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Idaho small businesses make big gains thanks to unique financial support


Housing is just one part of what makes a community a fulfilling place to call home, which is why Idaho Housing and Finance Association is always excited to work with people who have a vision for strengthening our local economy.

Jeff Brourman’s vision was to give the Treasure Valley a unique option for affordable and accessible veterinary services. Almost immediately upon meeting with Jeff and going over his plan, we knew he was on the verge of creating a much-needed resource in the community.

Community Development at work in Garden City

Jeff’s idea was for a multi-specialty, 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital that would be the only one of its kind in the area. He wanted his pet-owning neighbors to have the reassurance of a professional staff during veterinary emergencies, and we agreed that it needed to happen. Soon after our meeting, WestVet Animal Emergency and Specialty was up and running.

While he worked hard to bring the idea to life, IHFA helped supply cash collateral accounts as a way to finance the costs and backed his loan from Washington Trust Bank as added support to help him focus on giving the community the right kind of service.

In addition to businesses, we search for ways to develop our communities’ other resources. For example, charter schools, which generally receive little to no support for facility costs. This is where nonprofit/education bonds can provide lower-cost, tax-exempt financing for qualified grade schools, colleges, and other nonprofit organizations. The Village Charter School, for instance, built a new facility for its 500 students and 20 teachers with the support of one of these bonds.

As a financier, we have no way to plan for every step of our community’s growth and economic development, but we strive to remain flexible with how we can provide financial support. So when a person like Jeff walks in with a 24-hour animal hospital concept, or a charter school needs a new building, we can stay focused on doing the right thing to grow our community.

In 2017, there was more than $100 million spread among private loans and nonprofit bonds and loans. Our Collateral Support Program (CSP) generated $48 million of private loans for Idaho businesses in the manufacturing, construction, retail, medical/professional, and service industries. The 78 businesses that benefited from these loans then created or retained 629 jobs.

And as part of our mission to grow Idaho communities, we embrace every opportunity to help passionate people effect change.

As for WestVet, it has grown into one of the largest and most state-of-the-art pet care facilities in the Northwest as Jeff has expanded his services, his staff, and his facilities.