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Study: Too Many Treasure Valley Jobs Are Lost in Economic 'Leakage' 

"Every time that people in your community unnecessarily buy goods and services from outside companies, that money winds up doing no good to the local economy."

A new analysis of the Treasure Valley's lost economic opportunity serves up some startling findings, including that a 10 percent shift toward more locally-owned and -operated businesses could generate as many as 13,648 new jobs in Ada County and 7,218 new jobs in Canyon County.

"Every time that people in your community unnecessarily buy goods and services from outside companies, that money winds up doing no good to the local economy," said Michael Shuman, a Washington, D.C.-based economist whose company was commissioned by Idaho-based Jannus Inc. to conduct a so-called "leakage" analysis.

Shuman said his findings, which are due to be shared with Idaho leadership this week, revealed that if the Treasure Valley accomplished a 10 percent shift to locally owned businesses, the net result could generate as much as $276 million in additional labor income and a $31 million increase in local and state tax revenues in Ada County alone.

"The top opportunities for those jobs are in the sectors of real estate, wholesale trade, employment services and full-service restaurants," he added.

Shuman said he was impressed by the high level of entrepreneurial activity in the Boise area, "but it appears that it's extremely difficult for those entrepreneurs to negotiate that space. The coordination among your many [entrepreneurial] programs is not so great."

Jannus, known as the Mountain States Group for decades, has evolved to oversee what it identifies as more than 20 community initiatives, including health care, economic opportunity and public policy.

"From asset development and credit building to financing and business planning, lives are changed as people can realize their dreams, become self-sufficient and move down the path toward financial resilience," said Jannus Economic Opportunity Director Beth Geagan.

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