After completing many projects in Cache Valley, President of the Cache Chamber of Commerce Sandy Emile is retiring this month after 17 years of service. Some of the projects she worked on while in office include the 10th West truck route and improvements to the airport. Emile attributes the community’s success to working together and she said that’s what Cache Valley will need for the future.
Emile said Cache Valley is an isolated community and when she first started with the chamber of commerce 17 years ago, there was limited access to things like the I-15 corridor and air service. She said these are a few examples of things needed for businesses to grow.
“One of the huge projects we took on was the Logan on the Edge project which was a branding of Cache Valley,” Emile said. “We did a national campaign that actually reached international recognition by our receiving two awards from the International Economic Development Corporation. Recognizing us as a small business community with strong economic growth and vitality as well as being a very vibrant community for work, live and play. So these awards gave us global recognition as a destination to not just recreate but also to grow a business in - that you can be global in a small community of 117,000 in northern Utah and achieve whatever your business wants to achieve.”
Because of the isolation of Cache Valley, Emile said campaigns like this have helped put the community on the map, but she said businesses and other entities working together have made the biggest difference and have been the key to growth.
“If you are a business in this community, you can use Utah State University for research and development projects, you can use our U-Star facilities to help your businesses grow, we have also learned how to connect with Salt Lake City, with the governor’s office of economic development, the World Trade Center,” Emile said. “We have partnerships here and we know how to work together collaboratively and that is our greatest strength.”
Emile said growth is a good thing, but Cache Valley is unique and there are many aspects that the community doesn’t want to change, like the downtown Logan apartment complex which developers recently pulled out of because of community opposition. She said this will be the challenge for the future.
“We’re really going to have to identify where we want business growth and buildings to go in,” Emile said. “I think it’s a challenge for our valley, we don’t want to lose our presence of who and what we are.”
In order to continue to grow and maintain Cache Valley’s unique presence, Emile said the individual cities like Logan, Wellsville or Benson cannot isolate themselves but need to work together. She said the community also needs take advantage of regional neighbors like Box Elder County and Southern Idaho.
Emile said Cache Valley is a strong economic component of the state of Utah’s success and she anticipates that to continue.