About Joan Muschamp / www.lemonzestmarketing.com / 801-996-8678

City Pages

Marketing to Women Snapshot

Salt Lake City is a part of the Salt Lake City, UT MSA. Utah’s women in business market in 2012 had an estimated 66,300 businesswomen and generated $11,395,300.  As the first spokeswoman for Salt Lake City UT, I will be putting together a business cluster for local businesswomen who want to join forces to share the cost of marketing and advertising to grow their female client base.

Salt Lake City is a great place for small businesses and entreprenuers. Consistently highly ranked for its business climate, Utah is listed as one of the top 6 most small business friendly states. As the largest and capital city of Utah, and its major population base, Salt Lake City offers small businesses a great environment for business. IN both 2010 and 2011, Utah topped the Forbes list as the Best U.S. State for Business and Careers, and Salt Lake City ranked as the nation’s most productive city in 2011. There are more accolades for the state which is economically centered here in Salt Lake City.

Business Climate

The unemployment rate consistently outperforms the national average. Served by two major universities, The University of Utah, right in Salt Lake City, and Brigham Young University, in nearby Provo as well as many other colleges and universities including Westminster College, also in Salt Lake, many enterprising and well educated young people learn to enjoy life in the Wasatch Front. Most of these educational institutions offer specific programs in Entrepreneurship which offers much needed support to small business. The University of Utah, or “The U” as it is known here, has an Entrepreneur program at the David Eccles School of Business listed as the nation’s leading university for startup businesses.

Tourism is clearly a major economic force in Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Front offers world class skiing easily accessible from the Valley, including high profile resorts such as Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Deer Valley in nearby Park City. Year round activities include both road cycling and mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, camping and much, much more. Utah is home to several phenomenal National Parks, including Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion National Parks to name only a few. Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival, which is an international film event that also includes venues in Salt Lake City, Ogden and of course, Sundance. It attracts international celebrities as well as film buffs from around the world for over 2 weeks of film screenings, parties, dinners, skiing and in general fun. In 2010, tourism accounted for over $6.5 billion in spending in Utah.


For those requiring access to transportation routes, Salt Lake is the hub of several major interstate routes and is within a one-day truck drive or less to almost every major western US city, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is served by a major International airport (easy to access) and rail lines that connect to major western seaports. Salt Lake City boasts an excellent mass transit system that helps keep traffic on the highways and streets easy to navigate, and the system is a priority and continually being expanded and upgraded.


Small businesses have access to lending through the SBA as well as micro-loans of less than $35,000 to help give businesses the boost they need to grow. The Women’s Business Center, affiliated with the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce and partially funded by a grant from the SBA, specifically offers an array of services and classes to women business owners in the region. They also offer networking events monthly, which give women the opportunity to network and share. Microloan programs are available, and there is a center devoted to the concept, Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund (UMLF). The Larry H. Miller Center Entrepreneurship Center in Sandy, UT offers a wide array of services to entrepreneurs, including an Incubator program.

Networking for small business and women in particular is thriving in Salt Lake City. Led by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) many women-specific groups here offer frequent networking events. NAWBO stands out as it is part of a national organization that offers benefits and resources to members, but also lobbies at the national level to help level the playing field for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Its membership doubled in 2011, and is looking to continue its pace over the next years, to give women a strong voice in business.

In addition to the Salt Lake Chamber, there are several local Chambers of Commerce, which not only serve regionally, but also help the smaller, localized bricks and mortar businesses by promoting the micro-local environment for those who want the convenience of a neighborhood business. The Chambers all offer Women-in-Business groups and events to help ensure women have the opportunity to network together and have targeted information to help with their specific needs. The Chambers also offer many cooperative joint-chamber events to serve the more “metropolitan” style businesses whose models include a wider service area.

Independent groups also abound, from the Utah Women’s Alliance for Business and Community (UWABC), Park City Women’s Business Network, Smart Women in Marketing (SWIM), the Vest Pocket Coalition, the Downtown Alliance, and Meetups. Meetups are vibrant and plentiful in Utah, mostly centered in or around Salt Lake City. Local First Utah promotes local businesses and the economic benefits of purchasing from small businesses, and supports small businesses in a variety of ways. Many are based on entrepreneurship and small business, while others are interest-based but offer many, many great opportunities for women to network and meet others for cross promotion or joint ventures.

There are many conferences and exhibitions throughout the year in the Salt Lake Valley, including:

  • Salt Lake Chamber Business Expo
  • Neighborhood Business Conference
  • Women’s Business Center Conference
  • Sandy Chamber Business Expo
  • Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • What A Woman Wants Expos

There are also a number of major home shows and other industry-specific events that host conferences and trade show opportunities to reach the specific market segments.


There are several publications that serve the region. The largest and most notable business publication is Utah Business, which publishes a monthly magazine and the annual Book of Lists, as well as daily e-news updates for subscribers.

Major local dailies are the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. Salt Lake Community College also publishes The Globe newspaper and several independent publications such as City Weekly and SLUG focus on more independent news and include a big arts and entertainment focus. Salt Lake Magazine publishes 6-8 times per year and is known for its in-depth coverage of tourism and restaurants.

The Arts & Entertainment are vivid here in Salt Lake City, with many venues throughout the valley and within easy driving distance. An abundance of free concerts, paid concerts in both indoor and outdoor venues, as well as museums, film, professional sports such as the Real Salt Lake MLS team, and minor league baseball, arena football, and PAC-12 collegiate sports at the U also contribute to a vibrant community life.

Utah’s women-owned businesses are growing, and more women are starting and bringing businesses here. Some business statistics for Utah women’s businesses:

Growth in number of Utah woman-owned firms from 1997 to 2012: 57.9%
National growth for same time period: 54.1%

Sales for Utah woman-owned firms rose 123.6% over the same time period, from $5,096,187 to $11,395,300. Nationally the increase was substantially less at 57.57%. Utah represents almost 8% of the national growth total.

“Like all business climates, having a business here in Salt Lake City has its challenges. But, the State of Utah is business-friendly and the startup costs for licensing and forming your business entity are very reasonable, as are local business licenses. Some states charge 10 times or more these amounts.” Patricia Broffels, Transformed Interiors

“Networking opportunities here are seemingly endless. They literally helped me get my business moving far more rapidly than in other markets I’ve lived on the East Coast. Plus, the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs I’ve met at these events far exceeds those from the larger, established companies and institutions. It provides so many partnering and cross-promotion opportunities because we all want to grow. It also seems to me that the women business owners are far more receptive to this than the men.” Joan Muschamp, LemonZest Marketing LLC.

Podcast from June Marketing to Women Week




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