We work with others to develop a vibrant economy of diverse businesses and industries that offer quality job opportunities and help build prosperity for all in Bonner County.
We’re guided by our commitments to Integrity, Engagement, and Service. Count on us to be inclusive, to do what we say, and be worthy of trust. We’ll be data-driven, solutions-minded, and responsive to our constituents in all things.
Our Strategic Priorities focus on insightful action, ready access to resources, & organizational responsiveness.
Read our complete Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values
After a three and a half year hiatus due to the pandemic, PEP is excited to announce that our annual Economic Summit is back! This immensely popular event was re-initiated in 2023 and held all day on May 11, at the University of Idaho Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center. Watch for a "save the date" announcement coming for the 2024 event, for the month of September.
Led by PEP, three qualifying zip codes were applied for consideration as Opportunity Zones, targeting downtown Priest River, Hope, and downtown Sandpoint. If approved, these zones would be privy to tax incentives and more. In the end, the Sandpoint downtown zone was accepted.
The long-established but cyclically challenged commercial kitchen business incubator, most recently known as Kitchen Ponderay, has been given new life! Originally established as part of the Sandpoint Business Incubator, the equipment was stored and the program mothballed until a 2018 joint effort of Bonner County Economic Development, under Paul Kusche’s leadership, along with Bonner County Commissioners, City of Ponderay and Panhandle Area Council, and the community at large, revived the operation under the name Kitchen Ponderay, and under the management of another existing nonprofit commercial kitchen/business incubator, Kitchen Spokane. A new nonprofit 501(c)(6) has since been formed to take over and restore local control. Named Pend Oreille Specialty Foods Incubator Inc., it re-opened for operations in October, 2023.
Since the establishment of Property Tax Exemptions and lowering of the capital limit to a $500,000 threshold, PEP has worked directly with the county to navigate applications. Companies now under 63-602NN include: Litehouse, DAHER, Tamarack, Pape Machinery and Cryptorock, among others.
Through this project, Litehouse exemplified its dedication to the community and Bonner County, undertaking their $6.2 million expansion in February of 2018. The 26,000-square-foot addition includes a new cooler, shipping and receiving center, loading docks, updated employee break rooms and facilities, and a 4,000-square-foot wastewater treatment facility.
PEP (formerly BCEDC) created, launched and executed Economic Response & Recovery (ERR) Funds to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. After a successful first round, PEP received a charitable incentive through the Margaret F. Galbraith Fund via Innovia Foundation to match contributions, doubling the value. Matched donations came from the City of Sandpoint, Kochava, Percussionaire, Ting, North Idaho Title, and Washington Trust Bank.