OREM -- In a move to get Orem business owners communicating their concerns and desires with the city, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce has offered to join forces with the city in a special Orem Business Forum.
The event will be held Feb. 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Garden Room at Sleepy Ridge Golf course, 730 S. Sleepy Ridge Drive.
"The idea came about in a chamber of commerce meeting where we were talking about State Street business concerns," said Val Hale, president and CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He added, "We are Orem's chamber just as much as anyone else's and we'd like to help."
Mayor Jim Evans said he is hoping the Orem forum will bring businesses in to talk to staff about a variety of topics.
According to Hale, the forum will provide an opportunity for the city to tell business owners what it is doing and give updates and information on RDA projects and more, as well as allow businesses to tell the city about their concerns.
New businesses continue to move into Orem, such as Sketchers, which is opening soon next to Burlington Coat Factory on University Parkway. But other businesses are struggling -- such as Midtown Village, which is a State Street eyesore that is close to announcing construction plans, and University Mall, which has lost two anchor tenants in the past several years.
Orem leaders also are focused on a plan to create a more walkable downtown area around the city offices and for State Street to be sectioned into redevelopment projects and be upgraded in stages. Evans would like businesses to weigh in on these issues.
Hale said the Orem forum will be the beginning of a number of discussions that could help build Orem's business community and activity among businesses themselves.
"Having a dialog is productive. We'd like to do this a couple of times a year," Hale said. "We want them to know the chamber cares about what they're doing."
To register for the Orem forum go to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5299396638#.