South Jordan City named business-friendly community
Oct 28, 2016 12:22PM
By Briana Kelley
From left to right, South Jordan City Manager Gary Whatcott; Councilmember Don Shelton; Lt. Governor Spencer Cox; Director of City Commerce Brian Preece; Councilmember Tamara Zander; Executive Assistant Brooke Smith. (Brooke Smith/South Jordan City)
By Briana Kelley | [email protected]
South Jordan, Utah - South Jordan City has been awarded with the 2016 Utah Governor’s Business Friendly Community Award for reaching out to businesses in an effort to reduce difficult regulations at a local level. The city was one of four recognized at the League of Cities and Towns annual meeting on Sept. 12.
“It was great to be recognized by the state, and I think we are doing fairly well for our city. We got a lot of good responses back from our business survey, and it’s good to know where we’re headed,” Brooke Smith, executive assistant of city commerce, said.
Smith led efforts to qualify for the award, which included surveying local business leaders, reviewing business regulations and revising any unnecessary ordinances, regulations or procedures currently in place, as stated on the Salt Lake Chamber website.
A short survey was sent to all local business owners who provided an email address to the city. Smith received 275 responses, a little over 17 percent of the total number sent. The majority of those responding had a home occupation license, but those with food vendor licenses, commercial licenses, mobile food vendor licenses and beauty salon licenses also participated.
Business owners’ main complaints focused on sign ordinance restrictions, fees and renewals, and home occupation regulations. Business owners also expressed dissatisfaction for postcard notifications, mobile food vendor restrictions and miscellaneous hurdles.
“Most of the complaints we received in the survey we already knew about, but it was good to know how many cared about these issues and to have it written down,” Smith said. “We now know where to focus our future regulations and rules so we know how to make our businesses and residents happier.”
Overall, when asked whether South Jordan City’s business licensing application processes and requirements were too lenient, too restrictive or about right, almost 90 percent of those surveyed responded about right.
In response to the complaints received, city officials created a home occupation committee to discuss changes to the Home Occupation Ordinance. Discussion will include changing the neighborhood notifications requirements, restricting home occupations licenses for certain “types” of business and changing the number of vehicles allowed per business license.
City leaders also purchased a new business licensing database and are currently working on implementations. The new database will allow business license applications to be paperless. Renewals can be done via the Web, and applicants will be able to check the status of their license any time. It will also shorten permit issuance times, promote citizen self-service and reduce paper and manual processes, according to city offcials. Its anticipated release date is Nov. 1.
“I think that South Jordan tries to go above and beyond what is expected of city communities,” Smith said. “We try to really work with our business executives and the citizens who live here because we want them to succeed. We exemplify good business manners within our city, and we try to be supportive of those who live here and work here, and we want them to succeed.”