What is the Support Local Gems initiative? 

Idaho’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and the backbone of our state’s economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses across the Gem state to close or significantly reduce the services they provide, threatening livelihoods, creating thousands of job losses, and jeopardizing the future of local businesses across our state. 

The Support Local Gems initiative is a statewide public awareness campaign with a simple message to the people of Idaho. On Friday, April 24, Senator Jim Risch and the Idaho Department of Commerce invite Idahoans to Support Local Gems — the small businesses in their communities – by shopping online, purchasing gift cards, ordering food via take-out or delivery, writing an online review, posting a supportive message for their favorite businesses on social media, or just saying thank you to a business in their community. There are many ways to show support, some that don’t cost anything. We can each do our part to help support our community businesses when they need it most. 

Who is involved in the SLG initiative? 

An effort like this isn’t possible without strong support from others to help get the word out to Idahoans. The following partners and supporters will help raise awareness of the SLG initiative by sharing information with their members and stakeholders across the state. These partners and supporters include: 

  • Senator Jim Risch 
  • Idaho Department of Commerce 
  • Governor Brad Little 
  • Senator Mike Crapo 
  • Congressman Mike Simpson 
  • Congressman Russ Fulcher 
  • Association of Idaho Cities 
  • Idaho Association of Counties 
  • Idaho Chamber Alliance 
  • Idaho Retailers Association 
  • Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association 
  • Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry (IACI) 
  • Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

When will the SLG initiative roll out? 

On Monday, April 20, the Office of Senator Risch, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Commerce will announce the Support Local Gems initiative through a joint press release issued statewide and an opinion column in the Idaho Statesman. Senator Risch will give interviews with various media outlets on Monday and Tuesday as well. 

The statewide public awareness campaign will roll out across the state throughout the week, with the help of partners and supporters, via traditional and social media, email communication and word-of-mouth. The goal is to inform as many Idahoans as possible to do what they can on Friday, April 24 to Support Local Gems in their communities through news releases, social media, email and word-of-mouth communication. For more information, or to get involved with the Support Local Gems initiative, please email press@risch.senate.gov.

SLG going forward 

Following the April 24th event, Idaho Commerce and Visit Idaho will extend the one-day Support Local Gems event into a 10-week initiative, serving to keep this vital awareness effort top of mind for Idahoans. 

Visit Idaho will share helpful resources and content on visitidaho.org and across its social media channels to encourage partners, citizens, and communities around the state to support this initiative in their respective area going forward. 

Additionally, Idaho Commerce and Visit Idaho will highlight similar efforts already underway in several Idaho communities, helping to further rally support for small businesses of all sizes — from Main Street organizations to the Gem State’s more remote establishments.