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Report: Pocatello economy in strongest 25 percent in country

By By Chris Cole
Published On: May 31 2013 08:31:58 PM CDT

According to the trade magazine 'Area Development,' the key to a successful economy like Pocatello's is diversity.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Pocatello is strongly recovering from a recession that hit our nation hard.

The city is ranked in the top 25 percent in the nation for having a strong economy, according to a national publication.

But why did the Gate City receive the recognition?

According to the trade magazine Area Development, the key to a successful economy like Pocatello's is diversity.

The magazine took statistics from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau.

"Everybody got hurt in the recession," said John Regetz, executive director of the Bannock Development Corporation.  "It was the worst since the Great Depression, but we were just able to rely on our diversity to emerge, as well as some key projects."

Like bringing in new businesses, and expanding those already in Pocatello.

One business specifically mentioned was Allstate, who hired more employees when they expanded their call center.

Big employers in the area, like Idaho State University and ON Semiconductor also contribute to the economy.

But the diversity comes into play with the local businesses, and the work to bring in other major economic players.

"It all is a constant effort for existing companies or bringing in new companies to try and improve our economy," Regetz said

He added the recession, while felt here, could have been much worse.

Organizations like the Bannock Development Corporation helped reduce the blow by attending trade shows out of state to attract new business, and helping to expand those already established.

Those efforts, along with many other organizations like the BDC fostered the diversity that kept Pocatello strong during the recession.

"Diversity tends to dampen the effects of recessions to begin with," Regetz said, "But it positions us in a better light to recover."

Forbes magazine has also listed Pocatello as a "Best Small Place for Business" six years in a row.

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