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Biz Buzz: Learning center gets A+ from Idaho Falls Chamber

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Do you want to know what’s happening on the east Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered.

Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

Maggie’s Place recognized as small business of the year in Idaho Falls

maggies
Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – Maggie’s Place in Idaho Falls was awarded the small business of the year earlier this month during the fifth annual Business of Distinction Awards Gala.

Members of the community sent in their nominations for the award. Lois Mackes, the program and events manager for the chamber, tells EastIdahoNews.com they received a total of 60 nominations this year. Maggie’s Place was given this distinction because it had the most nominations.

“We were humbled and honored to win the award this year,” Maggie’s Place Owner and Managing Director Sheryl Gittings says. “It’s remarkable to me to have won within four years of opening but also that people think of us in that way, that we’re more than what we do everyday. It was really nice.”

Maggie’s Place is a learning center offering after school care, home school, enrichment classes and academic tutoring. The after school program is for students K-6 and provides homework help, curriculum and snacks. Enrichment classes give students an opportunity to learn and practice new skills. One of the classes Maggie’s Place currently teaches is a robotics workshop. Academic tutoring is available to students of all ages, including college students.

Gittings says she moved from California to Idaho Falls in 2015 because she saw a great need for these kinds of services.

“There was a need for kids to (have something productive to) do after school, so we got started with our enrichment center, which was originally in downtown. We started offering extracurricular classes in the afternoon.”

students playing
Students participating in activity at Maggie’s Place | Sheryl Gittings

As more students started enrolling, Gittings noticed parents were looking for additional help in math and science for their kids.

“We started with tutoring and brought on 10 students right away.”

The need for more services continued to grow. Gittings decided to move the learning center to its current location on Pancheri Drive last year.

“We have 120 families we serve every day. They need that service and we’re able to provide it for them at a reasonable cost. The relationships with these families is one of the things I enjoy most,” Gittings says.

Seeing progress in the lives of her students is something else Gittings enjoys.

Maggie’s Place Learning Center is located at 3000 Pancheri Dr., Ste. B. Its hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the after school program and other components are primarily in the afternoon and evening. Saturday tutoring is available by appointment only.

Maggie’s Place also has a Pocatello location at 348 W. Clark Street.

To learn more, visit the learning center’s website. Maggie’s Place can be reached by phone at (208) 502-1112.

Other businesses recognized at the chamber awards gala was Ferrell’s Clothing. It was an honorable mention for small business of the year. Apple Athletic Club and Teton Toyota were awarded the medium and large business of the year respectively. Twenty-two different businesses were recognized at the event.

RELATED | Ferrell’s clothing store in downtown I.F. moving to new location

The full list of winners is below:

winner list
Lois Mackes

BIZ BITS

Want to be a fireman? Pocatello Fire Department wants you

POCATELLO – If you’re the type who likes to serve others, now is your chance to join the Pocatello Fire Department. The City of Pocatello is currently accepting applications for Probationary Firefighters. Interested individuals are required to fill out an application and take the civil service exam. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 10. Starting pay for a probationary firefighter is $40,278 per year.

Family-owned taco shop opens new location in Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS – A family-owned taco shop in Ammon recently opened a new location in Idaho Falls on W. Broadway. Taqueria El Rodeo is excited to serve you and your family. EastIdahoNews.com is reaching out to the owner. We hope to post a story soon.

Rigby chamber invites you to make Rigby your place to shop Dec. 7

RIGBY – The annual Midnight Madness sale and Light Parade is Rigby’s big Christmas kickoff sale and you’re invited to be a part of it Friday, Dec. 7. The event will begin with a parade at 6:30 p.m. You can also meet Santa in person and participate in wreath decorating and gingerbread house contests. Businesses will be having sales until midnight. Contact Teresa Anderson for more information at (208) 745-8715.

You’re invited to celebrate Christmas early in Rexburg this weekend

REXBURG – Come celebrate Christmas at Hemming Village in Rexburg Dec. 1. There will be a full schedule of activities all afternoon beginning at 1 p.m., including live entertainment and Nativity. Enjoy free hay rides and ice sculpting, or take photos with The Grinch, Elf on the Shelf or Santa Claus. And if that isn’t enough, there will also be refreshments.

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

AMMON

Local optometrist uses vision therapy to help patients

AMMON — When you hear the word “vision” or “eye care,” what comes to mind? For many people, it is sitting in an office where you look into a device and identify a line on a chart.

But Dr. Daniel Nielson says eye care is much more than that.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

BIZ BUGS

GIFT CARD SCAMS

The following is a news release from the Better Business Bureau.

Gift cards are a notoriously popular item to give during the holidays, and scammers know this. Scammers use multiple tactics to steal money off of gift cards without the card holder even knowing. To avoid becoming a victim of this scam or giving a gift that ends up being worthless, the Better Business Bureau has some tips:

  • Before purchasing a gift card, be sure to give it a thorough look to make sure the PIN number isn’t exposed, or the packaging hasn’t been tampered with. If anything looks suspicious it’s best to grab a new one
  • Scammers are known to remove gift cards from the store rack and record the numbers associated with that card. They put the card back on the rack and wait until a customer purchases it. Once the customer buys the card, the scammer uses the number online and wipes the gift card clean before the customer ever has a chance to use it. Scammers are impatient and will usually put the gift card toward the front of the rack, so it’s best to grab a card from the back.
  • You should also double check the terms and conditions, the expiration date or any fees tied to the gift card before you decide to purchase one. Some stores charge service or setup fees, or limit the gift card to in store only, meaning you can’t use it online.
  • Keep in mind that no reputable company would ask for payment via a gift card. If you receive a call demanding you must pay using a gift card, just hang up. Scammers use scare tactics by threatening you with jail time unless you pay them immediately with a gift card. These scare tactics are nothing but just a ploy to get your hard-earned money.

Following these tips will ensure that you or your loved ones don’t get scammed out of their gift cards this year. If you want to view any gift card scams in your area or report any suspected scams, you can do so by using the BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

New medical spa opening in Rigby

INL takes four R&D 100 Awards at annual banquet

Have you ever wondered what the animals do when the zoo is closed? Here’s your chance to find out.

Idaho Falls airport predicting record amount of travelers this holiday season

If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett.nelson@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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