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EDITORIAL: Back your favorite Idaho business gems

| June 7, 2024 1:00 AM

Today’s a special day. 

Even if you can’t celebrate until tomorrow, mark the occasion by throwing axes hard and straight, picking up a gift for someone special at your favorite locally owned retail store, then capping it off with a nice dinner out and a fabulous Gooey’s dessert at Dockside.

What’s the deal? 

According to U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, June 7 is the day to recognize the Support Local Business Gems Initiative. Risch, senior member and former chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, named seven small businesses across the state — including Doug Duncan’s Axe Force One in Coeur d’Alene — as Small Businesses of the Month of June.

While the seven businesses will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate, the Local Business Gems Initiative goes further. Now in its fourth year, the initiative encourages citizens to go out of their way to patronize local businesses today.

Small businesses, according to the senator, are “the lifeblood of Idaho.” For years now, Sen. Risch has honored small businesses across the state that reflect the “Idaho values of hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and exceptional commitment to community.”

He has plenty of that to choose from.

A new WalletHub study ranks Idaho No. 4 nationally in startup activity and fifth in independent inventor patents per 1,000 working-age population. The state’s overall economy came in a strong 12th, evidence that the unleashed entrepreneurial spirit behind thriving small businesses is paying dividends for many Idahoans.

Much is made of patronizing local businesses during the holiday shopping season, which is as it should be. But just as we would all be better off if we kept the Christmas spirit year ‘round, so, too, would our communities benefit from ardent, ongoing support of our local small businesses.

Support Local Business Gems today and everyday.