Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Basin to Become "BEAR" Country

After months of preparation, the Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program is being rolled out in the Uintah Basin.

Carbon and Emery counties have been running the BEAR program since January 2006. To date, the program there has conducted face-to-face visits with nearly 1,300 businesses. The goal is to learn more about each company, then link the business to local, county, regional and state resources.

More than $1.8 million in grants and tax credits have been awarded to 78 businesses in the two counties, 111 jobs have been created and 39 jobs have been retained. In return, more than $8 million has been invested by companies in the counties. “We want to have similar success in the Basin,” Lucero said. “A team of interviewers has been trained and is ready to meet with business managers.”

A 15 to 20 minute interview is conducted, after which the BEAR representative enters the data into a computer system with referrals. The representatives sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibits them from sharing information with other parties.

BEAR partners include more than a dozen local and state organizations. A partial list includes the Small Business Development Center, Uintah Basin Applied Technology College’s Custom Fit training program, VISTA, Utah Vocational Rehabilitation, Utah State University, and the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
Those interested in learning more about the BEAR program should contact Hansen at 435-722-4598 or Lucero at 435-781-6767.