Around Idaho: Economic Activity in September 2020

Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern Idaho
Eastern Idaho


NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone Counties

  • Kootenai County
    • Fatbeam LLC – a Coeur d’Alene-based fiber provider – is introducing a new product called Cloudbeam, which will allow its customers to connect securely to cloud services. Cloudbeam will function as Fatbeam’s proprietary alternative to VPN (virtual private network) services. Source: Journal of Business
    • Engel & Volkers, a German-based international luxury real estate brokerage, has opened an office in Coeur d’Alene with plans for a Sandpoint office in 2021. Source: Journal of Business
    • Quest Integration Inc., a Post Falls technology firm providing support for the manufacture and design of 3D printers, has been acquired by Hawk Ridge Systems, a California-based manufacturer of 3D printing systems. Quest will continue to operate under that name during the integration process but will eventually operate under the Hawk Ridge name. Source: Journal of Business


Openings – Coeur d’Alene

  • Mangia Wood Fired Pizza
  • Hasani Coffee
  • Bou Cou, dancewear and fitness wear
  • Rokko’s Teriyaki & BBQ
  • Izzy’s Comfort Kitchen
  • Everlong Studio, a photography studio
  • Bjorkman Film & Video
  • Spirit Halloween
  • Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers

Openings – Post Falls

  • Unlimited Health Chiropractic
  • Teton House

Openings – Hayden

  • Edward Jones Investments, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce Counties

Clearwater County

  • The city of Orofino awarded a contract to Ziply to build a fiber network to serve the community, using a $1.178 million grant to improve internet access awarded to the city in August. Customers will be able to choose one of three speed offerings to include 30/30 Mbps, 100/100 Mbps and 1/1 Gbps. The fiber lines will be primarily installed over existing copper lines. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics opened a new rehabilitation services facility in Cottonwood in September. The new facility allows the hospital to expand its physical and occupational therapy services. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle
  • Barbecued ribs are the specialties of The Rib Guy and Gal, which recently opened along U.S. Highway 95 in Grangeville. Owners Tim and Yana Campbell started the business as a food trailer, catering events or traveling with rodeos and fairs before opening the brick-and-mortar location. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • The Educational Talent Search program, hosted at Lewis-Clark State College, is expanding to Grangeville this fall. The program serves educationally talented students aged 11 to 27 whose families are on a limited income or whose parents did not graduate with a four-year college degree. It helps participants better understand their educational opportunities after high school education, including two- and four-year colleges and technical schools. It works with the students on study habits, time management, career exploration, college applications and financial aid opportunities. It also offers campus visits to area colleges and universities beginning in the sixth grade so students can start visualizing themselves going to college. Students also have access to online tutoring. The program expects to help about 150 students in the Grangeville area. Source: Idaho County Free Press

Latah County

  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, based in Pullman, is purchasing 150 acres of land southwest of Moscow to allow future growth. The site near CHS Primeland on U.S. Highway 95 will provide easy access to headquarters and manufacturing operations in Pullman, where 2,500 people currently work, and manufacturing operations in Lewiston, where 600 work. For more than 20 years, the company — which invents, designs and builds products and systems that protect power grids worldwide — has grown steadily.  Source: Lewiston Tribune; Spokesman-Review
  • The University of Idaho announced in August that its 2021 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in late February will be a special virtual event, enabling elementary, middle and high school students from around the world to perform and learn from the brightest stars in jazz. While the virtual format seemed necessary during the pandemic, it also provides the opportunity to turn the festival from a regional event to a global one. It also means that Moscow hotels, restaurants and retailers won’t benefit from the spending of hundreds of festival attendants. They already are suffering from the cancellation of football, conferences and other events at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Target plan to move into the former 40,000-square-foot Macy’s space at the Palouse Mall along Highway 95, and add another 20,000 square feet, according to the city of Moscow. The retailer’s plans for finishing construction and opening the new store have not been announced. The Macy’s space has been vacant since the store closed in 2016. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Genesee’s only grocery store, which closed in January, reopened in September. The renovated Genesee Supermarket at the corner of Chestnut and Pine streets offers a full range of groceries, deli and hot food items. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • A $1.4 million renovation project is adding two stories of commercial and residential space on top of two buildings at the corner of Washington and Second streets in Moscow. The renovation will provide a commercial space and a luxury apartment on top of a restaurant. A courtyard seating area between the two buildings will eventually provide stairs to a 900-square-foot rooftop patio. A three-bedroom, luxury condominium with its own balcony and rooftop patio is also part of the project. The owners’ existing business Slice Pizzeria and Taphouse will have two new floors housing 16 small apartments. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • Clearwater Paper is thriving in 2020 while striving to meet the surge of demand for toilet paper and paper towels this spring and protecting its employees from the virus. The company worked with its customers to respond quickly to get the product to their shelves. Since June, demand has moved toward normal levels but remains elevated. The demand for paperboard used for food and pharmaceutical packaging has remained steady. Lewiston continues to be the company’s largest manufacturing operation, employing 1,300 people. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Nez Perce Tribe obtained a $19.1 million federal grant to construct an interchange at its Clearwater River Casino location on U.S. Highway 95/12 east of Lewiston. That will reduce the number of vehicle accidents that has made it designated one of the “most dangerous stretches of road” in Idaho. The tribe already has spent more than $2 million of its Tribal Transportation Program funds on the interchange project. The project’s price tag is expected to cost $20.1 million. The tribe will fund the additional $1 million. The project likely will be sent out for bid within a year. Once construction begins, the project should be completed in 12-18 months, according to a tribal news release. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • A $107,000 contribution from an anonymous donor will allow Lewis-Clark State College to keep portions of its TRIO Student Support Services program, which was set to be discontinued Aug. 31. The money will be used to retain an academic coach, support a tutoring center and provide additional financial assistance to first-generation, low-income students enrolled in the program. In August, the U.S. Department of Education informed LCSC that a five-year federal grant renewal application funding the program had not been renewed. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewis-Clark State College ranked fourth on the U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of the top public regional colleges in the West. The ranking is based on 15 areas of academic criteria, including graduation and retention rates, financial resources and undergraduate academic reputation. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Walla Walla Community College’s Clarkston campus started its fall semester Sept. 21. Dean Chad Miltenberger said all the classes offered this fall will incorporate a virtual component, but about 75 percent of the college’s workforce education programs will require in-person learning. Labs and on-campus clinicals require in-person learning. The Clarkston branch is following Washington State social distancing and sanitization guidelines. Enrollment is expected to be a little lower than last fall’s 682. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Shooting Star Café recently opened at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport. Everything that can be is sourced as locally, including the fair trade, organic coffee, roasted by Landgrove Coffee, 43 miles away in Troy. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Lewiston City Council approved establishing a business improvement district, which could lead to better lighting, more marketing, matching grants for facade upgrades and improved pedestrian walkways between downtown Lewiston and Normal Hill. The improvement district is expected to generate about $150,000 annually for six years from fees paid by commercial property owners between the bluff on the south side of downtown, the Snake and Clearwater rivers and Lincoln Street on the east side near Les Schwab Tire Center. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The coronavirus took another toll when it forced Lewiston to cancel one of its biggest events, the Lewiston Roundup. It normally occurs around Labor Day, drawing skilled cowboys throughout the U.S. and Canada and large crowds to watch them. This is the first time since 1942 the 86-year-old event was not held. Source: Lewiston Tribune, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington Counties 

Ada County

  • Ada County sold Barber Dam to a group of local investors, Barber Pool Hydro LLC, for $500,000. Investors within the group include hydropower expert Ted Sorenson, former Micron CEO Mark Durcan and local realtor Larry Leisure. The goals of the investors are to produce green energy and preserve the Barber Pool Conservation Area. Source: Idaho Statesman
  •  Boise will soon have a new urban park near the state Capitol. The park has been a four-year collaboration between the Capital City Development Corporation, developer Rafanelli & Nahas and the city of Boise. The Wright Brothers was awarded the competitive construction bid which came in at almost $2.8 million. The park’s location is at the corner of 11th and Idaho Street, next to a new 10-story office building. The park’s urban art has already been selected by a committee. Construction is scheduled to start in October. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Capital City Development Corporation will finance construction of public parking near a new mixed use, 12-story building. Long-time, Boise-based Wilcomb Construction revealed plans for the building with six floors dedicated to senior apartments along with a couple floors of retail and a couple floors of office space. The housing and parking contribute toward goals of higher density and less sprawl that reduces traffic congestion in Boise.  Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise State University President Marlene Tromp announced there will be layoffs across campus due to shortfalls in the budget. BSU, Idaho’s largest public university, experienced higher numbers of out-of-state students this fall with a reduction in the number of Idaho students. The October data is the most conclusive and will provide more details as the layoff plan is determined. Source: Idaho Press
  • Bodovino is partnering with Happy Fish Sushi & Martini Bar, combining operations in the Bodovino space with a new name – Happy Fish at Bodovino. The direct pour wine vending machines will continue and be enhanced by Happy Fish’s liquor license that adds cocktails to a growing menu of food served al fresco. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Zillow ranked Boise first in terms of mid-sized housing markets poised for future growth. The city has its lowest inventory levels on the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service because many of those that might consider moving out of the area or moving into a different home size are on hold as they await progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine and the resumption of normal social activities. Part of the equation is that homes are moving fast due to record low interest rates, while others are selling as they realize record high valuations, bidding wars and the lure of capturing equity.

Median Sales Price and Average Days on Market by southwestern county for August 2020

southwestern Idaho home prices

Source:  Idaho Statesman and Intermountain MLS

  • The College of Idaho is offering new suite-style living options to its students in an energy efficient manner by retooling shipping containers. This first phase was ready for occupancy in a third the time of a traditional dorm — eight months. Each suite has five sleeping quarters that share a common area with a gathering space, refrigerator, microwave, sink and cabinet space. The complex is three-storied with two buildings. The first floor of each building has a full kitchen and laundry. The contractor of two dorms named Sawtooth and Owyhee is IndieDwell.  C of I reports its third highest enrollment at 1,100.  Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Task Force One is a consortium of municipal firefighters from southwestern Idaho fighting fires in California. Kuna, Nampa, Parma and Sand Hollow communities have personnel on the front lines fighting these fires 12 hours daily, seven days a week. The original deployment was to last 14 days but has been extended twice with high praise accompanying the crews’ work. Source: Kuna Melba News
  • The Discovery Center and AT&T are teaming together to offer 30 hours of coding training over six Saturdays to girls in grades 9-12 — no charge and no previous coding experience necessary. The move is designed to encourage females to enter STEM fields.  Source: Idaho Press
  • The West Ada Recreation District will take over management and ownership of the Lakeview Golf Club assets. The golf course will continue with its course manager KemperSports. The recreation district intends to invest $60,000, some of which goes toward irrigation upgrades. The district will sign over control of the course to the city of Meridian in 2023.  Source: Idaho Press
  • CenturyLink announced it will no longer occupy a substantial portion of the One Capital Center building previously occupied and co-owned by J. R. Simplot. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the company determined 75 percent of its call center staff has been and can continue to work from home in Boise or Idaho Falls. This leaves roughly 100,000 square feet available for lease in downtown Boise. Source: Boise State Public Radio
  • Boise State’s College of Business and Economics will be able to place 20 student interns at no cost to the area business. BSU’s career services director will create job descriptions and recruit students for interested businesses. The program has financial underwriting from Gardner Company and Laird Norton Properties. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Early fall enrollment estimates show College of Western Idaho with a two percent decline following pent-up demand creating positive growth since its inception in 2011. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities approved its accreditation in 2010.  In 2019, the community college reported more than 20,000 students were seeking credits while another portion of trainees attain safety certifications and OSHA training bringing the total to above 31,000. Source:  Idaho Education News and
  • will lay off 76 workers covering a broad range of occupations. It is the second round of layoffs in 2020 and represents an estimated third of the remaining staff at the company’s headquarters. The company was the creation of Boisean Ryan DeLuca with subsequent ownership moving from Liberty Media to Expedia and currently with Najafi Companies of Phoenix. Source: Idaho Statesman

Adams County

  • Brundage Mountain is planning to offer a safe experience for skiers and snowboards when it opens this season in the coronavirus era. All food and beverage outlets will be open with limited seating and will offer many grab-and-go options. This winter, additional outdoor seating will be offered at the lodge and at Bear’s Den. Guests will not be allowed to hang out inside for extended periods of time. Brundage currently does not plan to host any events that would draw crowds. The resort typically hires more than 300 people for the ski season. Source: CBS2 News

Canyon County

  • The onion crop is exhibiting good quality levels thus far while yields are average due to the cold wet spring.  The southwestern part of Idaho and southeastern Oregon produce about 25 percent of the nation’s fall-storage onions. The early maturing onions started harvest the first of September while the later maturing onions were harvested around mid-September. There is an average of 22,500 acres across the two-state area dedicated to onions.  Source: Capital Press
  • J & S Farms reported success in its first year of diversifying crops by including watermelon. The brothers farm in the Notus area and are third generation, multi-crop producers. They started small with three acres. Idaho is not known for its watermelon production, but it has potential with a long, warm growing season and cool nights. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census indicated watermelons were grown on 72 Idaho farms with 133 dedicated acres compared with 2012 when 20 farms reported 42 acres committed to watermelons. Oregon, Washington and California surpassed Idaho’s watermelon acreage in 2017 with reported acres of 1,180, 814 and 10,534 respectively. Source: Capital Press

Elmore County

  • The Idaho American Association of Retired Persons awarded a $28,000 grant to the city of Glenns Ferry for a new multi-generational park to be located at the Glenns Ferry Historical Museum. Construction will begin this fall and the park will feature swings, handmade musical instruments, a shade structure and a renovation of the basketball courts. Source:  Mountain Home News

Gem County

  • According to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, Gem County’s housing market in July experienced big gains. For example, the median sales price grew by 18.3 percent compared with July 2019, based on 35 homes sold — an uptick of 66.7 percent year-over-year. The days on the market were 41, a drop of 4.7 percent from July 2019 while the inventory of 32 dropped over-the-year by 43 percent. Source: Messenger Index

Owyhee County

  • Idaho Department of Commerce has awarded Owyhee County with $6 million in broadband infrastructure development financing. The award was challenged by industry provider, Sparklight, but after considering the argument, Director Tom Kealey maintained the original decision to fund. The funds are divided among three grants. One is dedicated to the Public Safety Program, which will fund construction of a broadband tower at the Owyhee County complex in Murphy with radio transmitters to follow. The other two portions – at $2.73 million – were awarded under the Household Grants Program  to provide fiber optics between Marsing and Murphy. A second fiber optics line will be installed for coverage from Murphy to Rimrock Junior and Senior High Schools.  Source: The Owyhee Avalanche

Payette County

  • The city of Payette is laying the foundation for new bandwidth in its community. In September, the city council authorized an agreement with Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. in Fruitland to lay fiber optic cables for broadband internet from city hall to the Payette Fire Station. That will allow new access to broadband for businesses along the cable route. A $175,000 federal grant will fund the project. Source: Independent-Enterprise
  • To respond to the increasing need for emergency services resulting from population growth, Payette and Washington Counties plan a major upgrade of their joint 911 emergency dispatch system. New hardware and software will be installed using a $370,000 grant. Source: Independent-Enterprise

Valley County

  • The environmental impact statement on the Stibnite Mine near Yellow Pine was released by the U.S. Forest Service. The report focuses on the impact to salmon habitat in the nearby streams. Midas Gold, the operating company, was allowed to participate in the biological assessment submitted in 2019. This is a rare occurrence as the author of reports such as these typically need to be arm’s length or not have any conflict of interest. The public has 60 days to respond to the latest report. The company plans to mine gold and antimony at the site. The area has seen millions of dollars of reclamation investment by the Forest Service after previous mining companies walked away without clean-up of the tailings and resulting arsenic left in the ponds. Source: The Associated Press
  • A $771,000 grant funded by the CARES Act will allow the city of McCall to advance its efforts to improve internet access. Currently, the city has about 12 miles of fiber installed. The project team will create five wireless access points, install two more miles of conduit and run and splice fiber lines along about 12 miles of existing conduit beneath city streets. Installing fiber in existing conduit would boost internet speed capabilities. The work will be completed this fall. Eventually, the city plans to add another 20 free internet access points. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The Valley County Opioid Response Project will receive a $1 million grant to combat opioid abuse. The thee-year grant will allow the group to create a central point for programs focused on opioid abuse and provide more treatment of opioid use disorder. Training for medical providers also will be expanded. Central District Health reported 11 opioid overdose deaths from 2014 to 2018, giving Valley County the fourth highest overdose mortality rate in Idaho during that time period. About 88 percent of people needing addiction treatment did not receive it in 2014, according to the district. Source: McCall Star-News
  • McCall’s improvements on 2nd Street and Lenora Street, part of a $3 million redevelopment of the city’s downtown, won top honors in the Infrastructure/utility category of the People Choice winners for economic development projects. Source: Idaho Business Review

Washington County

  • The Woodhead wildfire near Cambridge caused evacuations, closure of Highway 71 from downtown Cambridge to the Oregon border — about 27 miles – and a shutdown of school for a period of time as people gathered in the school gym.  Source: KTVB News
  • Patrons of Cambridge School District passed a two-year supplemental levy with 64 percent approval. The $160,000 levy needed a simple majority to pass. The funds will be used to maintain buildings and compensate for state monies no longer available. Source: Weiser Signal American
  • The Friends of the Weiser River Trail was awarded a $102,000 grant from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. The funds will be used to rebuild a railroad trestle that spans the Weiser River. It was washed out during high water in the spring of 2019. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Idaho Department of Water Resources provided the engineering and design work. Braun Jensen will be the general contractor for the job. Hikers and bikers have had to navigate 2.2 miles around the break in the trail. Source: Weiser Signal American
  • The city of Weiser opened a new RV dump station that is free to the public and is available 24/7. The previous site was on Highway 95 and has since closed. Source: Weiser Signal American
  • Enrollment during the second week of classes in the Weiser School District totaled 1,478 students, down 4.6 percent from 1,550 in May and the lowest in more than 30 years. Those numbers reflect the district’s aging and declining population. According to statistics from the Census Bureau, population in the district fell 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2018. In that period, the number of people 65 years and older grew 10.6 percent, while the number of children under 18 fell 9.1 percent from 2,208 to 2,008. Source: Weiser Signal American


  • A Saltzer Health Urgent Care and Family Medicine clinic opened in Meridian at Victory and Meridian. This is the second of four clinics opening across the Treasure Valley.  Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Ochos Wine and Dance bar in downtown Boise has opened its pre-packaged Patio Prelude events, which feature live music, a preset menu and alcoholic drinks. A limited number of tickets are sold for the events to maintain social distancing. The patio has geothermal heating running beneath the pavers, two fire pits and a glass awning. It has taken two years to design and construct the patio at the 1892 Queen Anne style building. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Han’s Chimaek opened its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Boise in the former K-Fusion Korean BBQ & Grill space. It offers authentic spicy or sweet Korean fried chicken along with alcoholic drinks. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Trojan Take & Bake Pizza opened in Homedale.


  • Ha’Penny Bridge Irish Pub in Boise’s BODO district closed after 18 years. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Emerald Insurance has been sold and is closing its office in Homedale after 40 years. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties

Regional Developments

  • The invasion of smoke that has continued to cover most of south central Idaho has triggered several health cautions across the region. Several school districts have had to temporarily close in response to the prevailing poor and unhealthy air quality. – Times-News
  • Most educational institutions across the nation have been faced with a challenge of whether to reopen classrooms for in-person, online or a hybrid of both setups. Some school districts such as the Blaine County and Twin Falls County School Districts initially opted for in-person interaction but later changed to a hybrid setup as student COVID cases were increasing. As a result of the continued uncertainty, enrollment rates across several school districts in the region were slightly down. However, online enrolment at higher institutions in the region has gone up. Source: Times-News

Blaine County

  • The city of Hailey is continuing to address the growing demand for housing in the region with the initial phase of the Sunbeam Subdivision project. This project will consist of 91 dwelling units which will be constructed on 70 lots in east Hailey. The project also aims to provide housing that is environmentally sustainable by implementing strategies that use land, water and other resources wisely. Source: KMVT News
  • Plans are currently underway to open a new Grocery Outlet Bargain Market store in Hailey. The building permit has already been approved to build the store on the former King’s Variety Store site which shut down its operations in May 2017. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The city of Bellevue is currently reviewing its capital improvement plans which calls for about $2.35 million in infrastructure development projects between 2020 and 2025. The plan will be used to establish the city’s first development impact fee, which will be used to assess developers for future financial impacts. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Camas County

  • An investment group has proposed a plan to build a private airport on a 1,600-acre private ranch property in Camas County about 10 miles east of Fairfield. If approved, Soldier Field Airport would be designed and built to accommodate small aircraft as well as “very large general aviation aircraft” including the Boeing 737-800. The plan states that in the third year of operation, the airport could see about 1,500 landings or takeoffs on an airstrip 8,500 feet long and 150 feet wide. Source: Idaho Mountain Express 

Cassia County

  • The need for food has continued to increase as more people are struggling with unemployment because of COVID. Mountain View Christian Center Food Pantry in Burley has reported that before the pandemic, the pantry was helping between 50 and 75 families per month. Now they are serving 35 to 40 families twice a week. Source: Times-News

Jerome County

  • The Scoular Company plans to build a manufacturing plant in Jerome to manufacture a new sustainable, plant-based alternative protein made from barley. The product is called “barley protein concentrate” and it’s used in aquaculture feed and pet food. The building will be constructed on four acres south of Scoular’s existing livestock feed ingredients facility in Jerome. The company projects it will initially create 15 Jobs. Source: KMVT 11
  • The city of Jerome has applied for a federal Community Development Block Grant of about $250,000to fund improvements to tennis courts and paths at Sheppard Park. Source: KMVT 11

Minidoka County

  • Open Hearts Food Pantry, which provides food boxes for people in need at the Rupert United Methodist Church in conjunction with the Episcopal and Lutheran churches in Rupert, has announced foodbank shortages. Many of the people the pantry regularly serves have disabilities or are elderly, but many of the new clients are part of the younger working population who have been displaced from work. Open Hearts Pantry usually serves between 600 and 700 people a month and in the last month that jumped about 15 percent. – Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The Twin Falls County Fair in early September experienced a 45 percent decline in attendance compared with last year. This year’s proceeds were $199,000, a 40 percent decline from last year’s $360,000. The fair was especially important to those carnival workers who had lost business earlier in the summer due to COVID-19 cancellations. The fair board implemented precautions early with sanitizing stations, masks and distancing encouraged. The country music concert was postponed until 2021. Source: Times-News and KMVT News
  • Idaho’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee has approved $2 million in federal CARES Act funds for an addition to the Twin Falls County Jail. The funding is aimed to address the issue of space shortages within the facility. The roughly 6,000-square-foot space will initially be used as a “COVID-19 Isolation Ward” for housing, quarantining and treating COVID-positive people, but it will eventually transition into programming and medical space. Source: Boise State Public Radio
  • Following years of consistent attempts to increase residential housing supply in the Twin Falls downtown area, plans are finally underway to build new homes at the old White Mortuary on Fourth Street. This housing project will consist of a row of eleven, two-story units. The project is tentatively scheduled for completion by spring 2021. – Idaho News 6


  • Poke & Sushi Hut – downtown Twin Falls
  • Rosti Xpress Mexican Food – downtown Twin Falls
  • Building Material Thrift Store – Bellevue


  • The Burley Theater – Burley, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties 

Bannock County

  • A Chick Fil-A location will open on the Idaho State University Pocatello campus in fall 2021 and a Starbucks will open in 2022, announced Chartwells, operating at Idaho State as Bengal Dining Services, the decision was based on campus focus groups and student surveys. Bengal Dining Services will continue to provide a food service program emphasizing quality, made-to-order food, menu customization, variety and value. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Bannock County is taking steps to restructure and reduce the number of full-time employees working at the Portneuf Wellness Complex and county fairgrounds department from seven to four. The current seven full-time employees were effectively terminated on Sept. 15. The county planned to fill the new four positions near the start of the next fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Ladd Wahlen, owner and operator of Roots Chips, plans to build a small 40-by-60 foot facility in Aberdeen that would employ up to five people to process potatoes and turn them into chips. Roots Chips wears the Idaho Preferred label, expressing that it uses and sells Idaho products made by Idaho producers. The company will continue to make its chips the same way they had been doing them while operating near Boise — the chips will be organic, kettle cooked and made from Idaho potatoes. Source: Bingham County Chronicle
  • The Bingham County Road and Bridge shop continues to take shape near the Central Transfer Station west of Blackfoot. The project is funded by the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and will continue as fall and winter draw closer. The 22,500-square-foot shop will have 13 bays for equipment, and will be the new home for solid waste, road and bridge, and the weed departments of the Bingham County Public Works. Source: Bingham County Chronicle


  • One One Seven Music Lounge in downtown Pocatello
  • Grace Assisted Living in Chubbuck
  • Brio Bowls by Keiko food truck in Chubbuck
  • Nugget CBD in Pocatello, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, & Teton counties


  • Members of Idaho National Laboratory’s Space Nuclear Power and Isotopes Technologies Division were in Florida to support this summer’s launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, culminating years of planning, training and hands-on work. INL is part of a Department of Energy national laboratory team (joining Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories) that supports NASA’s Radioisotope Power System Program. Source: East Idaho News
  • NuScale Power announced the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed Phase 6 review — the last and final phase — of the Design Certification Application for the company’s groundbreaking small modular reactor with the issuance of the Final Safety Evaluation Report. With this final phase now complete, customers can proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the NuScale design. Source: East Idaho News
  • The U.S. Department of Energy Idaho National Laboratory and Melaleuca were the only eastern Idaho organizations listed in the top 20 best employers to work for in Idaho, according to Forbes’s second annual ranking of America’s best employers by state. Source: East Idaho News
  • Every year, looks at the fastest-growing companies in the country. This year, four eastern Idaho companies have been listed among the “5,000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America.” The companies highlighted include:
    • Get Found First, a Blackfoot digital marketing agency that assists businesses with their websites.
    • Stukent, an Idaho Falls company that provides digital coursework for marketing classes taught at universities and high schools.
    • FyberCom, an Idaho Falls-based high-speed internet provider that brings internet service to those looking to use fiber-optic and microwave technologies.
  • Outback Landscape, a landscaping company that provides maintenance, design and landscape installation services. It operates across East Idaho and Wyoming.

Source: Idaho State Business Journal

Bonneville County

  • The owners of a new meatpacking plant are hoping to open in Idaho Falls next year. Intermountain Packing is expected to bring 200 jobs to the area with wages starting at $15/hour. Those jobs will include medical, dental and vacation benefits. The medium-sized plant will have the capacity to process up to 500 head a day. Once the plant is up and running, it will focus primarily on beef cattle and bison. Source: East Idaho News
  • Elevation Labs, formally Northwest Cosmetics has had a record-breaking year in terms of product output and revenue. Since its formation in 1995, Elevation Labs has grown to a multimillion-dollar company with 28 production lines and more than 400 employees. The company is looking to hire 50 more people by the end of the year as demand for the products increase. Source: East Idaho News
  • A new charter school, Alturas Preparatory Academy, was officially approved to open in fall 2021. The new school was awarded a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to help purchase and renovate the school’s future home, which is the former location of Sears inside the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls. The new school will be open to any student living in the boundaries of Idaho Falls School District 91, Bonneville School District 93 or Shelley School District 60, as well as others by application. Next school year will start with grades six through 10 at the new school location, adding 11th and 12th grades in over the next two years. Construction was expected to start sometime after Oct. 1. Source: East Idaho News
  • Ammon is using three grants from the state, totaling $875,000, to install 14 wireless broadband locations in town to increase broadband access for health services and public safety. The project is supported by the College of Eastern Idaho, Bonneville Joint School District 93 and Bonneville County. An internet service provider still needs to be identified. The money is coming from federal funds the state received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be used for projects that support improved broadband infrastructure, equipment and services. Source: Post Register

Custer County

  • A nearly $1 million grant is expected to provide better internet access to some rural customers of Custer Telephone Cooperative. The $993,585 grant will pay to extend fiber-optic connections to 88 households on and around Challis Creek Road. The money comes from federal funds the state got under the CARES Act, slated for projects that support improved broadband infrastructure, equipment and services. Source: Challis Messenger

Fremont County

  • An eastern Idaho company’s invention is improving flows in area canals. The Aquatic Vegetation Rake, sold by Bill Fuchs with Maximized Water Management LLC, is now starting to make a splash with canal company managers from throughout the country. Made to fit on an excavator, the AVR is a large rake with stainless steel rods forming a basket equipped with 12-inch steel teeth. It pulls aquatic vegetation up by the roots and allows water to drain quickly from the basket, leaving only vegetation inside. Fuchs has sold about 20 AVRS throughout the country, including to irrigators in Florida, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona and Montana. Source: Bingham County Chronicle

Jefferson County

  • The Central Fire District will move forward with building living quarters in the offices along Annis Highway in Rigby. The project will include placing bathrooms, a kitchen area, sleeping arrangements for four to five people and a day room in the upstairs of the offices, which is currently an open storage area. The bid period ended Oct. 7. Source: Jefferson Star

Lemhi County

  • A new fuel farm is on the docket for the Lemhi County Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration granted the facility $1.1 million to improve infrastructure. Replacing the fueling equipment will happen next year. Source: Challis Messenger
  • About 189 households in Carmen are pegged to get wireless coverage from a $548,000 grant. The money comes from federal funds the state received under the CARES Act, slated for projects that support improved broadband infrastructure, equipment and services. The Idaho Department of Commerce said the project will help the Upper Carmen Public Charter School improve its distance learning capabilities. The school is providing a $10,000 match. It is supported by Steele Memorial Medical Center and the Salmon school district, where 20 percent of students do not have access to reliable broadband. Source: Challis Messenger

Teton County

  • Owners of Ancient Grains LLC in Teton are expanding its milling, dehulling and cleaning operations and contracting more acres. The company sells flour and whole grains from ancient varieties, specializing in einkorn, spelt and khorasan. The expansion will increase the company’s in-house processing to several million pounds a year. Source: Capital Press
  • Driggs is the biggest local beneficiary of the $48.9 million in state funds announced for broadband projects. The city was awarded $2.97 million to provide broadband service to 690 households by building 79,680 feet of fiber-optic main cable. The total project cost is $3.4 million with a $483,000 cash and in-kind service match from internet service provider Silver Star. Source: Post Register


  • Al’s Sporting Goods in Idaho Falls
  • GEM Technologies Inc in Idaho Falls, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331