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Small Business Loans: Best State to Start a Business

7/26/23 | By Kinsey Love, Digital Marketing Manager

Small Businesses in UtahWhy Utah Is the Best State to Start a Business in 2023

In Utah, more than anywhere else in the United States, business is booming. Some of the nation’s leading financial resources are taking notice as well. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the Beehive State as having the best economy in the country. WalletHub echoed that sentiment by declaring Utah as the best place to start a business. And according to the personal finance resource, those willing to open the doors to a new business can do so confidently anywhere in the state, from St. George to Logan.

For those with a big idea and a willingness to open their own small business, the research is clear: Utah is the best place to go for it. The national recognition speaks for itself.

Reasons for Starting a Small Business in Utah

Starting a small business can be a highly gratifying venture. You might have a big idea that could improve the world around you or a skill that others need and value. Starting your own business and finding success can lead to greater financial freedom, the ability to be your boss, and the possibility of passing on a family resource that can last for generations.

While risk is always associated with this huge career and life decision, those willing to take a chance in Utah can find confidence in the favorable location.

Not only is Utah’s strong economy a boon for increasing the quality of life for consumers, but business owners also benefit from perks such as low corporate income taxes, a reasonable cost of living, a talented workforce, and easy access to small business loans and resources.

Utah Boasts a Strong Economy

Many of the state’s leading figures frequently point to Utah’s economy as a source of pride. They do that for good reason. Research at Stanford University Graduate School of Business found that Utah’s rate of producing unicorns—or privately held startups that exceed a value of $1 billion—far exceeded the national average. You have a better shot of creating a unicorn in Utah than in another state in America, statistically speaking.

The reasons why are numerous. Experts and those who have been involved in ‘unicorn-making’ point to Utah’s rich supply of talented, educated, and creative workers. Many times, those who have received an education at one of Utah’s universities or colleges tend to stay in the state to build their professional career. They might do that because they’ve come to love the state’s reasonable cost of living and the ability to live, work, and play in an area filled with plenty of life-enriching activities. Utah is a beautiful place, it can be hard to leave. Many creative people choose to make their lives here.

The people and the environment are two of the bigger pieces of the puzzle. Other factors include the favorable circumstances associated with low corporate income taxes and easy access to funding. Government and business leaders in Utah know the state is great for startups and they want to keep it that way.


Utah Attracts a Talented Workforce

It doesn’t matter what you’re into or what you want to learn to do better, in Utah, you can find very talented people to learn and work alongside in virtually any industry. Take a look at the diverse list of businesses that have been financed through Altabank. Anyone with a big idea, whether it's to open a construction outfit such as RG Construction, a medical aesthetics spa like Ascent Aesthetics, or even a confectionary like Crumbl Cookies, can find success and growth in Utah.

The reason why so many people with big ideas and the determination to execute them choose to work here: they like to play here when they’re not working. With access to a thriving metropolitan hub like Salt Lake City, a slew of skiing and outdoor recreation destinations in Park City, and some of the most breathtaking National Parks in the U.S. a short drive away in Southern Utah, there’s a lot to do in Utah. After a long workday, finding a way to enjoy yourself isn’t hard to do here. That’s big for people looking to make a splash with their business.


Utah Offers Easy Access to Small Business Loans and Resources

But of course, to hit the ground running, those looking to start their own business might need some help. That help often comes in the form of financing which could be required to secure real estate, purchase equipment, produce goods, or satisfy another business need. In short, if you want to open up shop and have the best chance possible of succeeding, you’ll probably need a small business loan.

Small business loans can come in a couple of different options. The two lending options that get talked about the most are the SBA 504 Loan and the SBA 7(a) Loan. When considering financing options for your small business, it’s recommended to use an informed and educated loan officer, such as the small business specialists at Altabank, to help guide you through the process.


1. SBA 7(a) Loans

 If you need a space to launch your business, you’re going to look closely at an SBA 504 loan. This lending option is geared toward commercial real estate financing for owner-occupied properties. Often, the cost of purchasing any needed heavy machinery or equipment is included in this kind of load. 504 loans also have fixed rates and do not require any outside collateral. The fees are also lower compared to an SBA 7(a) loan, but the process may require borrowers to show that they are a viable business that contributes to overall job creation.


  2. SBA 504 Loans

In contrast, an SBA 7(a) is usually best suited for those looking to purchase an existing business or secure working capital to get expenses other than property and heavy equipment ready for work. It is possible to use a 7(a) loan to purchase commercial real estate, but this is not recommended due to its variable rate structure and the higher fees associated with it. But if you need a lending option for other expenses, or are looking to get started from the ground level, the 7(a) is the way to go. However, be advised you’ll have to put something up as collateral for the loan, as compared to the 504 loan, which uses the asset it’s financing as the collateral as well.


 3: Utah Small Businesses Resources

Again, opening a small business can seem like a daunting task, but the potential benefits can make it irresistible for those with a vision and the drive to make it happen. And there’s no better place to give it a shot than Utah. There are many resources in place to help small business owners in Utah succeed.

Here is a list of some of the most helpful and available resources:

Altabank – Small Business Lending

Altabank – Altabanking Podcast, featuring local business owners sharing their success stories

U.S. Small Business Administration

Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity – Business Services

Utah Small Business Credit Initiative

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Kinsey Love is the Digital Marketing Manager at Altabank. She specializes in content creation and strategy and enjoys all activities you can do in the mountains.