Salt Lake City

Economic Development

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John Lair

John Lair

Business Advisory Board, District 2

John Lair has been a member of Salt Lake City’s Business Advisory Board since 2013 and represents District 2.

John serves as President and CEO of Momentum Recycling, a family-owned business dedicated to moving communities towards zero waste. Although trained as a systems engineer, John has been an entrepreneur for over 15 years. John enjoys bringing ideas to reality and creating entities that improve Salt Lake City’s community. He also serves as Board Member for the Vest Pocket Business Coalition and as Loan Committee Member for the Salt Lake City Economic Development Loan Fund.

John Lair co-founded Momentum Recycling in 2008 (located in SLC’s District 2), providing various recycling services to businesses in and around Salt Lake City. Since then, Momentum expanded with a glass recycling plant in 2012 and a second glass recycling plant near Denver in 2016.

He says, “Momentum was created from a good idea, which we hit on by looking at an old established industry with a fresh set of eyes. While it’s certainly great to be involved in any industry for a long time, sometimes it takes a complete outsider to see the opportunities for improvement. By looking at the waste and recycling industry in Utah with fresh eyes, we were able to identify that there was a strong enough contingency of businesses in Salt Lake City that wanted to be greener and didn’t have an easy way to do it. Having an outsider’s perspective can help you see underserved markets and identify new opportunities.”

Thank you John for bringing your entrepreneurial talents and leadership to Salt Lake City’s business community!

Q&A with John Lair

What are you excited about in District 2? I’m excited about the new industrial facilities being built. It seems that there has been more building and renovation activity in the District’s industrial area than at any other time since we’ve been there. That will lead to more job opportunities, more infrastructure, and more choices for products and services.
What changes would you like to see happen in District 2? More organization from the business community in the District. We are a fast-growing sector, and we should use that to push for improvements in transportation, law enforcement, streets, and other necessities.
What is your favorite “Third Place” to hang out in the District 2 neighborhood? I really enjoy the Jordan River Trail system, and I’m really pleased by the restoration work that’s been done in recent years. That needs to continue, and even accelerate, to allow the community to safely enjoy this great asset. Other than that, I always love a great meal at Red Iguana or Red Iguana 2!
What do small businesses in Salt Lake City need more help with? Incentives for growth (property tax breaks, or other real relief when investing in growth). Workforce program partners that collaborate with us to identify the needed jobs, and then create aggressive training programs for those jobs. Some way of helping the existing small businesses stay healthy (or even grow) when out-of-state competitors open here.
What is Salt Lake City doing right for business? I think the work ease the burdens of permitting and zoning are a step in the right direction. Yes, the City should want business owners to play by the rules, but the City should also be willing to get creative to help the owner grow. Many times it can feel that you start a new project, or grow an existing business, in spite of the City rules & regs; it rarely feels that the City has partnered with you to help.
What is the first word or words that come to mind when you think of Salt Lake City? Close access to extreme environmental beauty.

About the Business Advisory Board:
The Business Advisory Board (BAB) is made up of city business owners and community leaders who partner with Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. Its members are appointed by the mayor and must be SLC residents and/or have ownership interest in a Salt Lake City business. BAB helps direct city economic policy, promotes small business growth, supports local entrepreneurs, and encourages businesses to relocate to our city.

As part of an ongoing effort to keep SLC’s business community in the loop, the BAB shares synopses of monthly meetings on the Salt Lake City Economic Development’s blog page. Recordings are available to the public as well.