Changes in the state's cooperative economic development program will soon make more money available to areas not experiencing Utah's current prosperity.
The changes are focused on Utah Small Cities Inc. and Metro Utah Inc., two programs formed by former Gov. Norm Bangerter to coordinate marketing and other economic development between local governments and the state.Under the change, member counties of Utah Small Cities and Metro Utah will apply directly to the Utah Division of Business and Economic Development for $290,000 of program money and $35,000 in marketing money. "I feel in the past we have been managing contracts instead of managing resources," said Rick Mayfield, division director and former chairman of Metro Utah.
Applications for portions of the $290,000 will be approved by a five-person board that will include Mayfield; the director of the division's office of business development; and the executive director of the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development.
Allocations of the $35,000 in marketing money will be approved through the division's national marketing office.
In addition to eliminating duplication, the new plan is designed to redistribute resources to areas that need it most.
"Most of the economic development money in the stream now is going to areas already doing the best. We're going to reverse that," said Mayfield.