic development strategist said SEUALG’s goal is to help local small businesses in Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties bounce back from the pandemic.
“We can do this by providing resiliency training through the SBDC, coupled with grant funding from the Community Development Block Grant program, and we’re excited to be part of it.”
Ken White, USU Extension vice president, echoed his support of the partnership.
“We are pleased to do all we can to help businesses that are facing challenges because of COVID-19,” he said. “The SBDC has extensive experience training and supporting businesses, and with our Extension offices serving every county in the state, we are well set up for this partnership. We hope this will help ease the burden for our business owners in need in the southeast Utah counties, and hopefully beyond.”