Risch Award

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, holds a copy of the statement he read into the Congressional Record to recognize Pocatello Electric as Idaho Small Business of the Month. He presented the award to them on Saturday. He is pictured with, from left, Jennifer Gonzales, Nick Paz, Suzie Vigliaturo, Mike Vigliaturo, Troy Dixon and Vickie Risch.

POCATELLO — Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has honored an Old Town Pocatello appliance store that has been in business for more than 117 years as Idaho Small Business of the Month for January.

Risch presented the award to the staff at Pocatello Electric, 258 N. Main St., on Saturday. Risch entered a statement recognizing the longstanding local business into the Congressional Record on Jan. 7 and read it on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Risch, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, highlights the success of an Idaho small business every month.

In the statement he read to the Senate, Risch described how Max Schaefer opened Pocatello Electric in 1902 and sold the business to Ed Hall in the 1930s.

“The business became well known for its ‘free air and water at the curb,’ which meant air for automobile tires and water for horses,” Risch said in the statement he entered into the Congressional Record.

Al Vigliaturo began working at Pocatello Electric in 1947 and bought the business from Hall in 1973. His son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Suzie Vigliaturo bought it in 1989 and still run it.

Suzie Vigliaturo said an email to the Journal, “It is an honor to receive this award and to be chosen from the entire state of Idaho.”