In times of competing priorities for limited public investment dollars it is more important than ever to articulate a project’s value. When economic developers want to communicate value clearly and objectively, economic impact analysis is a way to convert the potential for positive economic outcomes to precise dollar figures and employment numbers. It can illustrate the value proposition for many different perspectives. These are a few examples of impact studies we have performed.
- Tabor City has a vision to develop a tourism train excursion that will start in Conway, SC and layover in Tabor City and train experiences that will originate in the town. We modeled the impact of ridership, spending on layovers in Tabor City, spending on trips originating from Tabor City, and example “what-if” downtown development projects. The City will use the impact report to garner regional and state support for the project and to attract a private investor/operator.
- As part of the economic development strategic plan for the Town of Elkin, NC, we modeled the economic impact of the entire downtown. The 565 direct jobs in downtown create another 125 indirect and induced jobs, totaling 690. Those jobs generate approximately $55M of economic impact each year.
- Creative EDC has modeled several proposed mixed-use developments for clients of Parker Poe Consulting. The recently announced redevelopment of part of Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC is one. In mixed-use developments, we model uses such as retail, restaurants, hotels, and office. If the development has a residential component, we model the construction impact. Often the report is used by the developer to make a case for public investment in the project or a related investment that will support the project.
- The Sanford Growth Alliance has used economic impact modeling to support its request for incentives and public support of recruitment projects. The model shows how the jobs a company plans to create will be multiplied in the economy and the ongoing economic benefits.
- For the Transylvania Economic Alliance, we modeled the economic impact of a potential business park development. Making assumptions about building size, industry sector, and employment, the potential impact of a business park can be estimated and used to determine if public investments in infrastructure to prepare the park will pay off.
Activities which can benefit from an economic impact analysis include estimating how spending from an event, industry, or project flows through an economy. Many types of development and economic activities can be illustrated this way including: plant closings, downtown development, historic preservation, regulatory changes, sporting events, and festivals. While impacts on the local area is typically of interest to economic developers and civic leaders, the analysis can also include broader geographies which give perspective on how the impacts ripple through the regional economy.
In an environment of pressing priorities and intense competition for new investments, an economic impact analysis is an economic developer’s tool for translating potential to quantifiable benefits. Armed with job impacts in the local area and the region as well as changes in payrolls and output in the same areas, a clearer value proposition can be presented to an elected official, grant review committee, or a bank.
Economic impact analysis is a valuable tool, and economic developers are wise to explore its use in the face of multiple or conflicting priorities or to illustrate complicated economic factors. A straightforward impact analysis can provide clarity and a rallying point for moving forward toward shared goals in a community.
Contact Crystal Morphis at [email protected] or Penny Whiteheart at [email protected] for information about Economic Impact Analysis details and pricing. We have modeled breweries, redeveloping a former school building, business parks, mixed-use developments, and industries of many sectors to name a few examples. Projects locations have been in NC, SC, and VA.