Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Business Briefs

County unemployment remains below state percentage

Blaine County was again well below the state unemployment percentage in August 2007, according to the Idaho Commerce and Labor Department.

Blaine County had a seasonably adjusted unemployment rate of 1.9 percent, or an estimated 281 unemployed out of a workforce of 14,578 workers.

The state of Idaho reports an unemployment percentage of 2.4 percent, or 17,890 unemployed out of a total workforce of 758,346. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average remained at 4.6 percent.

Valley businesses honored

The Boise office of the Better Business Bureau announced that the Ketchum branch of First Bank of Idaho is one of six businesses to be awarded the Integrity Counts! honors for 2007. North & Co., a clothier based in Hailey, was recognized as an honoree in the business honors program.

The Better Business Bureau serves Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon and recognizes businesses in surrounding communities for demonstrating a commitment to integrity and ethical business practices.

The companies were nominated for recognition by customers, employees, vendors, and the community at large. The award recipients will be honored at a banquet on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Boise Centre on the Grove.

Idaho income growth slows

Idaho's total personal income growth slowed dramatically this spring following significant revisions to income estimates for the previous nine months, a report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis states.

On an annualized basis, personal income—the total of all wages, business owner profits, investment earnings and transfer payments such as Social Security—totaled $46.8 billion for the months of April through June of this year. That is up slightly less than 1 percent over the first quarter to rank 47th nationally, an Idaho Department of Labor press release states.

But, based on better statistics, the bureau's revisions to income estimates for the three quarters from July 2006 through March 2007 boosted Idaho's annualized growth for that period to 6 percent from 5 percent in the earlier estimates, the news release states. The revised figures ranked Idaho eighth among the states.

From mid-2006 to mid-2007, personal income in Idaho was up 7 percent, two-thirds of a percentage point stronger than the national income growth rate, the department reports.

New restaurants in South Valley

Wood River Valley residents and visitors now have even more choices for dining out, with the introduction of two restaurants in Hailey and a deli in Bellevue.

310 Main will open on Main Street in Hailey on Thursday, Oct. 11. The restaurant that will feature contemporary French and Italian cuisine. Reservations can be made by calling 788-4161.

Across the street is Bandidas Bar & Grill, a new Mexican restaurant that opened in August. Bandidas is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and until 10 p.m. on Friday.

In Bellevue, the Smiling Dog Deli opened in mid-September on Main Street and offers build-your-own sandwiches, soups and salads. The deli's hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday though Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Dermatologist moves to Boise

Dr. Lindie Borton, a longtime Ketchum dermatologist, has closed her Sun Valley Skin Center practice. She is operating now out of her office in Boise just off Parkcenter Boulevard and will see patients there. The phone number is (866) 726-1165.

She recommended that if her patients prefer to stay in Ketchum, Dr. Steve Karassik is willing take her former patients.

Ketchum insurance agent gets sales recognition

Ketchum Farmers Insurance agent Tim Jeneson has been recognized for outstanding sales achievements during 2006 and has been inducted into the Farmers' "Topper Club" of top sales producers.

Farmers Group Inc. is a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services Group, a global financial services provider specializing in insurance.

Local dentist gets new employees

Ketchum dentist Dr. Scott Featherstone has three new employees helping at his practice. Mary Fisher is a dental hygienist, and Heidi McNeil and Marrianna Roussos are both dental assistants and perform office duties as well.

Idaho Housing and Finance announces leadership change

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association announced last week a leadership change with the appointment by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter of John D. (Jack) Beebe Jr., to chairman and Sun Valley resident Dave Wilson to vice chair of the board.

Wilson has served on the board since 2004. Richard (Dick) Bauer of Garden City, Idaho, was re-elected secretary/treasurer of the board.

Beebe is a partner at Beebe, McKernan and Daboll, a commercial real estate firm in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and has served on the board since 1997. He has previously served as vice chairman.

Zions Bank hires business development officer

Zions Bank announced that it has hired Linde Hoff as business development officer for the bank's Ketchum branch, located on Washington Avenue. Hoff will be responsible for developing local client relationships, including private banking, commercial construction, consumer lending and investments.

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