Bringing the Economy Home


Department of Commerce

Latest Posts

Why Urban Renewal Faces Resistance In Idaho

Urban renewal districts allow communities to leverage property tax dollars to support local economic development. There are more than 60 of them in Idaho. But this legislative session has brought fresh signs that, in some corners, urban renewal isn’t exactly popular – even as it supports the state’s most touted new company.  

Rural Idaho Faces Diminished Federal Grant Dollars

Rural Idaho communities have struggled with high unemployment, stalled home construction, and shrinking school budgets since the onset of the recession.  Add to that list dwindling federal grant dollars. StateImpact reported in April that funding for the Idaho Community Development Block Grant Program has been cut by a quarter in recent years, leaving the state […]

Lewiston Ammunition Maker Continues To Expand

Howell Machine, an ammunition maker in Lewiston, has more than quadrupled its workforce in the last five years.  That’s according to a recent article from the Lewiston Tribune. The newspaper reports Howell Machine has 132 employees and plans to add almost 100 more by March.  The company is also preparing to add some serious square […]

Idaho Touts Local Culture And State Law To Draw Gun Manufacturers

It’s a straightforward pitch: Idaho is a gun-friendly state.  Why not encourage gun manufacturers to come in and set up shop? Several years ago, that logic led Idaho’s Department of Commerce to begin recruiting “recreation technology” companies.  The term refers to makers of all sorts of outdoor equipment, but the department’s most prominent pitch was […]

Who Are Idaho’s Firearms, Ammunition, And Accessories Manufacturers?

Kayla Cuellar counts herself lucky.  She was born and raised in Idaho, and considers it a great place for the business she and her husband started a few years ago. It’s called Valiant Firearms and Ammunition, and it specializes in pistol and rifle ammunition.  Each cartridge is assembled by hand. Cuellar spends a lot of […]

Idaho Aims For Job Growth Through Gun Manufacturing

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho BJ Swanson is executive director of the Latah Economic Development Council.   Click above for an interactive map of all gun and ammunition manufacturers in Idaho. A few years ago, state leaders got the idea to promote Idaho to the outdoor industry, including gun manufacturers.  After all, Idaho is a more […]

Commerce Director Says His Bankruptcy Was “On The Table” In Hiring Discussion

Idaho Commerce Department Director Jeff Sayer filed for personal bankruptcy in 2003, less than a decade before Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed him to his current job.  That’s according to an Idaho Statesman report this weekend. Director Sayer’s bankruptcy was not public knowledge ahead of his appointment last fall, but it was known to Gov. […]

Department Of Commerce Unveils Three Year Plan To Grow Idaho’s Economy

The director of the Idaho Department of Commerce and members of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council are meeting in Pocatello this week to tour area companies, talk with local county and city leaders, and explain the director’s plan to grow Idaho’s economy. Director Jeff Sayer took the helm of the Commerce Department in October 2011.  […]

Four Idaho Companies Report Positive Results From China Trade Mission

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter is touting the results of last month’s trade mission to China.  Fifteen Idaho companies and organizations joined the mission.  Half were already doing business in China and went in hopes of expanding their current reach, while others went seeking a foothold in the market. Gov. Otter says those initial meetings are […]

Idaho Communities To Receive More Than $5.5 Million In Grant Funds

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed off on more than $5.5 million in grant awards to Idaho communities. Otter followed the guidance of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council in his decisions, approving all 18 grant proposals that the council recommended for funding. Twin Falls will receive $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to […]

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