|Utah Senator Bob Bennett holds up a creation put together by some young enterprisers during the Rural Business Conference in Price two weeks ago. Bennett also granted an hour long interview with press members who were attending the conference.|
When Bob Bennett came to the speakers podium during the Rural Business Conference that was held at the College of Eastern Utah two weeks ago, everyone knew that he would be very pro-business. But his advice to the audience was resounding when it came to one thing.
The importance of the customer.
"A lot of people in business are stubborn," he said. "They don't pay attention to what customers want."
He told the assembled group that often lawyers lose cases in court because they have learned to reason like an attorney. They see things one way and can't imagine anyone else seeing it differently. He said the best attorneys learn that there are no lawyers on a jury and so they have to think like a layman when it comes to the law.
"In the same way you need to think where the customer will be to keep your business going," he said.
But beyond business, Bennett was also candid about some other things when he later granted an interview to members of the press who were attending the conference.
"When it comes to business, I don't think a lot of folks in rural Utah know what is available to them," he said as he explained the reason for the conference and it's many aspects. He pointed out that in the lobby of the CEU Student Center that day there were a lot of opportunities for small businesses to find funding and help to get started or to grow.
He also spent some time discussing various issues that are of local importance. One of those that seems to be on most peoples mind in the area was water.
"Water is a concern in all parts of the state," he said. "I know some people are considering the construction of a pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George. There is something that needs to be done to provide water for growth in Utah. I believe growth is good."
When asked about the situation concerning construction of a dam in the Price River drainage he was forthright about his feelings.
"You wouldn't like my answer to that question," he stated. "I believe if we are going to have more residents we will need to develop water resources. I think we need to build more dams, I am for that. Projects like the Central Utah Project are essential."
One of the things Bennett brought up during his address to the conference also emerged in his private conversations with the press.
"We have to pay attention to China and her economic power," he said. "When I toured businesses in the Price area yesterday, one of them was Peczuh Printing. What I found out there was that, in these days of electronics and computers, their biggest competitor in the printing business is in China."
Bennett feels that as China grows we will need to be ever more vigilant about their advantages.
"We do have one big advantage over them though and that is our entrepreunership," he said.
Bennett also discussed health care in the country and said that the problem of escalating costs needs to be solved. He hopes the congress can do something about it but equated the movement in the expanding expense of health care to Newton's second law of motion.
"A body in motion tends to stay in motion," he said.
He also said that he was concerned about the direction wilderness legislation is going, hoping that the Lincoln County, Nevada bill that breaks down wilderness legislation a county at a time in little chunks could be the answer to the problem of overall wilderness designation.
The bill passed Congress last November and was based on a request that a corridor be provided to the Southern Nevada Water Authority for a pipeline to carry water from other counties to Clark County where Las Vegas is located. The bill also included several other provisions, many of which were opposed by such groups as the Wilderness Society and the Nevada Wilderness Coalition. The legislation designated 768,294 acres as new wilderness while it withdrew a little over almost 252,000 acres from wilderness study. The wilderness groups had been advocating for nearly 2.5 million acres of wilderness in Lincoln County.
"I hope to act as a broker on any new similar legislation and maybe we can make it work in other places as well," he concluded.