As 2018 comes to a close we take some time to reflect on the great year the county has had. We have seen tremendous business expansion efforts, in addition to new business creation and relocation into the county. As a county we have reached significant milestones, through collaborative partnerships, with our infrastructure planning and development. Broadband was a key area of focus, and we are excited to have secured funding for additional fiber expansion in 2019. Additionally, we are excited for the continued planned growth and community development in the Spanish Valley region. We are aware of the continued gap in our current workforce, and the need for its diversification and will continue to work towards those needs in the upcoming year. The milestones achieved would not have been possible without you, our partner in the community. We would like to express our gratitude to the various partners who have provided support throughout this past year as we continue to strive in our efforts of creating a strong, sustainable, and diverse economy in San Juan County.
A San Juan County Favorite expands. Driving by 95 N Grayson Parkway in Blanding over the last few months has generated head-turning interest as a town staple has been undergoing substantial changes/expansion. Locals have been observing each step of the way and planning routes past the construction to witness the progress.

The property in the spotlight? The Patio Drive-In. Proprietor turned restaurateur, Lana Arthur reports that the catalyst for the growth was actually the fact that the foundation had sunk as much as four inches in one corner of the building and she had to contact a contractor to repair the damage. From there, she began adding things that she'd like to have for the restaurant to operate more efficiently. She quickly came up with a priority list and atop the list was more storage space for food to match demands (Lana reports that she had an issue with running out of ice cream as a function of lacking storage space to meet demand). Expanding with energy efficient and more plentiful storage led to realizing there were options for energy efficient kitchen equipment which led to her replacing all of her kitchen equipment.
Lana Arthur cuts the ribbon on The Patio's grand re-opening (left). A throng of hungry Patio patrons (right).
Expansion of refrigerated storage and the addition of all new equipment brought up the need for expanded space for the kitchen, storage and for the droves of people that consider the Patio a must-stop destination whether local or visiting the area based on online reviews, previous experience or advice from locals. With that in mind, Lana decided to also double the space used for dining area and the rest, as they say, is history.
The grand opening took place on Monday, December third to a throng of excited patrons ready to test out new menu items and to experience the all new interior from the flooring to the colors to the custom-made 60s style booths, tables and chairs. In addition to these, the Patio now offers online ordering, stamped concrete outdoor seating, a revised menu and faster turn times. And here's a little secret, the Houston, is not a menu item anymore but is still available as a locals secret item for the asking. Also keep an ear out for live piano and if you're interested in showcasing your talents, stop by and talk to Lana.

Lana reports that her plans were helped along through consultation with many people and organizations, including the San Juan County Office of Economic Development and , and that she was able to take advantage of popular programs available in San Juan County called the Rural Fast Track Grant, the Revolving Loan Fund and an energy efficiency rebate program called Rural Energy for America Program. Her success highlights an effective way to utilize many of the opportunities available together. The project began in July of 2017 and completed in December of 2018 and along the way she received much well-meant feedback indicating that what she envisioned wouldn't happen. Lana persevered and overcame many obstacles to succeed. Stop in and check out the expansion and congratulate Lana on a job well done. More information on the programs mentioned in this article are included as links below.
As 2018 comes to a close, we are grateful to our partners who have helped us as we continue to grow and develop a successful tourism economy. The "2018 Tourism Year in Review" includes a report of visitation numbers, Transient Room Tax and Restaurant Tax comparisons, overview of in-state marketing, overview of international marketing, overview of online marketing, overview of PR efforts, overview of Trade and consumer shows, overview of FAM tours, as well as an overview of funding mechanisms. The complete report can be viewed in the link below. Additionally, we recently rolled out a whiteboard animation video explaining Transient Room Tax (TRT) including how it is collected and state statute outlining its usage.
To better serve our partners in the tourism trade industry we will be releasing a monthly email in a news skim format. The goal with this is to provide a briefing to our industry partners of any news, updates, and local stories in San Juan County -- Utah's Canyon Country.

Content we would like to include:
  • Company/Organization Press Releases
  • Cutting-Edge Vendor Recommendations
  • Job Openings/Career Advancement Opportunities
  • Accolades/Awards
  • New Hires/Retirements
  • Upcoming Events
Please submit all news & stories to: info@utahscanyoncountry.com
Tourism Business Resources...
Guides & Outfitters are listed at no charge on Visit Utah . To get listed or update your listing, please visit the Guides & Outfitters page and e-mail any changes or new listings to Kelly Day with the Utah Office of Tourism at: kday@utah.gov  (Include: a brief description of services, full address, phone number, website URL, contact person for the listing and a few images. It would also be helpful to send your TripAdvisor link.)
We've been featured on various platforms, and are continually working to expand our public relations. To keep a pulse on articles, posts, and other coverage about San Juan Country Economic Development, Utah's Canyon Country, or our office in general check out the newsroom reel on our website.
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Monthly Economic Briefing
December 2018

*Division of Workforce Services Job Count Estimates based on Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
* Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted
*Data in parentheses represents November 2017 data
Please take note of deadlines for some of these funding sources.
State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant The State of Utah has received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant to help Utah small businesses enter and expand into dynamic global markets. STEP is funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is administered by World Trade Center Utah. 

The purpose of STEP is:
  1. To increase the number of eligible small business concerns in the State that export
  2. To increase the value of exports by eligible small business concerns in the State
  3. To increase the number of eligible small business concerns exploring significant new trade opportunities
STEP is a cost reimbursement grant. Recipients may receive up to $10,000 for various eligible international business activities. All grant awards require a 25 percent cash match by the grant recipient.
The Targeted Business Tax Credit (TBTC) is an Office of Rural Development (ORD) incentive that has been underutilized in the past for several different reasons, but we are ready to promote it! For more detailed information, see GOED’s website: https://business.utah.gov/rural/ and scroll down to the Targeted Business Tax Credit. 

Noteworthy on TBTC:
  • This is a "time sensitive" program and applications will be accepted from Jan 1 - Feb 1, 2019. 
  • TBTC is a competitive process and submitted projects will be reviewed, ranked and rated according to statute, rules and policy.
  • TBTC projects must meet a high standard in terms of capital investment and number of jobs created
  • TBTC is only available to businesses located in counties of less than 25,000 population
Here's a handy sheet that describes the most popular funding options available in San Juan County . You'll also find links to requiring funding below.
21 Bluff Solstice Celebration, Bluff, Utah

10 Economic Development Open House, Bluff Fort, Bluff, UT
12 Back Country Film Festival and Taco Bar, Canyon Country Discovery Center
18-20 21st Annual Bluff International Balloon Festival, Bluff, Utah

07 Economic Development Open House Monument Valley, USU Learning Facility, Monument Valley, UT
16 BYU Orchestra, Monticello HS Auditorium

01 BYU Living Legends, San Juan HS Auditorium
07 Economic Development Open House Aneth/MC, USU Learning Facility, Montezuma Creek, UT
08 Kent Lyman (Pianist), San Juan HS Auditorium
19 Extasis Argentinian Tango Trio, Monticello HS Auditorium

19 STEAM Expo, USU Eastern Campus
22 Spring Gala, Monticello High School Auditorium
San Juan County EDVS