Bonner County's fast-growing economy and
Idaho's favorable business climate combine to
create strong growth opportunities for
businesses in Bonner County. Between 1994 and
2004, Bonner County added 387 businesses.
Nearly every industrial sector contributed
to this, construction being the prime
benefactor with 97 new firms. Professional
and technical services added 61 businesses,
consisting mostly of management-consulting,
bookkeeping, architectural, engineering, and
marketing firms. Other sectors that added
large numbers included health care (35),
transportation (31), retail (22), and real
estate (18). And while the United States
overall lost manufacturers, Bonner County
actually added 13!
Comparing the growth of businesses in Bonner County to the nation's shows just how favorable the county's business climate is. Between 1994 and 2004, the number of businesses in Bonner County grew 36% from 1,074 to 1,461, while the number of businesses in the United States grew half as fast at 18% from 684 to 810 million.
The area's strong entrepreneurial spirit is one of the many factors
that has encouraged economic growth in the Sandpoint area. As a haven for the arts, Sandpoint tends to attract creative types, including people who create new businesses.
The history of Coldwater Creek is a case in point. The nationally acclaimed company, headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, is a multi-channel retailer of women's apparel, gifts, jewelry, soft home goods and accessories sold through direct mail catalogues, full-line retail stores and the internet.
The vision for Coldwater Creek can be
attributed entirely to Sandpoint residents
Dennis and Ann Pence, cofounders of the
company in 1984. In fact, Coldwater Creek
now supplies an incredible seven and 1/2
percent of the total amount of women's
clothes purchased in the United States on
According to the Idaho Commerce and Labor Office, the major employers in Bonner County include Litehouse Dressing (manufactures
salad dressing), Life Care Center (assisted living
facilities), JD Lumber Company (forest products), Coldwater Creek (catalog retailer), Riley Creek Lumber Company (forest products), Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort (skiing), Wal-Mart (retail), and Stimson Lumber (forest products).
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