December 2020

We wish you a wonderful holiday season 
and a prosperous New Year!

Dear Business Plus Partners,

Business Plus held its Annual Meeting on November 19th via Zoom with over 50 people attending. We voted in our new Board of Directors, learned about marketing, business development, and innovation initiatives that Southern Idaho Economic Development and others are working on, and were given insight into Idaho's 2021 Legislative session by Speaker of the House Scott Bedke. 

Join me in welcoming the 2021 Board of Directors and thank you to Cindy Collins, Renee Avram, and Matt Cook for your past leadership and support.


Connie Stopher, Director of Southern Idaho Economic Development, reported a 20% increase in marketing reach, progress in business recruitment (new company announcement coming soon), export assistance, COVID assistance, Shop Local sponsorship, and new opportunities for a food innovation center. Southern Idaho Economic Development hosted 3 Virtual Fam Tours, launched a new Operation Facelift (more details below), and offered 4 marketing training sessions. Stopher and her team are finding creative ways to keep our economy strong and on track.

Scott Bedke, Idaho's Speaker of the House, declared that Idaho's future is bright. He acknowledged President Dean Fisher and the College of Southern Idaho's teamwork, community focus and success. Speaker Bedke observed that Idaho is facing challenges as growth does not pay for itself. Bedke believes the 2021 legislative session will focus on water, education, infrastructure and Medicaid. Drawing from his ranching background, Bedke stated this year's session may require some "fancy riding and trick roping." 

Speaker Bedke asked for his contact information to be shared with our group requesting we reach out with questions and feedback. Below is his contact information and others involved in Business Plus and Southern Idaho's economy. Here is the full list of Idaho Legislators.

Scott Bedke
Speaker of the House
District 27 House Seat A
Statehouse (208) 332-1123 (Session Only)

Linda Wright Hartgen
District 24 House Seat B 
Statehouse (208) 332-1061 (Session Only)

Lance Clow
District 24 House Seat A
Statehouse (208) 332-1188 (Session Only)

Kelly Anthon
Majority Leader
Statehouse (208) 332-1327 (Session Only)

If you are not an investor and are searching for a way to increase business opportunities, we invite you to join Business Plus. We are a unique network of local business leaders that are solely committed to growing business in the Magic Valley. Give me a call.

Rebecca Wildman - Director

A Word from Renee Avram, Business Plus Board Member

As our community grapples with economic uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, Business Plus is more essential than ever. This organization has led the charge for our community to invest in the Magic Valley through business attraction and retention. Sustained economic growth is possible through this collaborative effort-paving the way to the exceptional quality of life we all enjoy."

Renee Avram, Zions Bank

New Business Plus Website!

Click to visit

We have launched our new website and invite you to take a look: Thank you to the Times-News and their partner Amplified Digital for our website's new design and hosting.

Magic Valley Food Innovation Center Survey

Click to learn more

Chobani, Business Plus, Southern Idaho Economic Development, Dairy West and Region IV Development are funding a feasibility study on the viability of a food innovation center and business incubator in South-Central Idaho. 

If viable, a center would support entrepreneurs and existing food companies from concept to commercialization. If our region is "All Things Food" a center like this will help companies build and grow their business and benefit the Magic Valley for decades to come.

Take this survey, especially if you have or are thinking about starting a new food business, and share this link with others. 

Read the Executive Summary here, see the participating organizations here, watch KMVT's interview, and read this article from the Idaho Busines Review.

Operation Facelift Awards

Southern Idaho Economic Development announced the awards for 2020 Operation Facelift, a community-wide project to revitalize downtown areas, build community pride, and encourage new business development. This year companies were able to sponsor community projects with even greater results. See KMVT's coverage here. 
  • Best Community Art Facelift: City of Dietrich for repair/replacing mailboxes with colorful art
  • Best Placemaking Facelift: Gooding County with an electronic reader board for the fairgrounds
  • Best Small Business Facelift: City of Shoshone for three downtown buildings that needed painting and new benches to be built by FFA students

Magic Valley Regional Airport

The Magic Valley Regional Airport is conducting a Master Plan Update to help identify needs and growth potential. Opportunities for public involvement are planned for the next 12 months. We invite you to read these Information Boards here and posted at the airport.  

Click Here

Third Canyon Crossing

At the 2019 Business Plus Annual Meeting we asked city leaders and IDOT representatives about the plans for a third bridge crossing between Twin Falls and Jerome counties. This November 23rd article from the Times-News and Steve Hartgen's commentary reflect that planning is moving forward on a project that could take 20 years to complete. I encourage you to read this article and become informed about the process and planning.

Idaho Department of Transportation Map
(Click Here for article)

To Give

Click for ways to give

Listen to Podcasts about Giving

Other News

Idaho Invests Big In Broadband During Pandemic, Boise State Public Radio, December 2, 2020

Milk flowing in Idaho, Capital Press, November 30, 2020

Magic Valley Mall bucks the retail apocalypse trend, Idaho Business Review, November 16, 2020

State and Local Resources foCOVID-19

Governor Brad Little and Idaho Rebounds
Idaho Department of Commerce COVID-19 Page
Idaho Department of Labor Idaho@Work Blog and Unemployment Dashboard
Idaho Economic Development Association (IEDA) COVID-19 Resources
Southern Idaho Economic Development COVID-19 Links
Region IV Development Website with Links to Loan Assistance
South Central Public Health District Information on Coronavirus
United Way of South Central Idaho Website

Thank you to our New and Renewing Investors!







Campaign Investors

First Federal*
D.L. Evans Bank*
Idaho Central Credit Union
Magic Valley Media*+
Project Mutual Telephone (PMT)*
Clif Bar
Cooper Norman, CPAs*
Dairy West
Idaho Dairymen's Association
Idaho National Lab (INL)*
Idaho Power*
McCain Foods
St. Luke's*
Woodbury Corporation - Magic Valley Mall, 
   Target, Best Buy & Dick's Shopping Centers
American Real Estate and Appraisal*
NEW NAME & LEVEL! Atlas Technical Consultants
Dot Foods
EHM Engineers, Inc.
Farmers Bank
Intermountain Gas Company*
Mountain West Realty
Mr. Gas*
Northwest Bank
NOVOLEX / Hilex Poly
Oasis Stop 'N Go / Travelers' Oasis*
PBC Petersen Brothers Construction
PCA Packaging Corporation of America*
Starr Corporation*
United Electric Co-op, Inc.
Watkins Distributing*
Wells Fargo Bank
WillTran, Inc.
Banner Bank
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Idaho 
   Homes & Properties
Best Western Burley Inn
Blue Cross of Idaho
Blue Lakes Inn / Snake River Pool & Spa
Cassia Regional Hospital - Intermountain Healthcare*
Collins Connection - Kent & Cindy Collins 
   Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices*
Con Paulos Chevrolet
Farm Bureau Insurance
First American Title Company*
Goode Motor Auto Group
K&T Steel Corp*
Lytle Signs*
McKinlay Klundt Appraisal Co.
Minidoka Memorial Hospital
Nelson & Co.
Nu-Vu Glass
Safari Hospitality - Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn
    Express & Suites, Quality Inn and Suites
Thornton Oliver Keller
Titlefact, Inc.*
U.S. Bank
Ward Orthodontics
Westfall & Westfall CPAs / Impact Athletic 
Wills Toyota*
Zions Bank*

Devil's Corral
Family Health Services
Gem State Welders Supply*
Moss Greenhouses
New Leaf Properties
North Canyon Medical Center
Oregon Trail RV Park
Sparklight (formerly CableOne)
Stevens Pierce & Associates CPAs*
Stratus Communications, LLC
United Way of South Central Idaho
Watco (Eastern Idaho Railroad)*
Rep. Maxine Bell, Retired
Doug Brown
Rep. Lance Clow
Jeff Harris
Rep. Stephen Hartgen, Retired
Alan Horner
Ruth Pierce
Jan Rogers
Lee Wagner
NEW! Debra Wilson
(past 3 years)
Best Western Burley Inn
Elevation 486
Idaho Central Credit Union
Mr. Gas
Nu-Vu Glass
Packaging Specialties of Idaho
PCA Packaging Corporation of America
PerforMix Nutrition Systems
Minidoka Memorial Hospital
Mountain West Realty
Oregon Trail RV
Soran Restaurants, Inc.
Starr Corporation
Stone House & Co.
Stratus Communications
Thornton Oliver Keller
Watkins Distributing
Willamette Dental Group
WillTran, Inc.
*Indicates 10+ years of support since 2003
+includes additional promotional investment

Become an Investor!
Give me a call! 

Rebecca Wildman