Coalition honors trio for help building Salt Lake City small businesses
Published: May 25, 2014 02:55PM
Updated: May 23, 2014 08:22AM
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Tribune file photo Richard Wirick, owner of The Oxford Shop in downtown Salt Lake City, died Feb. 21, 2012, in a traffic accident.

Salt Lake City’s Vest Pocket Business Coalition on Thursday honored three individuals for their contributions to building neighborhood business districts.

Recipients of the second-annual Richard M. Wirick Awards named after the deceased Oxford Shop shoe store owner known as “Mr. Downtown” include Betsy Burton of The King’s English Bookshop, lobbyist Frank Pignanelli and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a news release said.

Burton received the coalition’s Richard M. Wirick Lifetime Achievement Award, which goes to an entrepreneur who focuses on local business issues and supports the vitality of local businesses, the release said. Burton was a founding member of the coalition and of Salt Lake City’s Local First movement.

Becker was honored with Vest Pocket’s Independent Business Advocate Award for his efforts as mayor to promote and strengthen local business and to level the playing field for all businesses regardless of size, according to the release.

Pignanelli, an attorney, lobbyist and former Utah House minority leader, received emeritus/lifetime membership in the coalition. “He has always helped Vest Pocket gain insight into each year’s legislative process, along with the important relationships that shape legislative outcomes,” the release said.

The Vest Pocket Business Coalition works to strengthen independent entrepreneurship and supports businesses and local communities through advocacy, education and social connections. More information is available at www.vestpocket.org