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Utah businesses are leading the way in a return to prosperity

Bill Harmon, Goal Zero general manager, speaks at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Goal Zero partnered with two other local outdoor gear manufacturers, DPS Skis and Petzl, to produce tens of thousands of PPE for the Utah Department of Health.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Businesses across the state are leaning in to serve their communities during this time of need. The handful highlighted here are illustrative of thousands more showing true corporate citizenship.

You might not think of a ski manufacturer when considering the immediate need for personal protective equipment (PPE), but DPS Skis demonstrated out-of-the-box thinking when it retooled its manufacturing facility to make plastic face shields. DPS Skis partnered with two other local outdoor gear manufacturers, Goal Zero and Petzl, to produce tens of thousands of PPEs for the Utah Department of Health.

L3Harris Broadband Communications Systems is the state’s largest tech company with a mission to equip warfighters protecting the homeland. In the battle against coronavirus, L3Harris showed the same determination by supporting front-line health care workers. In collaboration with the University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation, employees volunteered their time to produce powered air-purifying respirators for a variety of organizations including Indian Health Services.

Testing is vital to the fight against COVID-19. Not only does testing help identify those infected and contain the virus spread, it also provides data that facilitates a strategic approach to protecting specific populations rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach. One of the ways Utah has stayed ahead of the curve in fighting the virus is increasing testing capacity. Merit Medical is leading the charge by producing 400,000 testing kits for the state, while at the same time setting an example of how to stay safe and stay open through safety protocols with employees.

While the pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, for many employees working from home is not an option. These essential services range from utility companies like Dominion Energy and Rocky Mountain Power to UTA transit operators. Keeping the supply chain moving is also critical to the economy and livelihoods, and no one understands that better than C.R. England trucking company. For over 100 years, this Utah-grown, family-owned business has delivered the products we rely on. During the current crisis those on the road and behind the scenes have kept goods moving and households supplied.

No industry has been hit harder by this crisis than restaurants. Yet even in their time of greatest need, many of these business owners have set their own challenges aside and stepped up to serve others. In partnership between philanthropic community leaders, local restaurants including Café Rio, Village Baker, R&R BBQ, Chick-fil-A Utah, Salsa Leedos, Settelbello, and Mo’Bettahs have provided over 25,000 meals to ensure the homeless have a warm meal.

At the forefront of everyone’s mind during this crisis has been the health and well-being of loved ones. Utah benefited long before the pandemic by a robust health care system that boasts low cost and high quality. Health care providers like Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Steward Health Care, MountainStar and many others are supporting their employees who are supporting those in need. It is hard to put into words the gratitude we all feel for those who put themselves at risk to care for those who need it most.

These are just a few Utah companies making a difference in their communities. They are showing the way forward by planting the seeds of economic recovery and leading the way in a return to prosperity.

Derek Miller is the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.