How healthy is east Idaho’s economy? That was the focus of an economic summit that brought in business and government leaders from across the state Wednesday in Pocatello.
At the economic summit Lt. Governor Brad Little said the economy east Idaho is an example for the rest of the state.
“You have proven not only how to survive but how to thrive in a rapidly changing economy,? Little said.
Many at the summit said the area is able to attract new businesses ,bringing jobs to the region.
“In eastern Idaho in general things are going really well right now. We’ve got a lot of new companies coming in. We’ve got a lot of hiring happening,? Pocatello Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Matt Hunter said.
Little said the region is strong because of a stable manufacturing base.
“That’s what we need to do. We need to make things. We need to be in the export business rather than the import business, and that’s a lot about what’s taking place right here,? Little said.
But the region has certainly felt the sting of a tough economy, and despite hope for the future there are plenty of unanswered questions.
“What will inflation be? What will the value of the dollar be? What will tax rates be? What will be the cost of health care?? Little said.
“Obviously, unemployment is still high. We still have a lot of issues. And there is that person at home that’s going, ‘Wow, they’re talking about how great things are, but I’m unemployed,’? Hunter said.
Some at the summit said more and more employers are getting persuaded to move to east Idaho.
“Folks want to be here. Companies want to be here. It’s a great place to live; that’s why I’m here, and we just like being here,? Hunter said.