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Pocatello, ID Business Overview

Location, affordability, access to R&D add up to economic success

By Kevin Litwin on September 20, 2015

The Rise Complex, part of Idaho State University, is a big contributor the technological community.

Many large companies and small businesses are experiencing success in Pocatello and the surrounding region, with much credit going to the area’s assets, including excellent transportation options, a good location and access to research and development at Idaho State University.

Major Employers

Idaho State University is the region’s largest employer, with more than 3,000 staffers, while the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 and Portneuf Medical Center each have more than 1,000 employees. Companies/entities with 500-800 employees include Allstate Insurance, City of Pocatello, Convergys and ON Semiconductor. Those with 350-499 employees include Amy’s Kitchen, Bannock County and Union Pacific Railroad.


The Pocatello metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has more than 700 retail businesses, many key contributors to the local economy for 10 years or more. A brief list of the long-standing retail companies includes Albertsons, Ashley Furniture, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Fred Meyer, Herberger’s, JC Penney, The Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Targeting Industries for Growth

Pocatello-based Bannock Development Corporation reports that the Pocatello MSA is primed and ready for seven sectors of future growth: agriculture and food technology, construction, energy, environmental, health care, manufacturing, and medical research and development. Bannock reports companies interested in Pocatello are privy to ample commercial and industrial space, low utility rates, an educated workforce, and a lower cost of living.

Transportation Advantages

Pocatello’s location at the intersection of two major interstates – I-15 and I-86 – provides ideal access for warehousing and distribution companies. Also convenient are two Union Pacific main line railroad tracks and the Pocatello Regional Airport, with passenger and corporate jet service for Pocatello, Chubbuck and the southeast Idaho region. The airport also houses Pocatello Business Park, a prime site for industrial economic expansion near the city.


For seven years in a row, Forbes.com has listed Pocatello as a Best Small Place for Business, ranking the city high on its Cost of Doing Business index. The Milken Institute rated the Pocatello MSA third in growth rate of high-tech manufacturing companies, while Financial Times’ fDi Magazine listed Pocatello among the Top 10 Micro Cities of the Future and ranked it second in Best Economic Potential.

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