Gov. Butch Otters proposal to start a $3 million business development fund is a generous start, says Clark Krause, executive director of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerces economic development arm.
Otter backed a plan in his 2014 budget for money that economic developers could use to help close a deal with a company looking to bring more jobs to Idaho.
Krause, executive director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, has sought the fund as a tool to help land businesses that look at Idaho for a place to locate but often move on to somewhere else.
Lawmakers will consider Otters proposal in this year's legislative session, which began last week.
A business development fund would require companies to meet agreed-upon goals in capital expansion or job creation, said Jeffery Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. Money would be paid out after a company meets its performance goals. Agreements and funds paid out would be public, according to a bill Sayer is preparing.
Krause and other economic developers in the state sought a $5 million fund during the 2012 Legislature. Their proposal was overshadowned by a $5 million commitment from Otter to start the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission IGEM aimed primarily at turning Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho college research into companies that would create jobs.
Krause said Otters $3 million proposal will give economic developers a starting point to prove the funds effectiveness to lawmakers.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408