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Blackfoot businessman encourages companies to invest in Idaho

In his State of the State address, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter talked about how employers in our state should be investing heavily in Idaho goods and services, highlighting one eastern Idaho businessman in particular.

“Doug Sayer of Premier Technology in Blackfoot recently made a simple but profound change in the way he does business – shifting to Idaho suppliers for a greater share of everything he buys for his company’s operations,” Otter said in his Monday speech to the Legislature.

Sayer is proposing a New Year’s resolution for businesses, so to speak.

“It may be a little bit inconvenient in the beginning, but you don’t need to sacrifice quality or price,” Sayer said of in-sourcing his suppliers.

Sayer said the minor inconvenience can go a long way.

“We believe that taking the time and working with your supply chain in Idaho has the opportunity to have a direct impact, and most importantly, an immediate impact on the jobless numbers here in our state,” Sayer said.

Idaho’s unemployment plummeted last year, falling from 8.5 percent in November 2011 to 6.8 percent in November 2012.

Not only does Sayer’s company buy goods and services from Idaho businesses, Premier Technologies gets plenty of business from local employers as well.

“The more business we can do in Idaho, the better it is,” said Stacey Francis, the small business program manager for the Idaho National Laboratory.

Premier has designed plenty of equipment currently being used by the INL, which also does its part to keep Idahoans at work. It’s obligated to do at least 30 percent of their business with Idaho companies, but Francis says she’s always looking to shoot higher.

“A lot of our businesses here locally have actually grown up to support us here at the Idaho National Lab,” Francis said. “They understand our mission, they understand what we need to do and they have a work ethic that is unparalleled across the nation.”

Plenty of small businesses in eastern Idaho have also gotten a boost.

Grow Idaho Falls CEO Linda Martin said that trend is largely due to in-sourcing, citing Melaleuca’s expansion and Cives Steel’s new plant in Ucon.

“Everyone likes to work with their neighbor and buy from their neighbor,” Martin said.

Sayer plans on working with several manufacturing organizations, like the Idaho Technology Council, to help other employers rise to his challenge.

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