Chris Roybal 01

Chris Roybal, head of the yet-to-be-named entity formed to promote economic development in Weber and Davis counties, addresses Weber County commissioners on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.

OGDEN — Many of the details about the economic development entity taking shape to spur growth in Weber and Davis counties should be coming to public light soon.

Chris Roybal, named in June to head the new body, updated Weber County commissioners on Tuesday on the initial efforts to put the entity together. The name of the body and a logo, he said, should be completed by mid-December. A new website containing a database of available properties in the two counties and more is also nearing completion.

“I think we’re off to a really good start,” he told commissioners. Roybal had met earlier in the day with Davis County commissioners, updating them on his efforts as well.

Following talks dating to 2017, leaders from Weber and Davis counties, working with the Economic Development Corp. of Utah, tabbed Roybal to lead the new regional economic development entity. Since his naming in June, he’s made contacts with site selectors, consultants who help businesses find expansion sites, and made extensive contacts with area contractors, developers and banks, among other things.

He provided commissioners with a promotional flier he’s helping prepare that highlights the attributes of the two-county area, saying it’ll be going to 800 national site selectors in December. “We want these site selectors to know who we are up here in northern Utah,” Roybal said.

Related to that, he recently completed a visit to six site selectors in northern California, he said, noting that representatives from four of them requested more information on Northern Utah.

“That’s a good sign,” he said. “They were interested in northern Utah. They hadn’t heard specifically much about it outside of the Salt Lake City marketplace. That’s what we need to do more of.”

A similar visit to southern California site selectors is set for January.

Closer to home,

Roybal said municipal leaders across Weber and Davis counties are on board with the economic development initiative. Many don’t have economic development staffers of their own. “They love what we’re doing. They need the help,” he said.

Roybal’s naming in June came after leaders from Weber and Davis counties approved a three-year agreement creating the new two-county economic development body. It’s tasked with drawing in new businesses and encouraging existing ones to expand, promoting the two-county zone as a unified economic development zone.

“We like to think that anything good happening in the region is good for everybody. Something good happens in Ogden, it’s good for our neighbors in Davis County and vice versa,” Roybal said in his presentation Tuesday.

Roybal used to head the EDC of Utah and previously served as senior advisor for economic development under former Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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