Report: Cultural businesses generated $76M, 2,000 jobs in Iron County last year

Cultural attractions in downtown St. George on Tabernacle Street between Main Street and 100 East, St. George, Utah, July 21, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Businesses related to arts, humanities and culture in Iron County generated $76.1 million in spending last year and employed nearly 2,000 people, according to the Utah Cultural Alliance.

The Alliance highlighted Iron County in its annual “State of Utah Cultural Report,” which found that cultural businesses in the state accounted for $3.5 billion in revenue and provided jobs for 79,328 people. A press release from the Alliance did not include data for Washington County.

Iron County was higher than typical in direct spending by patrons due to the majority of them being visitors, according to the release.

Cultural businesses analyzed in the report include nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit businesses such as galleries, graphic design firms, interior designers, filmmakers, photography studios, along with individual artists, many of whom are independent contractors.

Among other findings the Alliance included in its press release:

  • Cultural businesses account for 3.9 percent of Utah’s total employment and grew by 4.01 percent, making Utah one of the fastest growing states for cultural jobs.
  • Three education programs – the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools and Informal Science Education Enhancement – served nearly 1.6 million children.
  • Income from historic rehabilitation projects using state tax credits was $32.3 million.
  • A recent survey by Salt Lake City’s Office of Economic Development found that a robust arts and cultural environment is the most important factor that businesses consider when choosing to move to or expand in Salt Lake City.
  • Salt Lake City cultural businesses generated $306.6 million and employed 10,479 Utahns.
  • Logan cultural businesses generated $31.3 million and employed 1,104 Utahns.

“These statistics demonstrate that cultural businesses are indeed economic drivers for Utah,” the press release stated. “They attract and develop businesses, create and support jobs, increase tourism and generate revenue for state government.

“Along with boosting the economic vitality of the state, cultural businesses also make it a great place to live and work by adding to the health, vibrancy, quality and diversity of Utah’s cultural community.”

Click here for the full report, which highlights a number of counties and organizations, and includes the new Cultural Asset Map, a visual representation of Utah’s cultural sector.

The Alliance presented its report to the state Legislature in a meeting of the Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee.

About the Utah Cultural Alliance

The Utah Cultural Alliance is the unified statewide voice and support organization for the cultural community, according to the press release. It is a membership-driven organization that includes museums (arts, history, science, botanical gardens, and zoos), universities, archives, libraries, artists, patrons, as well as arts, folk arts, cultural, humanities, science, education, preservation, history and heritage organizations.

Additionally, businesses, corporations and foundations belong to the Alliance to support the continuing viability and visibility of Utah’s cultural community.

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