Buy Idaho celebrates 25 years this year. In 1986, Butch Otter's bid for the Lt. Governor's office, provided him the opportunity to travel the state. He hosted town hall meetings and listened to Idahoans. From Idaho concerns, Otter developed the blueprint of 'Buy Idaho' with the message if Idaho businesses buy and sell from each other and if we spend our dollars here at home by supporting local, regional, and state companies, we can keep our dollars circulating over and over and grow a healthy economy. And he took this message to the JR Simplot company, where he was employed at the time, to promote local buying of products and services.
After Otter was elected, 'Buy Idaho' the concept became 'Buy Idaho' the organization. For 25 years, we have remained a nonprofit, statewide, fully funded membership association dedicated to promoting Idaho businesses. We believe in the spirit of cooperation and the timeless message that to keep Idaho's economy strong...Buy Idaho products and services.
To support our members, we have a Buy Idaho showroom where they can display their products or services. We print quarterly newsletters, an exclusive Member Directory, and a website link to our members' websites. We produce TV and radio public service announcements, networking opportunities through tradeshows and have embraced social media by having a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Recently, Buy Idaho brought together Board directors and members to form a Strategic and Planning Committee to review where we've been and where we're going. Our mission is the same but we are developing critical goals and actions to strengthen our commitment to our members. To that end we have streamlined our Mission Statement:
To promote and connect Idaho businesses, their products and services, to the people of Idaho and beyond.