The Boise Valley—including Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Nampa, Eagle, Star, and Caldwell—is often considered the economic center of the state.
Many large companies call Boise home, including Micron Technology, the J.R. Simplot Company, MWI Veterinary Supply, and Albertsons grocery stores. Although it has always been central to Idaho’s economic development, Boise has made significant strides in the past few years that have attracted national attention, notoriety, and economic success.
Recent national accolades have put Boise on the map as a great place to live. Some of these include: #4 Downtown in America (Livability.com, October 2012), #1 Region “Getting it Right” (Time Magazine, March 2014), Lowest Business Costs in Pacific U.S. (KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives, 2012 and 2014), #7 Best Place to Raise a Family (Forbes, April 2014), and #1 Best City to Move To in 2014 (SML, March 2014).
Boise is also a great place to work. Overall, the average annual wage in the Boise Metro Area in 2013 was $38,852. Nearly 13 percent of households had annual household income of $75,000 to $100,000, and another 12 percent earned $60,000 to $75,000 in 2014.
To encourage business relocation and expansion, Boise has offered a range of attractive incentives. In July 2014, Idaho effected a new tax reimbursement incentive that essentially provides a 1 to 30 percent tax credit for 1 to 15 years on corporate sales, as well as withholding taxes for companies that bring expansion or relocation projects to the state of Idaho. Idaho also passed legislation in 2013 establishing a new grant program that allows the Director of Idaho’s Department of Commerce to direct funds to projects for infrastructure needs within the community. Better infrastructure supports quality of life and quality of business.
In May 2012, the Boise Valley was specifically designated as a foreign trade zone (FTZ)—a site licensed by the FTZ Board that has special customs procedures. These procedures allow domestic activity involving foreign items to take place prior to formal customs entry. Benefits of the foreign trade zone include duty exemption, duty deferral on imports, reduced merchandise processing fees, inverted tariffs, and logistical advantages. As a business-friendly foreign trade zone, Boise offers unique advantages to companies currently located there.
Boise’s growth is on the rise, and its business-friendly and family-friendly environment will continue to attract business relocation and expansion. The Boise Valley Economic Partnership provides free custom and confidential services to businesses looking to expand in the Boise Valley, further encouraging economic growth and development in the area. As Boise’s economic status continues to burgeon, the entire state benefits.