COUNCIL -- Businesses across Idaho are facing hard economic times and Council is no exception. In this town people are getting creative as they come up with ways to save money and increase traffic in their stores.
To get more people in All About Wood, the owner, Virgil Butler, built a nine foot chair to put outside of his shop.
Last summer, he watched people drive past his shop on their way into Council. To grab their attention, he made his signs bigger and added the chair. Butler says the chair is bringing in more customers.
"People actually slam their brakes on when they see it sometimes, then pull over come back and take picture of it," said Butler.
Since he opened his store for the summer, he's seen four people come in each day. He says it may not sound like a lot but for him that number is just right.
"People say that is not enough traffic but if you stop and think about what I'm doing, it is about right because I couldn't keep up, I couldn't build this stuff fast enough," said Butler.
Butler builds his chairs, shelves and sculptures during the winter and sells his products in his shop during the summer.
The prices on his products are low but for Butler, it is more about doing what he loves than making a profit. As long as he can make enough money to pay the heat in the winter and buy more wood he will keep working.
Down the road at Council Trading Company, two businesses decided to share one store to save money. Skip Brunett and Luke Reilhe say the partnership helps both of them increase the traffic at their businesses and helps them keep their costs down.
Reilhe works with leather. He repairs and builds saddles and makes gun holsters and wallets. Brunett owns the trading post and carries any and everything western.
Sharing one roof is not Brunett's only idea to keep his business running. He told us you have to be creative in Council. He plans on opening a Western Photography business in the future.
All of the business owners we spoke with are looking forward to summer when more people drive Highway 95 to get out of the big city. They are hopeful people traveling through will stop by their stores and see what Council has to offer.