The Northern Utah Chamber Coalition, or NUCC, is comprised of the Brigham City Area, Cache, Davis, Ogden/Weber and now Morgan Chambers of Commerce.
According to the Davis County Chamber website, “NUCC combines efforts to support public policy and government funding issues in Northern Utah that positively affect the business community and the quality of life in our region.”
According to Morgan Area Chamber President Albert Wilde, the Morgan County Council already voted to fund a portion of the Morgan Chamber of Commerce’s involvement. While there are no set fees associated with the coalition, the funding would pay for time and travel expenses for up to three people from the various entities to attend NUUC meetings.
Wilde approached the Morgan City Council about adding to that fund to the tune of $3,000 and also asked the council to contribute $2,000 to the co-op fund the chamber uses to bring business to and keep business in Morgan.
“I am willing to participate to a point,” commented Councilman Bill Cobabe. “I have significant concerns that we will be putting money into something that we may or may not see any real benefit from in the short or long term. The benefit, I guess, is that we get our face in the crowd.”
Wilde assured Cobabe that there is definitely a benefit to having a presence at these meetings, to have Morgan represented in this forum. He noted that there are a lot of resources available to communities that require networking.
He mentioned, for example, that the Wasatch Front Economic Development district would be willing to help Morgan City get economic development grants, “but they aren’t going to do all the work for us. We need to be there to express our needs,” said Wilde.
Northfront Business Center employee Britanee Garner has already represented Morgan at some of these meetings and says she has had great feedback. “Davis County has already said they are on board to help us push our agenda items. I have been able to network with a lot of different counties so far to try and get Morgan on the radar,” assured Garner.
“NUCC is more of a collaborative effort to get important projects done. Once priorities are established by the group, all the counties get behind those projects and support them,” added Wilde. Morgan City Attorney Gary Crane mentioned that this could help Morgan use the lobbyists that other counties employ to our benefit if we can get a project on the list.
Garner addressed the issue saying that right now, they have 15 representatives voting for NUCC projects, “so it definitely benefits us to have a voice. We are new to the game, so it may take us a little while to see real results and I wouldn’t expect anything else. These other counties have been at this a long time.”
Councilman Mike Kendell weighed in, saying that he worries that the projects that we have like the Young Street bridge do not have the “regional significance” that this group is looking for, but added, “Having Britanee on board is a big plus for me. I didn’t know her before. She has a lot of passion and energy.”
Kendell noted that, “They did say that when there are ‘crumbs’ left over, to the tune of a couple million dollars, things like that can potentially be funded.”
Wilde reminded the council that while the Young Street bridge may not work for this, things like the City’s sewer project affect people downstream and definitely has regional significance.
Some of the past priorities have been Weber State and Utah State satellite campus buildings. Those schools help build up businesses in the areas they are in when they have actual facilities, not just a portable behind the school. Garner pointed out that the DATC funds the Northfront Business Center and that has been a great resource for Morgan Businesses.
She also pointed out that the head of NUUC, Chris Dallin, already came to Morgan to do podcasts for some of the local businesses including Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn and Debs. His “The Long Way Home” podcasts can be viewed online on YouTube.
“There is a synergistic effect when communities work together and I am in favor of that. If NUCC is the way we want to go, then I am cautiously optimistic,” added Cobabe.
Wilde summed things up saying, “Morgan City moves because you guys show up and do your jobs. Government moves because of people who show up and get involved. If we want our stuff to go through, we have to show up.”