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Utah cited as example to follow

Here in St. George, we understand the dynamics of Utah’s energetic approach to growing commerce because we live it every day. But out in Maine, our approach is something of a mystery to residents there.

The mystery was explained by the founder of the nonprofit Grow Utah organization recently at a business association’s meeting in Portland, Maine, to explain our state’s successful economic strategy.

More than 300 people attended the meeting and heard about some of the things their state is lacking, or needs more of in order to spur business growth. The ingredients for success include “abundant and inexpensive” communications, land, energy, water and transportation, as well as financial outlets to fuel business with loans. Of course, a state also needs to be able to populate businesses with an educated workforce.

Forbes magazine ranks Utah at number three nationally among business-friendly states after three consecutive years in the top spot. Maine has been listed at the very bottom for four years in a row.

Problems in Maine include an aging population disappointing rankings in business costs, regulatory enforcement and expectations of growth.

The Grow Utah founder told listeners that at one time, people had to leave our state to find career opportunities. But a conscious shift “in business policies” enabled our children to stay here and prosper, he said.

Utah is now the youngest state in the nation, with a median age of 29. Maine is again at the other end of the spectrum, the nation’s oldest state, with a median age of 43.5.

Those entrepreneurs ready to be part of Utah’s upward trajectory should speak with an experienced business organization attorney. 

Source: Portland Press Herald, "For better business climate, Maine should look at Utah," Jessica Hall, May 21, 2014

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