Today, the Providence Working Waterfront Alliance released the results of an economic impact analysis conducted by waterfront economic planning specialists FXM Associates.

The study analyzed the economic impact of seven Allens Avenue area businesses; Promet Marine Services (marine repair), Sprague Energy (oil storage and materials handling), Providence Steamboat (tugboat services), Narragansett Improvement (asphalt plant), Walco Electric (automation engineering and industrial service), Philip Services Corp. (environmental services), and J. Goodison Company (marine repair).

Just these 7 water-dependent, water-enhanced, and industrial businesses were found to be responsible for:

  • $294,000,000 in annual business sales
  • 372 workers (90% full time) with an average total compensation of approximately $60,000 per year
  • Direct, indirect, and induced effects combined = $324 million in total business output within the state, over 700 jobs, and nearly $30 million in household income

The FXM Associates study also estimated the amount of new residential and retail development that would be needed to achieve the same level of employment and income now generated by existing Allens Avenue businesses. According to the study:

  • It would take over 1,400 new households (condos or apartments) to generate enough spending to create the 370 direct jobs now attributable to existing businesses.
  • To achieve an equivalent level of household income for Rhode Island residents to that now generated by existing Allens Avenue businesses would require nearly 1,200 retail jobs.
  • At roughly 700 square feet of retail space per employee on average, there would need to be over 800,000 square feet of new retail/restaurant uses to approximate the household income now directly provided by existing Allens Avenue businesses.
  • These new retail uses would need to be supported by about 4,900 new residents to Rhode Island so as not to simply divert spending away from existing local establishments.

Other highlights from the study:

  • The businesses collectively have been operating in Providence for an average of 63 years, ranging from 9 years to 115 years; four have been on Allens Avenue for more than 70 years.
  • The majority of companies are private, locally-owned and family-operated businesses with a long-standing presence in Rhode Island.
  • Rhode Island-based business activity includes (2007):
    • Customers account for more than $140,000,000 in purchases
    • Suppliers provide more than $12,000,000 in mill items, paint, steel, etc.
    • Professional service firms are paid almost $700,000 for legal, accounting, marketing
    • Subcontracts for specialized products, services, etc. totaled $2,000,000
  • Annual payroll in 2007 was reported at $20,025,000, with an average annual wage of $54,831 per employee (full and part-time)
    • Employer health insurance and other benefits to employees are more than $2,275,000 per year, or $6,120 on average per employee.
    • Average hourly wages are $26 per hour.
    • Total compensation per employee thus averages approximately $60,000 per year
  • The businesses employ 372 persons, of which 90% are full-time workers; Rhode Island residents comprise 65% of the workforce.
  • Property taxes paid to the City of Providence totaled $716,371 in 2007.
  • Sales taxes paid to the State were estimated at $546,000.
  • Local and State excise taxes were estimated at $4,227,000.
  • Recent capital investments (2004 to 2007) totaled more than $30,000,000.
  • Costs to replace facilities, systems, and equipment for five of the businesses were estimated at $126,000,000 excluding land, permits, engineering, and site preparation.

Click here to download an executive summary and the complete “Economic Effects of Allens Avenue Businesses” study.

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