Small businesses in Utah County are growing and thriving

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    By Jeremiah Christenot

    Provo’s small businesses and those across the nation have blossomed, bringing economic prosperity.

    The majority of large companies in the United States often receive much attention, yet the phenomenal job growth of the past 15 years has taken place almost exclusively within small businesses, said Jeff Thredgold, president of Salt Lake City based Thredgold Economic Associates.

    “We consider small businesses a real strength here in Provo. We remain diverse as far as the economy is involved,” said Provo Chamber of Commerce president Steve Densley. Small businesses give community strength, he said.

    Most of the nation’s 12 million businesses are classified as “small,” and they rank as the world’s third-largest economic power, Thredgold said.

    According to The Business Journal, 828,000 small businesses were started in the 13 Western states in 1998.

    Large companies take money elsewhere while small businesses keep money local, Laser Express owner, Bradley Bates said.

    “The personal one-on-one attention that small businesses offer is vital to pleasing customers,” said A&Y Building Supply salesman, Mat Betts.

    “Small businesses lend diversity to a community,” said D&B Woods owner Karl Darrington.

    Opinion surveys by the Gallup Organization have found job satisfaction to be higher in small businesses, with workers more likely to be “extremely satisfied” with their jobs.

    A family atmosphere and a broad range of responsibilities give employees satisfaction, Bates said.

    Utah’s economy is comprised of 63,000 businesses and most of them are small, Thredgold said. “Solid economic growth is expected to continue in Utah,” he said.

    The dynamic marketplace that small businesses bring to a community help to insure future stability, whereas a city built around one large company is unstable, Densley said.

    “With the entrepreneurial spirit alive, small businesses will continue to strengthen Provo,” Densley said.

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