Executive Director Message – August 2023

August 24, 2023

Hello Team Commerce, 

At the Utah Department of Commerce, our mission is to “strengthen trust in Utah’s commercial activities through regulation, enforcement, and education.” Why do we focus on trust? Trust is what greases the wheels of our economy.

If someone gets caught up in a fraudulent investment scheme and tells a friend, that friend may be less likely to invest in a legitimate investment opportunity because their trust has diminished. That behavior can hurt an economy; this is why our work is so important. Our regulation, education, and enforcement efforts help maintain trust and keep the economy running smoothly.

Utah has received many accolades for our economy. We’ve been rated the top economy in the nation for many years and across different rankings. Our state also has the highest social capital in the country, which is a testament to our strong sense of community and values. However, if fraud becomes rampant, it can erode the trust that makes our economy thrive.

My biggest fear is that these two things will collide: the extraordinary social capital making our economy spin will eventually erode, and our economy will take a hit if fraud runs rampant. 

Our economy taking a hit is a macro problem, but even small-scale fraud can devastate a Utah family’s finances. 

The good news is that we can use trust as a tool to fight against fraud. As government employees, we must strive to build and maintain trust with the public through our competency and integrity. When the public trusts us, they are more likely to report suspected fraud, which helps us better regulate Utah’s professional and business community.

However, we know we can’t enforce our way out of fraud. That’s why one of the key areas of my focus during my time at Commerce is to invest more heavily in educating the public. We have to help the public know how to protect themselves against scams and fraud. 

Our popular campaign, Scam-a-lot, is helping to do just that. Looking forward, we will expand this campaign and add two more knights to our Commerce round table. We plan to create a knight that addresses business opportunity scams. In addition, our upcoming expansion includes the introduction of a knight who addresses the concerns and challenges experienced by the Spanish-speaking community. Our goal is to empower Utahns with the knowledge and skills to avoid falling prey to scams. 

Thank you for your work to help garner and protect the public’s trust.