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A note from the editor

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Sharon Fisher

So new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are down to the extent that the state can go back to Stage 3 and start having larger events again. Hopefully that won’t lead to a surge in new cases, especially as we learn that the new, more virulent strain is now in five of the six states surrounding Idaho.

Just as a data point, here’s the restrictions in Bermuda:

  • I had to be tested before I could board the plane.
  • I was tested on arrival, and quarantined until I got the result.
  • I will be tested three more times in the next two weeks, and restricted in my activities until then.
  • I also have to wear a wristband. If I take it off before the two weeks are up, I’ll be quarantined and fitted with an electronic bracelet.
  • The fine for not wearing a mask is $500 for the first offense, and $1,000 after that.

You know how many new cases Bermuda had so far this week? One.

 

This week’s Focus section is on financial services, and there’s always plenty of news there, especially when the Legislature is in town. The Small Business Administration has already released its first report on the use of the second Paycheck Protection Program, Bright Bank is opening its second branch and the Legislature is suggesting that PERSI the retirement program for state employees shouldn’t be investing in stocks like Twitter (which has climbed steadily since March) and Facebook (which went up 33% in 2020). It isn’t clear whether the Legislature can actually restrict PERSI if it doesn’t comply, or if it’s just a Strongly Worded Letter.

Our intrepid reporter Catie Clark covered the options that Ada County commissioners are considering as they decide what to do with the Expo Idaho property, as well as what’s happening with Treasure Valley rentals and a followup to the coverage she’s been doing for the past year on the legal case around the Treasurer’s office.

We also have an article on Appdetex’ Series C funding, and there’s at least two other Idaho startups that also got good news this week that we just didn’t have room for. We hope you plan to join us virtually on Tuesday, February 9, for our Breakfast Series on Idaho’s technology community, where we’ll talk about what Idaho needs to do to nurture this growing business segment.

 

Finally, we’re announcing the honorees of this year’s Icon awards today. These awards to to the people we recognize for a lifetime of accomplishments and service. The event will be held virtually on May 13, and we hope we’ll be able to go back to in-person events after that.

Sharon Fisher is interim managing editor of the Idaho Business Review.

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