Grand County looks to bolster entrepreneurship in Moab

Networking initiative to kick off Feb. 10

Photo by Carter Pape

Grand and San Juan County businesses will converge next week for the first business summit to bring the two communities together, and the Grand County Division of Community and Economic Development has reeled in some notable figures to speak at the event, including the U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) and the Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

As high-profile as the day’s opening events with the elected officials will be, the closing event might be the one with the largest long-term impact. The kick-off event for the Grand Area Innovation Network — GAIN for short — will bring together the area’s entrepreneurial minds for a networking initiative that officials hope will enhance the resilience and well-being of the local economy through “entrepreneurship and small business development.”

The networking project could spur in Moab an expansion of economic and business diversity, inspiring activity in currently struggling and non-existent economic sectors in Moab. Zacharia Levine, Grand County’s Community and Economic Development director, said the goal of the network is to enhance the resiliency and wellbeing of the local economy through “entrepreneurship and small business development.”

“From my perspective, GAIN represents a critical first step in developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in our community,” Levine said. “I have a lot of positive anticipation for this initiative and what it might foster in the way of new business formation, small business development, and new not-for-profit efforts.”

98 Center will host the initiative’s inaugural networking event from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 10 following the Canyonlands Business Summit, which is the next iteration of the Moab Business Summit of recent years.