Boise, Idaho


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Boise Business Signs

The tree-lined valley of what would become known as the Boise River is a memorable feature of this particular area of Idaho, which is high desert.  In fact, it was so memorable to French Canadian fur trappers in the 1820s that they named it ‘La riviere boisee’, which in English translates to ‘the wooded river.’  The city of Boise itself was incorporated in 1863.

Today, it is the capital and most populous city in Idaho.  According to the 2010 United States Census estimate, Boise had a population of 205,671 people, which would make it the 99th largest city in the country.  A more recent census estimate in 2013 put the population number at 214,237.  The city of Boise is part of the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area.  This metropolitan area includes five counties and the state of Idaho’s three largest cities: Boise (already mentioned), Nampa, and Meridian.  It has a population of 616,500.

Boise serves as the headquarters for companies such as Boise Cascade LLC, Albertsons, J.R. Simplot Company, Idaho Pacific Lumber Company, Idaho Timber, WinCo Foods,, and Clearwater Analytics.  The city’s largest private, locally based, publicly traded employer is Micron Technology, however.  Micron employs 5,000 people.  The State of Idaho (which includes Boise State University) employs the most people, 14,300 of them.

The high-tech industry also accounts for much of Boise’s economy.  Businesses such as Hewlett Packard, Healthwise,, CradlePoint,, ClickBank, MetaGeek, MobileDataForce, MarkMonitor, Sybase, Balihoo, Intracon NA,, and Microsoft all have heavy presences in the area.

In 1932, the Episcopal Church founded BSU (Boise State University).  Today, the school has 23,000 students, which makes it the largest enroller of higher education institutions in the state of Idaho.

Culturally, the city of Boise is known as a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music.  Each spring, Boise hosts the Gene Harris Festival and in early March, it hosts the Treefort Music Fest, which features emerging bands.  Theater groups in the area include the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Little Theatre, Boise Contemporary Theater, and Prairie Dog Productions.  The Boise Philharmonic is in its 49th season, while at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, both Ballet Idaho and Trey McIntyre Project put on their shows.

The World Center for Birds of Prey is located just beyond Boise’s city limits.  This conservation center played a vital role in the re-establishment of the Peregrine Falcon and that species’ subsequent removal from the Endangered Species list.  Currently, the center is breeding the rare California condor.

Boise (along with Valley and Boise Counties) hosted the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.  Annually, the city also hosts the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl football game (formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl and the MPC Computers Bowl).  This game pairs a team from the Western Athletic Conference with a Mid-American Conference team.

Boise does not have a well-known professional sports franchise.  However, they do have a well-known college football team: the Boise State Broncos.  The Broncos play their home games on campus at Albertsons Stadium.  This stadium is known worldwide for its blue playing surface, which holds the distinction of being the first non-green playing field in the history of American football.  Aesthetics aside, the football team has been 93-17 since 1999, with nine conference titles and eight wins in eleven bowl appearances.

Are you a small business owner in Boise?  Would you like to be?  Find out more with these resources:

Apply for a Business License in Boise

Small Business in Boise

Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

Looking for Boise business signs?

Advertise your small business!  Contact one of our authorized members:

Signs By Tomorrow
3413 N. Cole Road
Boise, ID 83704