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The State of Small Business in Idaho

Idaho is not New York, Florida, or California, but its economy is doing just fine. It’s especially true for its small businesses. According to the US Small Business Administration, the state has more than 158,000 small enterprises. All of these account for 99.2% of all companies in the area. There are also over 300,000 employees, which is more than half of the total workers in the state.

Room for Expansion and Opportunities

Now is also an excellent time to venture into self-employment in the Gem State. Entrepreneurs can look forward to opportunities for growth. For one, the state has one of the fastest-growing populations in the country. It increased by 2.2 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Its capital, meanwhile, is one of the largest metro areas, according to Forbes. In 2018, the metropolitan area ranked first among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It’s a significant jump from 11th place a year before. Forbes projected that its population growth will increase by 2.34% while job growth will go up by 3.58%. Salaries will also receive a boost of 7.27%.

Although the state’s economy was lower than that of the national average, it’s able to keep the unemployment rate down. It shall be 2.6%, which is over a percentage point lower than the United States. This percentage is also below the 2018 rate of 3%. Back in 2017, it was 3.5%.

Idaho’s tech industry is also flourishing. According to CompTIA, the number of tech-related job postings increased by 44% from 2016 to 2017. The tech workforce now comprises 6.5% of all employees while the industry is now third when it comes to the economy’s impact.

Facing the Challenges Ahead

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Opening up a business in Idaho, however, doesn’t spare future company owners from the challenges their predecessors are dealing with.

One of these is taxes. The state still levies real properties for both personal and business purposes. In other words, you will be paying taxes not only for the house but also for the machinery, equipment, and vehicles, among others.

They can help reduce that by reducing costs on assets. For example, they can buy a used Freightliner sprinter for sale in Idaho. They can still have space for their business needs, spend less on taxes, and maximize the lower fuel expenses of the state.

NFIB, an organization that advocates small businesses, is also fighting the state’s efforts to include labor and services in sales tax, which is at 6%. Small businesses also need to anticipate rising healthcare and labor costs. The cost of healthcare will increase by 4% in 2019.

Meanwhile, Idaho’s association for general contractors reported that over 85% of their members struggle to fill skilled-trades positions. It can be a significant problem as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be more than 10,000 construction jobs in 2022.

To cope, the state is now encouraging apprenticeships. Idaho AGC also created an online portal, which provides the tools for future construction employees.

In the state, money can still be tight for small business owners, but there’s always a way around it. For the most part, these challenges are happy problems.

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