Local firms shape up,ship out as exporters
As the local Business Expansion and Retention Project (BEAR) continues to grow and evolve, it mission becomes more and more complex as local entrepreneurs move into a global economy. The once fledgling enterprise of Castle Country BEAR is now funded by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is active in more than 20 counties throughout Utah and is pushing a statewide emphasis on product innovation and worldwide export.
"Because Utah, Carbon County and Price have all been so financially responsible, this area is not seeing the widespread fiscal issues which are damaging the rest of the country," explained Carbon County Economic Development Director and BEAR Administrator Delynn Fielding. "This whole recent issue with the debt ceiling will not effect the local area quite as badly as some others because of local fiscal responsibility."
To capitalize on the Castle Valley's responsible finance, Fielding and others at BEAR are pushing local business owners to expand both their products and their product reach by exploring the possibility of innovation within their particular product wide export of that product in addition to local marketing.
Fielding reported that BEAR is currently looking for between three and four companies willing to examine their current skills and machinery in order to determine what possible products and markets they could break into with new manufacturing practices. To facilitate this innovation training, BEAR is partnering with USU Eastern to ensure that the chosen businesses are provided the expertise needed to move forward.
"Locally, many businesses have already jumped on the innovation and exportation bandwagon," said Fielding. "In the Castle Valley alone, Golden West, Intermountain Electronics and Talon Resources are moving forward with new products and new markets and they are only the tip of the iceberg."
According to Fielding, Talon is moving forward with a communications device which allows outside officials to view miners up to four miles underground.
"The demonstration I saw showed a man pick up his cell phone four miles underground. I watched him call into the office and then talked to him in real time," explained the Carbon County Economic Development Director. "This technology is vital not only for safety reason but also from a production prospective, miners can now photograph broken parts and send those photos to the surface, they can talk their way through repairs in real time."
Fielding reported that Talon is currently involved in talks with Chile and other countries concerning the technology.
While global export may seem out of reach for many local businesses, the local BEAR Administrator stressed that small companies from all over the Beehive State are expanding the customer base both at home and abroad through innovation projects similar to what is being conducted here in Carbon County.
"Percentage wise, Utah is the fastest growing exporter anywhere in the United States. To take advantage of this trend, we need local businesses to come forward and put their products and services to the test," said Fielding. "It goes back to keeping a sound fiscal house. Utah is beginning to grow in many ways, and a business that is willing to take advantage of this change by expanding into new markets and growing where they already are can do very well."
Note that all of BEAR's services are provided free of charge to local businesses and their personnel.
"All the help a business could want is available in this office," concluded Fielding from the Carbon County Economic Development Offices. "With continuing funding and motivated owners and managers, we can help the Castle Valley's business culture get the most out of what is available right now."