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Support Local Gems


“I’ve always been a strong proponent for small business.”

After covid first hit Idaho back in 2020, Senator Jim Risch started the Support Local Gems initiative to create a day for people to support the small businesses that make our community thrive.

“It was certainly one of the precipitating factors. When covid hit, obviously we all know what happened right at the beginning and there was just a drop off of commercial business. A large business can actually absorb that kind of punch, not necessarily easily, but they can survive. A small business frequently can’t take a punch like that, and as we all know we lost a lot of small businesses.

We believed that this / would be helpful, that the Support Local Gems program would contribute to helping keep our small businesses alive.” Said Risch.

This is the third year of the event, and it’s also supported by chambers of commerce, business associations, and elected officials all over Idaho.

“In my judgement, it is the infrastructure of our small businesses that contribute to the greatness of Idaho, to its strength, to the values that we have. And I think that most Idahoans take small business for granted. They don’t intend to do that but it’s just that way when something is there, you like it, you use it, and you really don’t appreciate it until it’s gone. And everyone needs to focus on what can I do to maintain the small business community that we have here in Idaho.

And so, we put this together to pick a day where people can think about this and actually go out and support small businesses. Buy something from a small business, buy a gift card for someone. If you can’t do that then a review online of something you like about a small business directing people to there. All the things that help strengthen a business.

Look there are special challenges to a small business. Be it financing, be it supply chain, be it employees, they have unique challenges. We need to recognize that, and we need to support them, so they stay in business.

And tell your friends, urge people that look if you want to help small business today’s the day to do it. Stop by and buy something, or even if you poke your head in and say thankyou for being here. They really appreciate that. Believe me, when I go out I’m always surprised at how appreciative a small business is when they get simply a recognition or a thank you from the community,” said Risch.

So, on Friday, May 6th, you can go out and show your love for Idaho’s small businesses, and don’t stop there – you can support them all year long.

 For the voice of Idaho Agriculture, I’m Paul Boehlke.