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A note from the editor

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Sharon Fisher

Traditionally in the news business, things slow down in the summer, as people take vacations, knock off early and otherwise take living easy, to paraphrase George Gershwin.

You couldn’t prove it by us.

I’m not sure if it’s because we’re all taking our first tentative steps outside after being masked up and quarantined for the past year, but things are busy, busy, busy.

The I-90 Corridor Aerospace Conference was still held virtually, but our intrepid reporter Catie Clark got to hear how the Kodiak Aircraft Company, based in Sandpoint, was manufacturing all the airplanes it could with the staff members that it had. With more workforce, the company could make half again as many planes each year.

That was part of our Focus this week on technology, which also included our versatile freelancer Alx Stevens writing about how the state of Idaho used technology to hold a virtual trade mission with Mexico. Alx also wrote how Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories broke ground on its Moscow-based circuit board manufacturing facility, which we first wrote about back in December. And of course the Focus section was a great excuse to run one of our Startup Central pieces, where we try to get caught up on all the entrepreneurial news we just don’t have space to write about otherwise. (Even in those short pieces, we don’t have space to cover all the startup news.)

Sandpoint, Moscow and also the Magic Valley made the news, with Hempitecture deciding to site its plant to make insulation out of industrial hemp in the area, Catie writes.

But there’s more to life than technology. The arts are important, too. Boise is getting a new art gallery, Catie tells us, and the Idaho Commission for the Arts is teaching a class in Twin Falls to help artists learn how to run a business.

Idaho companies got some kudos, with three Idaho-based companies now being named to the Fortune 500, Catie tells us.

Catie also took a deep dive into the Federal Reserve Bank’s plan to help support businesses through COVID-19 by telling us exactly which Idaho companies did — and didn’t — have some of their corporate bonds bought up by the Fed. What might be the most interesting part of that whole saga is how much of the federal money didn’t get spent. Now, the Fed is planning to sell off the corporate bonds it bought — another indication that we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.

Four Idaho foodservice companies are also forming an alliance to help them better compete in that market, Alx writes. More companies may end up joining.

And in other news, Parky McParkface is no more. While it’s not finalized yet, the new park at 11th & Bannock is scheduled to be named after former Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, through a grassroots effort.

We also got a chance to pick up a couple of pieces from our friends at the Idaho Capital Sun, like how the majority of Idahoans still catching COVID-19 are the ones who haven’t been vaccinated, and an in-depth look at how the federal government could be providing funds to help improve Idaho’s transportation — including providing more public transportation on busy Boise thoroughfares such as State St.

Next week, we’ll have more of an opportunity to talk about vacations, as we bring you the report on our Breakfast Series, held earlier this month, on Idaho tourism. Our Focus section that week is also on the subject of tourism, so expect even more articles on getting out of town.

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

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