Mar 19, 2024 - News

More women-owned businesses are opening in Salt Lake City

Data: Yelp; Table: Alice Feng/Axios
Data: Yelp; Table: Alice Feng/Axios

Women-owned business openings in Salt Lake City rose by 26% in 2023 compared to 2022, according to a Yelp analysis.

By the numbers: 250 women-owned businesses opened in Salt Lake City in 2023, compared to 199 in 2022.

The big picture: The ability to set your own hours and maintain a work-home balance have prompted some women to ditch their jobs and open their own businesses post-pandemic, according to Rocky Donati, co-owner and chief marketing officer of Salt Lake City's Maven District.

  • "They're looking at this going, 'Why would I want to work for somebody else if I can work for myself?" Donati said.
  • In 2023, the Maven District welcomed 15 women-owned businesses, including Shanon's Plants, a plant nursery, and Zenzee, a boutique.
  • Approximately 75% of the small businesses in the district are owned by women.
Zenzee storefront, featuring the store's owner Sharon.
Sharon Backurz stands in front of her Zenzee storefront. Courtesy: Zenzee

Zoom in: Zenzee owner Sharon Backurz told Axios she started her clothing brand, initially, as a side hustle before opening a brick-and-mortar location in Salt Lake City last year.

  • Backurz, who had a long career as a graphic designer, told Axios she was always drawn to fashion and began designing clothes for her business during the pandemic.
  • "I love being my own boss at this point in my career. I can't imagine working for someone else. Honestly, I like freedom, even though you work harder when you have your own business than you would otherwise," she said.

What they're saying: "Whether you attended a women-led stadium tour, adopted a new wellness routine, picked up a new bestselling book, or updated your wardrobe, the 'she-conomy' dominated cultural trends and ultimately drove economic growth," Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis told Axios in a statement.

Zoom out: Austin, Texas (34%), Miami (31%), Washington, D.C. (25%), Denver (25%) and Orlando, Florida (22%), saw the highest growth rates among U.S. metros with at least 500 business openings in 2023, according to Yelp.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show Maven District has welcomed 15 women-owned businesses, not two.

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