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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), member and former chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has handpicked Empire Airlines of Hayden as the Idaho Small Business of the Month for August 2019. Empire Airlines will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate.

“Empire Airlines' success is a prime example of Idaho’s entrepreneurial spirit: Dare to dream, look at things differently, never give up, and when opportunity calls, answer with ‘WE CAN DO THAT.’  The State of Idaho is proud to be home to innovative, hard-working entrepreneurs like Nick, Vic, Mel and all of those at Empire Airlines,” said Risch.

Empire Airlines was founded in 1977 as Clearwater Flying Service in Orofino. Early jobs for the young company ranged from fire patrol, to transporting backcountry hunters and anglers, to cloud seeding in Libya. Empire Airlines’ “go anywhere, do anything” attitude carried them through the decades, garnering accolades and the respect of the Hayden community. Today, the international air carrier focuses on cargo, heavy maintenance repair, and assisting airline startups. In 2005, Senator Risch, then serving as Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Empire’s new hangar and headquarters at the Coeur d’Alene airport.

“The entire Empire family shows how one big idea and a dedication to hard work can lead to small business success,” said Risch. “I would like to congratulate Tim Komberec and all of the employees at Empire Airlines on being named the Idaho Small Business of the Month for August 2019. I look forward to watching your continued growth and success.”

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