Alexah Rogge 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the 2020 holiday season upon us, Idaho’s small businesses face a critical next several weeks. Many small businesses rely upon the revenue generated by the holiday shopping season to keep their doors open, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the stakes are at their highest.

In an effort to support Idaho’s small businesses, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) announced the launch of the Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative.

Support Local Gems: All Season Long is a holiday revival of the successful statewide Support Local Gems public awareness campaign introduced last spring encouraging Idahoans to Support Local Gems – the small businesses in our communities – that have been impacted by this pandemic.

Throughout the month of December, the Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative will encourage Idahoans to do their Christmas and holiday shopping at their favorite small businesses and promote local shops with the hashtag #SupportLocalGems.

Partners of the Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative include Governor Brad Little, Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Mike Simpson, Congressman Russ Fulcher, Idaho Department of Commerce, Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Counties, Idaho Chamber Alliance, Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry (IACI), Idaho Retailers Association, Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association, and the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“Idaho’s small businesses supply local jobs, power the state’s economy, and provide the Gem State with irreplaceable value. This is a challenging time for them, and they deserve our support,” said Risch. “Last spring, we launched the Support Local Gems initiative to help our local job creators, and it was a huge success. Support Local Gems: All Season Long is an opportunity for Idahoans to once again give back to the small businesses that serve us every day.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they need all the support we can offer, especially during the pandemic. At the state level, we have prioritized resources for small businesses in our COVID-19 response. On a personal level, we can all support small businesses with our dollars,” Little said.

“Idaho’s small businesses are a vital part of our state’s economy and many have suffered a great deal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic this year,” Crapo said. “The Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative is a great way for Idahoans to support their neighbors by buying, eating and shopping small this holiday season.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy, and Idaho depends on these Local Gems to spur our state towards growth and prosperity,” said Simpson. “This holiday season I join Senator Risch in inviting Idahoans everywhere to find and support their favorite local shops.”

“This year has been especially difficult for Idaho’s small businesses,” said Fulcher. “As we move into the holiday season, it is important to recognize the opportunities to help our small businesses bounce back. The Support Local Gems initiative is a wonderful way to remind Idahoans of the many ways to buy, eat, and give back to our local businesses this holiday season.”

“2020 has been a year where all of us have had to learn to care not only about ourselves, but everyone around us, as we’ve struggled to fight a worldwide pandemic. And what better time to continue caring for others than during the holiday season,” said Kelley Packer, Executive Director of the Association of Idaho Cities. “As you buy for your loved ones and friends, in the hopes of spreading holiday cheer, please think local and support our small businesses. Help them survive this pandemic, too. Happy holidays!”

“We understand how important it is to help local businesses stay afloat during this difficult time,” said Idaho Association of Counties Executive Director Seth Grigg. “We encourage your support for local gems to keep our Idaho economy going and to support fellow Idahoans.”

“Supporting Main Street business is vital to Idaho’s success. These are the businesses that employ your friends and neighbors. Main Street businesses are the ones supporting your little league and other local charities,” said IACI President Alex LaBeau. “We encourage you to visit your local restaurants and retail shopping. Dollars spent in Main Street business supports your community.”

“Our local restaurants and retailers are the lifeblood of our communities. These businesses are struggling and desperately need our support this holiday season,” said Pam Eaton, President of the Idaho Retailers and Idaho Lodging & Restaurant Associations. “I encourage all Idahoans to ‘Support Local Gems: All Season Long’ and help protect the future of the small businesses that make Idaho a thriving and vibrant place to live.”

“As we close out 2020 still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho’s chambers of commerce urge everyone to think of how they can support local businesses this holiday season,” said Idaho Chamber Alliance Executive Director Caroline Merritt. “Although we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, please do your part to shop local and make sure these businesses are still present in our communities when we come out on the other side.”

“Small businesses make up the backbone of Idaho’s economy, and now more than ever, they need your support,” said Mat Erpelding, VP of Government & Community Relations for the Boise Metro Chamber. “This holiday season, make it a point to support those local gems that make our community such a great place to live, work, and play.”

Background: Support Local Gems: All Season Long is led by the same coalition of public and private sector leaders who brought you the Support Local Gems campaign to encourage Idahoans to patronize small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone can participate in the Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative by shopping safely in person or online, purchasing gift cards, ordering food via take-out or delivery, and encouraging others to do so, too.

There are also many ways to support small businesses that are free. Write a positive review, post about a local gem you love on social media with the hashtag #SupportLocalGems, or just say “thank you” to a business in the community.

For a Support Local Gems: All Season Long information sheet, click here.

For a Support Local Gems: All Season Long media toolkit for small businesses and supporters, visit Senator Risch’s website.

For more information on the Support Local Gems: All Season Long initiative, contact