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Business conference all about small companies

Carbon County Commissioner Mike Milovich talks with Senator Bob Bennett during a reception that was held as part of the business conference on Thursday evening.

Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) encouraged hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Utah to stay positive about the economy as he kicked off his ninth annual Rural Business Conference in Price where the focus was on job creation and economic growth in the energy sector.

"Job creation comes from small businesses, not from Fortune 500 companies," said Bennett. "But it's those small businesses that grow that have the potential to become Fortune 500 companies. The government must do more for this sector of the economy and recognize that small businesses are the key to igniting our economy.

Nearly 520 small business men and women from 67 cities and 22 counties in Utah attended the conference at the Carbon County Event Center on Friday. More than 50 organizations and businesses were also on display during the business exposition, giving attendees the chance to network.

Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron Technology, was the keynote speaker and addressed the conference about tactics and values he believes will help make small businesses successful. He encouraged attendees to set realistic expectations, to build relationships, and to persevere. Micron is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductors, and with Intel Corporation, jointly operates IM Flash Technologies in Lehi to manufacture memory used in various computer and communications devices. When he became CEO of Micron at age 34, Appleton was one of the youngest CEOs in the Fortune 500.

The conference included various workshop sessions on budget-friendly strategies for marketing and sales, building a home-based business, acquiring small business capital, community economic development, developing social media strategies and rural business growth.

Bennett also led a discussion on energy development alongside Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners. The two discussed the policy and economic impacts related to climate change and energy development in a local, national and global setting and took questions from the crowd.

At the opening session of the conference, Bennett was given the key to the city of Price by Mayor Joe Piccolo.

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