Online petition aims to bring popular businesses to southern Utah

Posted at 7:42 PM, May 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-13 09:26:15-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah - What restaurants or stores do you wish were in southern Utah?

A St. George man has started an online petition to get Washington County on the radar of major retailers.

Dan Deceuster created Petition Southern Utah,, earlier this month and already petitions for Trader Joe’s Whole Foods, and Café Zupas have brought in signatures.

“[I] just wanted to find a way to let other businesses know or causes know that we support them,” Deceuster said. “And help them in their decision making.”

The concept is simple. Show businesses there’s interest in their company. Deceuster said it’s not just for business ventures -- he envisions petitions for city ordinances, social movements and entrepreneurs.

“I think that will show them there is support for it here,” Deceuster said. “I think if they look at the demographics and look at our growing economy and population of southern Utah, there is a good business opportunity.”

Directors at the County Economic Development office say often it takes more than interest to get a store to come to the area. It usually comes down to population.

“We could want the XYZ company here, but if we don’t fit their demographics, no website will make a difference,” said Site Select Plus Executive Director Scott Hirschi. “Mostly, we have nothing to do with that. They decided that on their own.”

That’s not to say a business wouldn’t locate if the conditions were right for a profit. Hirschi said with southern Utah being one of the fastest growing areas in the country, it’s one many businesses look at.

That shouldn’t discourage people from petitioning companies. Many, like Trader Joe’s encourage people to tell them through their website,, where to locate.

“I like Trader Joe’s because it’s got that natural feel to it, and that fits St George,” said St. George resident Brittany Jensen.

FOX 13 reached out to Trader Joe’s and Café Zupas to see if they’d heard of the petition or if St. George was even on their radar. We didn’t hear back from any corporate officers, but Café Zupas' Facebook account liked the petition link on the website’s Facebook page, an indication that the effort is getting noticed.