Diane Smith, founder and CEO of American Rural, will be the keynote speaker at the 5th annual Moab Business Summit. [Courtesy photo]

Business owners and would-be entrepreneurs can learn about available resources to help with their ideas and enterprises at the fifth annual Moab Business Summit.

“Moab’s Future Economy: What’s Your Fit?” will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Moab Valley Inn and Conference Center, 711 S. Main St.

Grand County Community Development Director Zacharia Levine said that people will find inspiration for business development and expansion.

“The agenda we put together is intended to provide local business owners and entrepreneurs education (on) a variety of topics,” Levine said.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast and a presentation on the state of the economy by Derek Miller of World Trade Center Utah. Interim Moab City Manager David Everitt will speak specifically about Moab’s state of the economy.

The event’s keynote speaker is Diane Smith, founder and CEO of American Rural, “a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring robust opportunities for rural and small town Americans.”

“She’s a dynamic speaker,” said Beth McCue, director of the Small Business Development Center and Business Resource Center at Utah State University-Moab. “She writes about building successful businesses in rural communities.”

The day’s sessions include “Finding Your Niche in the Tourism Industry,” led by Sarah Finocchio, owner of Pipe Dream, a Moab apparel, printing and design company. Finocchio is also founder of the Moab Women’s Network.

The “Rural Businesses in the Global Economy” session will address customer service in an area that draws tourists from around the world. Vicki Varela, director of the Salt Lake City-based Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding, will present this topic, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Aaron Metcalfe, chief operating officer for Hogan Construction, will talk about “Business Opportunities in the Trades,” at 11 a.m.

The final session, beginning at 11:30 a.m., is “Business Resources and Sponsorships.” Each of the event’s sponsors will have five minutes to talk about its product, business or services, McCue said.

For example, on behalf of the Small Business Development Center and Business Resource Center, McCue said she will share information about a program that provides funding for businesses that want to do additional employee training.

Another sponsor, the Moab Chamber of Commerce, will talk about the “Red Rockin’ Christmas” Electric Light Parade and other upcoming events.

Additional sponsors include the USU Jon M. Huntsman School of Business; Rocky Mountain Power; the Utah Department of Workforce Services; the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Emery Telecom; Grand County; the City of Moab; and the World Trade Center Utah.

The day’s advance registration fee of $25 also includes a hot lunch, catered by Moab Grill. Registration at the door is $30.

During lunch, Mitchell May, owner of The Synergy Company, an organic supplements business based in Moab, will answer questions about his manufacturing success story. May markets his products in 55 countries.

“It’s a family-owned, world-renowned company that employs 75 people year-round,” McCue said.

Door prizes will be given throughout the event, including an iPad at the end of the day, McCue said. Additionally, the first 100 registrants will receive a leather portfolio.

Community members who participated in the Area Sector Analysis Program (ASAP) in 2016 identified several industry sectors deemed compatible with Moab, Levine said. Some of those industries already exist in Moab and may warrant additional support for expansion and retention, while other industries considered a good fit for Moab may be candidates for recruitment, he said.

Currently, Moab is dominated by the tourism and recreation industries. Increasing economic diversity in Moab would increase “stability, resilience and performance,” of the economy, Levine said.

“So we’re offering these sessions on a variety of industry sectors,” he said. “We’ve selected speakers that can talk about challenges and opportunities in rural, isolated, gateway communities.”

Fifth annual summit offers resources to help local entrepreneurs, business owners

What: 5th Annual Moab Business Summit

When: Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Moab Valley Inn and Conference Center, 711 S. Main St.

Cost: $25 advance registration; $30 at the door. Breakfast and lunch provided.

Info: 435-259-7814

We’ve selected speakers that can talk about challenges and opportunities in rural, isolated, gateway communities.