In an effort to bring together small business owners in Orem, and to give them support and access to resources, the city has launched a new Orem Business Alliance organization.

The first meeting was held in early March with about 100 attending. It was a successful first meeting according to Kathi Lewis, Orem’s Economic Development director. Many stayed after to network.

Then COVID-19 shut down those attempts and, temporarily, many of those businesses with it.

After two months, the organization, the Orem Business Alliance, is up and running again. It's needed more than ever, according to Lewis.

On May 12, it will hold its first webinar with a few banks and financial institutions to talk about ways small businesses can receive financing while the pandemic weighs on the economy.

Orem has about 5,000 businesses on the business license list, according to Lewis.

“Orem is the birthplace of Silicon Slopes,” Lewis said. “We foster a creative support environment where businesses can grow.”

The Orem Business Alliance aims to support and uplift small businesses through a three-fold mission: by providing a venue for business networking, by building a relationship between the city and businesses that implements advocates for the small business community, and by providing small businesses with access to resources.

“We plan to meet the first two objectives through luncheons, meetings and webinars,” said Nate Prescott, Economic Development analyst for Orem. “We plan to meet the third objective through emails, websites and through working with the Utah Valley Business Resource Center.”

The Utah Valley Business Resource Center, adjacent to Utah Valley University, has a number of tools and resources to help small businesses thrive, including a business incubator.

“Our businesses are so important,” Lewis said. “So many small businesses represent the goals and hopes of families in Orem.”

According to Lewis, the Orem Business Alliance has the full support of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.

"This is something energizing and positive for businesses to meet,” Lewis said. “We saw it at our first meeting. We want to support a healthy business climate.”

The alliance is between the city and businesses with major support from the resource center.

According to Prescott, the alliance is currently building a board of directors and is looking for a few business members to be directors.

Business owners can sign up to receive emails and information from the Orem Business Alliance at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/YD932BK

You may also call Lewis at (801) 229-7079 or email her at kmlewis@orem.org.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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