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Letter: Utah leaders should be cautious of anti-competition bills

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

For decades, Utah’s government has provided numerous resources and benefits for startups and small businesses and continues to help foster relationships between businesses, education, government and our communities. In doing so, Utah remains among the top five states for businesses in the U.S. For many small businesses, social media platforms and other online marketing tools have allowed them to continue doing business during the pandemic, enter new markets and reach new customers online. Unfortunately, anti-innovation legislation will restrict this system by depriving startups ability to raise capital and threaten the tools they use every day to reach new and existing customers, grow their business, and foster economic growth.

Despite the pandemic causing economic lows, Utah’s economy has been thriving. In November 2021, Utah’s unemployment rate dropped to a historic low of 2.1%, half the national mark of 4.2%. Utah’s tech industry represents 9.6% of our overall workforce and is hiring more than ever before and over the next decade, expected to grow more than in any other state. Utah has nearly 8,200 tech businesses, and the tech sector has a direct impact of $20.1 billion on Utah’s economy. That percentage is the ninth-highest among all states. Our elected officials need to understand that technology is not a threat but a leading tool for businesses and our continued economic growth. I urge our Congressional leaders to remain cautious of anti-competition bills that will ultimately put our strong business climate and economy at risk.

Anna Hougaard, Vinyard

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