The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) defines the term “Economic Development” as “Creating the conditions for economic growth and improved quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, businesses, and communities to maximize the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, job creation, and private investment.” As someone that has been in the industry sector for nearly two decades, I have learned that Economic Development in Southern Idaho doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes leadership, planning, collaboration, and the use of available resources.
Southern Idaho has experienced tremendous economic growth for many years and 2022 was no exception. Despite rising inflation and market uncertainty, the region’s economy has continued to flourish. That success is built upon strong leadership from our government leaders, effective business owners, and dedicated economic development professionals, like Region IV Development Association, Inc.
RIVDA had great success in 2022. Through our various loan programs, we were able to help many small businesses obtain financial capital to grow and expand their businesses. We were able to kick off our Brownfield Assessment and Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund programs. We were able to assist several communities across the region obtain financing to improve water systems, sewer systems, community parks, senior/community centers, and emergency responders to obtain additional equipment. We were able to bring the Rural Economic Development Services program back under Region IV Development’s Management, which is a great program that helps strengthen our regional’s rural areas.
We are looking forward to an exciting and prosperous 2023. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the RIVDA Team as we work together to achieve economic success this coming year!
Region IV Development Office Closed:
Martin Luther King Jr Day - January 16th
Presidents Day - February 20th
On Monday, we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his nonviolent action to achieve social and political change. Dr. King’s movement helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law ended long standing segregation in our county. The Act also banned job discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin.
Our economic development team works directly with cities and counties on equal access planning to help ensure non-discriminatory treatment, outreach, and access to program resources for residents. This applies to employment, procurement, and marketing.
Thank you to Dr. King for leading the advancement to provide equal opportunity for all. In observance of this day, our office will be closed and return to normal business hours Tuesday January 17th.
Grant Funding Opportunity
Calling all small towns with populations fewer than 50,000! The next round of the
T-Mobile Hometown Grant program is now open.
Brought to you in partnership with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, the T-Mobile Hometown Grant program provides grants of up to $50,000 to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities!
Since the program's start, T-Mobile has given more than $6.6 million dollars to kickstart over 150 community development projects, including the latest winning recipients.
Towns with 50,000 people or less can apply for a grant of up to $50K to fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your community. For example, you could implement tech upgrades at your library, refresh a local park, or break ground on a new place where neighbors can connect.
Need more time to submit your application? The next round of funding opens April 1, 2023 with a deadline of June 30, 2023.
Region IV Development Loan Programs
January SBA 504 Interest Rates
25 Year - 6.313%
20 Year - 6.286%
10 Year - 6.166%
Region IV Development Loan Programs
Small Business Spotlight - Fox Floral
Fox Floral is a local gem proudly serving Twin Falls and the surrounding areas. Owner Rachel Irwin and her team focus on customer service and attention to detail. This beautiful, quaint downtown shop delivers locally and daily delivery service is also available to local hospitals and funeral homes.
Rachel has always been a motivated self-starter. Prior to owning Fox Floral, she managed the produce department at Albertson's. Having no experience in floral design, Rachel spent her personal time educating with books, online, and attending workshops. Her love for floral design grew.
At a time when the floral department was declining in sales, Rachel began outsourcing Albertson's flowers to local shops. One of the places she was selling to was Fox Floral. When the opportunity to buy Fox Floral presented itself, Rachel took the opportunity and ran. In late 2018, Rachel put everything on the line - including her home, to become the new owner of Fox Floral.
As the new shop owner of Fox Floral, Rachel faced many challenges head on. In the fall of 2019, Rachel purchased the Cookie Basket and was excited to continue the legacy of the favorite local cookie and gift shop. Unfortunately, as it went for many small businesses, the Cookie Basket did not survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Rachel had to make the decision to close the doors on the Cookie Basket.
On the upside for the small business owner - the flower shop thrived. "I feel bad for saying this, but 2020 was really good for the flower shop," Rachel recalled. "I believe because people missed their family and friends. During that time, people relied on floral shops to bridge the gap between them and their loved ones. People missed each other and wanted a way to show their love."
When Rachel originally purchased the shop, it was located on Addison Ave. Customers would come in and reminisce of the original Main Street location years prior. "So, it became a goal of mine to bring Fox Floral back to its home on Main Street. Thankfully with the help of Region IV Development and the SBA loan, we were able to buy the original building in December of 2020. So now Fox Floral does not have to go anywhere else, the shop is where it started." Rachel chimed.
Now back in its original space, Rachel said it's been great to be a part of the downtown community. "All the businesses support each other, and we are so happy to be in this community in a location that is thriving," she said.
As for how it was navigating through the SBA loan process? "Anytime you go through a loan process, it can be lengthy," said Rachel. "But working with Amy Brinkman and the loan department at Region IV Development, there was always communication. Amy walked me through the process and informed me of everything I needed to know. You don't know what the future holds and as a small business owner you really put everything on the line, and it can be scary. But now with the security from the purchase of the building, I feel like I worry less about the future. When it comes time for me to retire, I have options. This has been life changing for me."
Rachel continues to nourish her knowledge and creativity in the design of floral arrangements by attending workshops and designing arrangements with customers. Her inspiration comes from, "Making people happy," she said with a smile. "Flowers make people happy. A florist friend of mine once said to me, 'When you're in the hospital having your first child, you receive flowers. Those flowers are the first gift that the person receives when they are brought into this world. As life goes on and you pass, the last gift you receive is flowers. That always resonated with me." she recollected.
Rachel and her team at Fox Floral are excited for what 2023 has in store for the shop. They already have several weddings booked for the year, and her goal is to continue to grow the business. For any special occasion you may have, Fox Floral can help you create a beautiful, eye-catching fresh or silk floral arrangement. The shop offers traditional and contemporary floral design styles, as well as house plants, balloon bouquets, baby items, home decor, and more. Stop by the shop and talk to the team today.
Interview and story by Brandy Lowe, RIVDA Administrative Assistant/Media Contact
Small Business Spotlight - Fox Floral
For more than four decades, Region IV Development Association has been providing hands-on technical assistance to communities throughout southern Idaho – from helping with basic infrastructure development (sewer, water, fire protection, community centers and senior centers) to assisting with community building (training, visioning, and comprehensive planning).
Our team can assist with town meetings, preparing funding applications, and project administration.
Are you a community leader with a wish list full of infrastructure improvements to your city or county?
Call us today:
Adeanna Jenkins - Community Development Planner
(208) 732-5727 x3008, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brenda Hastreiter - Project Specialist
(208) 732-5727 x 3007, email@example.com
Dr. Michele McFarlane - Community Development Planner
(208) 732-5727 x3005, firstname.lastname@example.org
President and CEO
President and CEO
Region IV Development Mission
To develop partnerships to promote economic opportunities by acting as a catalyst in providing resources that foster resilient communities across Southern Idaho.
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy contributes to effective economic development by utilizing a locally-based, regionally driven economic development planning process. Our regional plan is strategy-driven and will enable RIVDA in creating an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen our regional economy.
The RIVDA CEDS analyzes the regional economy, addresses regional economic problems, and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives.
Click the CEDS to read more.