Utah’s Diverse Business Spotlight: A Social Media Campaign

cloayza Stories

By: Maegan Castleton, Student Fellow

Flexibility and adaptation. Many Utah businesses have had to learn these lessons the hard way. Some proprietors struggle to keep businesses open and safe during times where common practices must change. This is why the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs is proud to launch a new social media campaign showcasing Utah’s diverse businesses. We encourage all Utahns to make healthy choices and support diverse, local economies during this unprecedented time.

Kick-starting our campaign is Santo Tacos, a Mexican-food restaurant that opened in 2019. Some of their safe practices include to-go orders, sanitation stations, and mandatory masks. Owner Alfonso Brito recalls, “At the beginning it was a little hard for us to ask customers to use a mask when walking into the restaurant without one, because we were afraid to lose customers. But now everyone is wearing a mask.” Brito encourages other business owners to follow the official health and safety guidelines , and communicate with customers openly. Santo Tacos believes that patrons appreciate a business that runs with integrity. 

Santo Tacos talks about the hardships some small-businesses face. Brito states, “There are plenty of resources available such as loans and grants—the problem is applying for them. The requirements are complex for small-business owners.” Brito mentions that pseudo-accountants can take advantage of minorities by charging high rates and cause businesses to pay more in late fees. Not only are we seeing the efforts of Utah’s diverse businesses, we also see opportunities to support them in more equitable ways as well.

When it comes to uplifting businesses we recognize that there are organizations already hard at work to support diverse owners in Utah. There are accounts like the Black Owned 801 showcasing Black owned businesses and engaging with the community. Living Color Utah is an organization based on providing resources to diverse populations. Newer programs like In Utah & En Utah, are encouraging healthy choices in local economies through state resources and messaging. And lastly, the countless efforts Utah’s different Chambers of Commerce are doing are helping their communities such as: the Asian Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The LGBTQ+ Chamber and Utah’s Black Chamber to recognize a few.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting economies around the world, it’s equally important that we recognize that diverse businesses have experienced disproportionate impacts. This campaign encourages Utahns—business owners and patrons alike—to nominate diverse businesses to spotlight. This campaign aims to showcase the work of businesses owned by people of color, and to give you a new place to visit.

Please email rbenally-sagg@utah.gov if you would like to nominate a businesses!