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Economic Impact Analysis

Change happens. How you will respond?

Local and regional economies are composed of complex interactions between local industries and households. Changes in local economic conditions and economic policy can have far-reaching effects beyond their immediate impact.

When economic changes occur, these shifts ripple through local economies in a number of ways. Investments in key industries, the opening or closing of a plant, changes to public policy, or even a fair or festival can significantly impact a rural community. When jobs are lost or new opportunities present themselves, local leaders need to make informed decisions.

We can help you prepare for important community conversations.

Economic Impact Assessments from the WVU Extension Service can help facilitate conversations and ensure that local leaders have the information to appropriately respond to changes.

WVU Extension partners with community organizations and leaders to offer Economic Impact Assessment research and consulting. We work with your local leadership team to create customized research reports that quantify the effects of real and proposed changes to employment, sales and revenues of local industries; inform local financial and tax decisions; educate leaders and residents on the economic importance of local businesses; and provide data to support the targeted recruitment of business and industry.

Working with us, you'll learn a lot about your community and potential effects of change.

Our program can assist you in better understanding your local economy, educating residents and creating support for local business and industry sectors, facilitating local economic development planning and answering important questions including:

  • How many jobs would be affected by this change?

  • Which businesses would be most affected?

  • How far-reaching would the effects be?

  • How are local businesses connected to each other? 

  • How much would wages change?

We use recognized and proven technology.

Our reports use IMPLAN™ data and modeling software. IMPLAN™ is a widely recognized and widely used input-output modeling tool that helps us see relationships between industries and households, and demonstrates how changes in one part of the economy can ripple through the community and larger region.

The tool allows WVU Extension's team of faculty and staff to answer key questions including:

  • How local employment will be affected by economic changes?

  • What businesses will be most affected?

  • What will happen to household incomes and spending?

  • Will this enhance or negatively impact our local economy?

By combining local leaders’ insights, detailed information on local spending and purchases, and input-output models of your local economy generated with IMPLAN™ we can model interdependencies and show how changes in one industry sector or business can impact other parts of the local economy. When all the data is assembled, communities will be able to quantify the impacts of economic changes including:

  • Direct impacts from an economic event,

  • Indirect impacts that result from business-to-business transactions, and

  • Induced impacts that result from consumer/household-to-business transactions.

Take advantage of our extensive experience.

Previous work has quantified the impacts of alternative agriculture programs, tourism development policies and initiatives, recreation assets, and traditional business and industry sectors. The program has also been used to identify strategic economic advantages in regions across the state.

In several cases, reports have been used to positively influence policy decisions at local and state levels. In addition to predictive modeling, we can analyze supply-chain relationships and help communities identify the most appropriate businesses for targeted business recruitment and/or entrepreneurship opportunities that will support and enhance local/regional competitive advantages.

From tourism to local foods and manufacturing to public policy, our program provides in-depth information for your economic development strategies.

If you are interested in an Economic Impact Analysis report to address current or proposed economic development changes in your community, please submit our form to start a conversation.

Economic Impact Analysis Intake Form