Coronavirus town hall. Gov. Brad Little will host a statewide AARP telephone town hall to provide information and answer questions regarding coronavirus in Idaho.

The hour-long conversation begins at 12 p.m. MST on Tuesday, March 24. Anyone can participate. Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/. The conversation will also be streaming at www.facebook.com/aarpidaho.

News Release: Reclaim Idaho Suspends Signature Gathering Efforts. Reclaim Idaho, the organization responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on the 2018 ballot, has announced it has suspended signature gathering operations for its new Invest in Idaho initiative given the international concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus and Covid-19.

“While it is vitally important that Idahoans be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights to bring ballot initiatives, we recognize security for all Idaho families is a priority in these times,” said Luke Mayville. “Because of that, we are suspending all operations to qualify the Invest in Idaho citizen ballot initiative. The very nature of the ballot initiative process requires one-on-one contact with thousands of voters, which is contrary to the advice and guidance being given by scientists and health officials all over the country. We have no desire to put our volunteers or Idaho citizens at risk of contracting Covid-19. We are ceasing all efforts to gather signatures for our latest initiative effective immediately.”

With about two months to go before the April 30, 2020, signature-gathering deadline, Reclaim Idaho had gathered more than 30,000 signatures (out of 55,057 needed) in 20 legislative districts. Internal calculations indicated they had already qualified or very nearly qualified eight legislative districts, ranging from eastern Idaho to the North Idaho panhandle.

Idaho Travel Council Announces March Meeting. The Idaho Travel Council (ITC) will meet via conference call on March 26, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Agenda items include updates on COVID-19 and the Idaho Travel Council Strategic Plan, feedback from the Tourism Tours, and any new business.

The ITC meeting call is open to the public. Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/694710901 You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (786) 535-3211 Access Code: 694-710-901

View the full ITC agenda here. The ITC is an eight-member, private-sector advisory board appointed by the Governor. The goal of the ITC, as well as Idaho Tourism, is to grow Idaho’s economy by increasing visitor expenditures throughout the state. For a full list of ITC members, click here.

American Red Cross blood donations needed. The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage as many blood drives have been cancelled across the country due to coronavirus concerns. Governor Brad Little is calling on Idahoans to make appointments to donate blood as soon as they can.

“As a long-time blood donor and supporter of the American Red Cross, I urge healthy citizens of Idaho to step up and help their neighbors by making an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible,” Little said. Through March 17, nearly 4,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer blood donations.

In Idaho, nearly 60 blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in more than 1,700 uncollected blood donations. The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment at https://www.redcrossblood.org/ to provide lifesaving blood products.

Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council Announces March Meeting. The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council will meet via teleconference on Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. MST. 

Idaho Commerce manages the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) commercialization grant program which awards $950,000 in state funding to projects between Idaho university and industry partners geared toward commercialization initiatives. The IGEM Council’s fiscal stewardship and strategic direction advances IGEM’s overall goal of economic prosperity through investments in technological advancements and innovation.       

During this meeting, the IGEM Council will consider a no cost extension for a previously approved IGEM grant award and a budget modification for a separate IGEM grant award. Click here for the complete meeting agenda. This IGEM meeting is open to the public. There will be an opportunity for public comments toward the end of the meeting. To learn more about IGEM, visit http://igem.idaho.gov 

Idaho Commerce Extends Application Date for the Idaho Regional Travel & Convention Grant Program. The Idaho Department of Commerce-Tourism Development is extending the application deadline for the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program for the 2020 grant cycle. Applications must be submitted via the Department’s online portal by 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) April 10, 2020.Created in 1981, the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program is funded through the collection of a 2% tax on the sales of hotel, motel, private campground and vacation rental accommodations.The Idaho Travel Council (ITC) oversees the grant program which distributes funds to non-profit, incorporated organizations which have a viable travel or convention program in place.

The ITC has the goal of promoting the State of Idaho and the designated travel regions within the state through:

  • Meaningful programs to promote scenic attractions and tourism assets of the state;
  • Return on investment through reporting that validates the best use of marketing dollars to achieve overnight stays;
  • Use of cooperative marketing opportunities to leverage budget and market penetration;
  • Collaboration and consolidation of marketing projects with partners to align strategies and leverage consistent messaging; and
  • Media opportunities that have an ability to target a broader market base or specific niche audiences.

For more information about the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant, including a detailed application schedule and an application preview visit: http://commerce.idaho.gov/tourism-resources/itc-grant-program. For any questions or access to the grant portal, please send a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..