The multiplier effect | Art Town

By Tracy Felix | Mar 05, 2018

Let’s say you invite some friends from out of town to visit. While they are here, you want to treat them to dinner and a show. You see an interesting performance happening at the Driftwood Theater, buy tickets and look forward to a wonderful evening.

You ask their preferences for dinner, deciding Chanterelle’s Restaurant would be a great place to have dinner before the show, and stop by the Church Key Pub for a drink afterwards. You’re spending choices have financially supported a local theater troupe and the staff at two local restaurants.

That is terrific!

Now, let’s say your friends come in early because they want to walk around downtown Edmonds for a nice small-town experience. They buy a book at the Edmonds Bookshop.

The men have a coffee and croissant at Ganache, while their wives are picking out new scarfs at Rebekah’s across the street – maybe even spotting a delightful piece of art in the window of Gallery North to purchase as a surprise for someone.

Now what you have is economic magic for the community you live in.

A nice day – an Edmonds Kind of Day, in fact. This simple choice of shopping and eating where you live has affected everyone you have had contact with that day in a positive way. You have multiplied the positive effect of the economy where you live.

Who reaps the most benefit? You do.

When you shop, invest and choose local independent businesses and services, you are choosing to keep upwards of 50 percent of the money you spend in the place you live.

Your town will be vibrant and interesting, so your real estate values will be better. You are keeping the sales tax revenues in town, which could lessen the amount of property taxes you need to pay.

The local recirculation of revenue has even more benefits.

The gainfully employed folks who work at local stores will be able to shop, invest and use the services at the place that employs them. You are not contributing to traffic congestion when you stay close to home.

The independent, family owned stores that are now doing well financially due to your purchases are more able to sponsor your children’s sports team and school auction. In our An Edmonds Kind of Day scenario, you’ve had an enjoyable day. Through the multiplier, or ripple effect, you have improved not only your community economic strength but your own, too.

One of the biggest areas of Edmond’s economic growth potential is our network of local arts and culture organizations. These Edmonds businesses and nonprofits attract thousands of visitors to the point that it can drive a big part of Edmond’s economic growth and an improved quality of life for all of us.

The city is interested. Last year, it was decided to invest in collecting data specific to Edmonds.

The Cultural Services division of the Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, working with the Arts Commission and the Economic Development Department, identified the need for a study of the economic impact of arts and culture. BERK Consulting and AdvisArts conducted the study.

The “City of Edmonds Arts and Culture 2017 Economic Impact Study” is an impact assessment that analyzes and tells the story of the arts and culture sector’s economic contributions to our community and region. The study also provides guidance on how Edmonds can continue to enhance its creative offerings and increase their positive impacts.

I’ve had the opportunity to look it over, all 44 pages, and it proves with factual data that the arts can help define our quality of life and can play a big role to support us economically. The arts are growing up in Edmonds. It is time to do the math and take notice.




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