West Central Blogger

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How a town spends: New York Mills gets a retail analysis

Quick, how much do you think the average person in your town annually spends on footwear? How about cable television? Prescription drugs? Vehicle insurance?

You may not know the answers, but the residents of New York Mills do. They recently heard a report of its spending habits from Ryan Pesch, regional extension educator in community economics for the U of M Extension Service. The presentation was part of the Horizons community leadership program aimed at reducing poverty in rural and reservation communities with populations of 5,000 or fewer and with histories of economic decline and significant population change.

The community learned not only how much the town spends on goods and services, but how much "leakage" or "surplus" there is of buying and selling in and out of the area. For example, when people go out of town to shop, that’s a leakage of spending to another community. And when a town draws people from other communities to shop, that’s a surplus.

New York Mills can now use this data to inform and enhance the economic development in the area.

Curious about New York Mills' spending habits? Take a look at the numbers here.

Ryan Pesch is available to present a similar retail analysis to your community. Contact him at 888-241-0843 or pesch@umn.edu.

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