SANDPOINT, Idaho.—City leaders in Sandpoint are looking for ways to keep 300 Coldwater Creek employees in the area once the company closes.
Coldwater Creek declared bankruptcy in mid-April, which surprised some local leaders. The announcement has Sandpoint leaders crafting a plan to keep highly qualified employees from leaving the area to look for other jobs.
Laughing Dog Brewing Company owner Fred Colby said he had several friends who will be out of work.
"Coldwater people have been family to us. So yeah, it's not a good time,” said Colby.
Colby worked at Coldwater Creek for a couple of years before starting his own business in the Sandpoint area.
City leaders in Sandpoint hoped many of the employees would stay there and start their own businesses like Colby.
“Right now, for a limited time, there are about 339 employees out there and they're all being paid for 60 days because of the settlement and the process of the bankruptcy,” said Jeremy Grimm with the City of Sandpoint.
City leaders created a response plan to help spur job creation in the area. That includes handing out grant money and leasing City-owned land to qualified businesses looking to relocate to or startup in Sandpoint.
"We really hope to capture and inspire them to stay here before they start sending their resumes out and looking for jobs elsewhere,” said Grimm.
A few businesses had inquired about the grants but none met the City’s qualifications.
Colby said he thinks a good portion of the Coldwater Creek employees would stay in town. He also admitted that he has some friends who already started the job search.
City leaders were set to meet with Coldwater Creek and its employees at the end of April to talk about options moving forward and what kind of jobs there are in Sandpoint.