Local Business Advocate Wins Award for Efforts Along U.S. Highway 89 – Press Release 3/30/2003

DATE 3/30/2003 4:55 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Heritage Council on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Local Business Advocate Wins Award for Efforts Along U.S. Highway 89

Gary Anderson, a Utah State University extension agent and former mayor of Ephraim, has received an award from the Small Business Administration for his efforts in starting and promoting businesses along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway. Anderson will receive the award during a ceremony in Salt Lake City on May 5. He was recognized in the State and Region 8″ division by the federal agency. Anderson has been involved in numerous endeavors related to promoting and starting businesses in the communities along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway. He has been working with local craft makers and business owners on ways to market their products and promote the highway, and says they are making slow, but steady progress. The most difficult part is taking someone s idea and turning it into something that is marketable and profitable, he says. Anderson has been focusing on helping develop co-op stores where craft makers and producers can display and sell their wares. The biggest issue along the highway is that artists and artisans don t have the storefronts for people to see and buy their products, he says. We are trying to organize several co-ops along the highway so that groups of artists can share space and work together to promote and sell their crafts.

Plans call for developing co-op stores at the four corners of the highway. This will include new stories in Glendale, Escalante, Elsinore and improving the existing Ephraim Co-op. The Ephraim Co-op has been in business since 1989 and is home to the crafts and products of about 65 local producers. The Glendale shop, the Long Valley Co-op at Apple Hollow, is on track to eventually display the works of 30 to 50 local artists. Anderson and other USU extension also plan to study how the co-ops are run to find ways of making them more productive and profitable.

Anderson has also worked on two separate feasibility studies that pertain to business activity along U.S. Highway 89, including the plausibility of the highway receiving national historical designation, an effort being promoted by U.S. Senator Bob Bennett. The university also studied the feasibility of having the cities and towns along the highway support tourism efforts through local attractions and the production of handmade crafts, items and art work, which prompted the four corners developments.

The studies were conducted in collaboration with the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, which is comprised of representatives from the cities that lie between Kanab and Fairview along the highway. The Alliance includes artists, craft makers, shop and inn keepers, outfitters, restaurant owners and the public sector.

In addition to his efforts along the highway, the award also recognized a course that Anderson teaches at Snow College s Small Business Development Center, one of 12 regional centers in the state that assist small business owners.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502


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