April 22, 2020, This column was originally published in the Idaho Statesman
by: U. S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) and Governor Brad Little
Idaho’s local businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy – they’re also the lifeblood of our communities. They provide us with goods and services, local jobs, health care coverage, growth opportunities, community identity and immeasurable community value.
We all know the massive upheaval the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and its crushing impact on Idaho’s small businesses. That’s why we have joined forces to create the statewide Support Local Gems initiative.
On Friday, April 24th, we invite you to Support Local Gems – the small businesses in your community – whose operations have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. April 24th will serve as an all-day celebration of the restaurants, barbershops, bookstores, retailers, and small businesses across Idaho that make our communities thrive.
There are many ways to get involved to Support Local Gems. If you have the ability, we invite and encourage you to participate by shopping at your favorite small businesses online, purchasing a gift card for yourself or someone else to use in the future, or ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants.
Idahoans who are facing job losses or increased financial uncertainty in these difficult times can participate by writing a review for a small business or restaurant online, posting on social media about a favorite local business, or simply saying thank you to the businesses you frequent most often in your daily life.
It’s difficult to completely and accurately quantify the value Idaho’s small businesses bring to the state. Sure, in terms of dollars and cents, we can report how much they contribute to our economy. We can count the number of local jobs they provide, and even come close to demonstrating the real, tangible prosperity they create in the Gem State. It is much harder to quantify the hard work they do, the challenges they endure, and the strength and resolve they commit to in order to keep going day after day. We can’t put a price tag on the lives they’ve altered and shaped, nor the spirit, passion, and vitality they inspire in our communities.
Idahoans are set apart by their grit and self-reliance, but also their deep commitment to community and helping one another through difficult times. Now more than ever, we must do what we can to support the small businesses in the Gem State that serve us each day.
We hope you’ll join us and Support Local Gems this Friday, April 24th. This is our Idaho. These are our small businesses. They work hard to serve us, and now it’s our turn to give back. Your support can make a difference in the future of a small business in your community. If you can, please help. Together we can keep Idaho strong and united, and weather this storm as we have so many others. Thank you for all you do.
To read on the Idaho Statesman website, click here:
On Friday, April 24th, Idahoans are invited to “Support Local Gems” by shopping at small businesses online, purchasing gift cards, ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants, writing a review online, promoting a local business on social media, and thanking businesses for all that they do for our communities.
Following the event and beginning April 27th, the Idaho Department of Commerce and Visit Idaho will continue to promote awareness of the Support Local Gems program by sharing resources as well as the stories of Idaho communities, citizens, and small businesses on https://visitidaho.org/ and across its social media channels.
If your organization or small business would like to get involved in the Support Local Gems initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.