POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A community meeting is helping locally owned businesses get back on their feet after being shut down for more than a month due to the pandemic.
"When they started shutting down schools and sports and things like that, in an industry like ours, that is literally a death blow."
Neal Alston, owner of Alston T-shirt Printing and Embroidery is left stitching his business back together since the beginning of the shutdown. However, its impact is still being felt. Especially in industry heavily relies on sports, schools, and other local business.
"We did get to the point where we had to lay some of our employees off,” Alston said.
The same financial stress is being felt by millions across the country. With the national unemployment rate at 13.3% and Idaho's jobless rate at 11.5%, many are concerned with how Idaho's economy will reb-bound.
ISU's Bengal Solution's Director, Dr. Dan Cravens says he's optimistic.
"If businesses are able to reboot, to start up again, and bring back employees, my guess is that we will recover fairly quickly," Cravens said.
That's why he's teamed up with community leaders and state officials to host a virtual forum on rebooting eastern Idaho's economy.
"We're going to talk about the programs and some of the opportunities and some of the resources out there particularly small businesses and entrepreneurs and small businesses can take advantage of." Wednesday’s forum also provided predictions of what Idaho's economy will look like in the coming months.
Alston T-Shirt Printing and Embroidery is open for business. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located at 245 N Main St, Pocatello, ID 83204.