Governor Brad Little announced plans today for more than 30,000 Idaho small businesses to receive Idaho Rebound cash grants, a $300 million investment in Idaho’s small business employers.

News of the cash grants comes as Governor Little announced Idaho has met the criteria to enter Stage 1 of the reopening plan on May 1.

Cash grants of up to $10,000 will be available to small businesses. Businesses will be eligible if they have not already received an SBA-backed Payroll Protection loan or received less than $10,000 in such a loan.

The criteria and process to apply will be made available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov on May 5 at 9 a.m. MDT. Applications will be accepted starting May 11.

To apply, small businesses must create a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account through the Tax Commission if they do not already have one. Small businesses are encouraged to create a TAP account as soon as possible. Information on creating such an account is available here:

Idaho enters Stage 1 of reopening

Governor Little also replaced the previous statewide stay-home order with his new “Stay Healthy Order” for Stage 1. The order follows the guidance of the President and CDC and was developed in close and constant consultation with the state epidemiologists. It will be available at Coronavirus.Idaho.Gov.

Stage 1 means 90-percent of businesses can open their doors on May 1. To ensure consumer and employee confidence, businesses must follow protocols to ensure physical distancing, sanitation, and other measures are followed in Stage 1.

In Stage 1:

  • Places of worship, daycares, and organized youth activities and day camps can reopen as long as they follow protocols.
  • The 14-day self-quarantine for people entering the state will continue, to prevent an influx of out-of-state visitors who could be carrying the virus into Idaho.
  • Vulnerable Idahoans should continue to stay at home if they can.
  • Employees are encouraged to continue teleworking, and employers should return employees to work in phases.
  • Gatherings of any size, both public and private, should be avoided.
  • Non-essential travel should be minimized or avoided.
  • Dine-in at restaurants must remain closed, but pick-up and delivery options will still available. In the next two weeks, restaurant operators should develop plans to open for dine-in on May 16 during Stage 2. Protocols will be available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov before close of business today.
  • Indoor gyms, recreation facilities, and close contact services such as massage, hair and nail salons remain closed but can make plans to reopen on May 16 in Stage 2 if they follow protocols.
  • Visits to senior living facilities and congregate facilities such as jails and prisons are prohibited.
  • Bars, nightclubs, and large venues must remain closed.

If Idaho meets criteria to progress to the next stage over the next two weeks, then Stage 2 will begin May 16. Details are at Rebound.Idaho.Gov.

As part of Idaho Gives, Idaho Trails Association is hosting two events to engage the backpacking and hiking community.

Trail Master Series Webinar: Backcountry Cooking with Carrie

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 7 PM – 8 PM

Tired of eating pre-package backpacking meals? Guest speaker Carrie Holmes, a certified health coach, wants to help YOU spice up your backpacking meals. She will cover general hiking and backpacking nutrition, incorporating plant-based options into your menu, and how to bring a cultural flair to your recipes. Carrie has done extensive research into foods and spices from other cultures and wants to help you create delectable meals that will make your hiking partners jealous.

Click here to register:

Digital Campfire Tales

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 7:30 PM – 9 PM

Join us for a night around the campfire telling stories! In this live webinar event, members from the ITA community will share their harrowing, hilarious or heartwarming trail tales from all over the state. There will be an opportunity for you as an audience member to “raise your hand” during the event and tell your favorite trail story. So get cozy around a fire (in your backyard?), grab a beer, and join us for a night of stories with Idaho’s trail community!

Sign up here to join the Zoom Webinar:

If you have an amazing story to tell and would like to be added to our list of storytellers, email

Governor Brad Little announced new plans today to help Idaho rebound from the economic impacts of coronavirus.

“Idaho will be better positioned for a strong economic rebound because of the difficult changes we are making in the short-term,” Governor Little said. “Like everyone, I want our economy back up and running as soon as possible, but we simply cannot open everything all at once and reverse the good work we have done collectively over the past month to slow the spread of coronavirus. We have a plan to reopen our economy in stages, consistent with direction from the President.”

The Governor’s Office created Rebound.Idaho.Gov, a new online resource for Idahoans to track the state’s progress in reopening the state’s economy in stages to ensure a strong economic comeback.

The plan will occur over four stages and sets forth specific criteria for Idaho to meet before moving into each of the four stages, as well as business protocols that must be followed for certain business to open up in the various stages.

The Governor also announced the creation of his Economic Rebound Advisory Committee, made up of business leaders across the state. The group will provide recommendations that work to rebuild employee and consumer confidence, provide for business stability and growth, and eventually business promotion and attraction.

“The Governor’s Economic Rebound Advisory Committee will provide recommendations for actions that support and drive the success of the safe reopening of our economy and related interests within the state,” said Darrel Anderson, Idaho Power CEO and Economic Rebound Advisory Committee leading member.

Idaho is still under a statewide stay-home order until April 30. Governor Little will make an announcement next week about whether Idaho has met the criteria to enter into the next stage of reopening.

Boise, Idaho – The Governor’s Salmon Workgroup will meet remotely via Zoom on April 28 and April 29, 2020. The agenda and public call-in number to participate, along with additional information about the Workgroup, is available on the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC) website:

On April 28, the meeting will include Workgroup discussion, presentations on hatchery reforms and processes, genetic monitoring of hatchery and wild salmon stocks, hatchery management and the Endangered Species Act. Public comment for this meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. MDT. The Workgroup continually accepts written comments; all written comments are distributed to the Workgroup.

On April 29, the Workgroup will report on subgroup progress and discuss homework assignments and next steps.

The upcoming Workgroup Zoom meeting be the eighth in the series. The Workgroup will hold several additional meetings throughout Idaho, as health guidelines permit, to provide opportunities to share perspectives on salmon policy in 2020. Those dates are listed below. Please check OSC’s website for future information about upcoming Salmon Workgroup meetings.

– May 27-28 in Boise
– July 8-9 in Riggins


Support Local Gems

Idaho small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and the backbone of our state’s economy. However, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has forced widespread closures of small businesses across the Gem State, threatening livelihoods, acute job losses, and imperiling the future of local establishments across our state.

That’s why Southern Idaho Economic Development has partnered with Senator Jim Risch and the Idaho Department of Commerce to participate in the “Support Local Gems” initiative.

On Friday, April 24th, we invite all Idahoans to find ways to support the small businesses in your community whose operations have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. April 24th will serve as an all-day celebration of the local businesses that make our communities thrive. You can participate by shopping at your favorite small businesses online, purchasing gift cards for future use (or for a loved one), ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants, writing a review online, posting on social media about your favorite local business or simply saying thank you to the businesses you frequent most often in your daily life. The outbreak has put many in difficult financial situations, but there are many ways to show your support.

Following the event and starting April 27th, Idaho Commerce and Visit Idaho will continue to promote awareness of the Support Local Gems program by sharing resources as well as the stories of Idaho communities, citizens, and small businesses on and across its social media channels.

There is no question that COVID-19 has had a significant disrupting effect on all our lives. Now more than ever, it’s important to support the small businesses in the Gem State that provide local jobs, services, and unquantifiable community value.

If your financial situation allows, we hope you’ll join us and Support Local Gems on Friday, April 24th. If your organization or small business would like to get involved in the Support Local Gems initiative, email press@risch.senate.govYour support can make all the difference in a small business’ future.