As another school year starts for ISU, so does another annual boost for the local economy.
In fact, all college campuses around the country are most likely experiencing a similar increase in their market.
It only makes sense that as students come back to the area for school and the hosting community of the college becomes more populated, more money is circulated in and out of the market.
Restaurants and businesses all over the area have been noticing a substantial increase in sales among their business within this last week.
General Manager Renee , of Chipotle, stated they anticipated to be very busy with the start of the school year.
“We are so busy because of the students coming back,” Renee said.
“We noticed it a lot this past week.”
Frank Beck, director of ISU’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, has been studying how much the student population actually contributes to McLean County’s economy.
“We did a whole study of the economic impact of ISU and McLean County combined,” Beck said. “It included what was the effect of the students.”
The study consisted of looking at the data of cent per dollar spent annually within the flow of the economy.
Overall in McLean County, Beck said for every dollar the university spends on salaries for staff and their operating expenses, it generates another 46 cents.
However, looking solely at the money coming in from outside sources, which would mainly be returning students, it increases to 48 cents per dollar per year.
While two cents may not seem like a lot, Beck said it takes into account where people spend their paychecks, and includes the tax revenue, essentially making any increase effective.
In other words, Beck said that it shows how the money circulates within the area; students are constantly spending their money on rent, living expenses and entertainment, and it shows how much they spend in an average year.
“Basically we look at where businesses buy their supplies and where their employees spend their paycheck,” he explained. “It’s how the money moves in, around and eventually out of our economy.”
Due to the rapid advance, these places are required to accommodate by hiring more employees, which leads to handing out more paychecks from the university or company maintaining the flow of money circulation.
Chipotle, which is located at 701 S. Main St., has recently employed more in anticipation for the year.
“We hire more when school starts, and we try to hire a full time staff as well,” Renee said.
The data accumulated by Beck is fairly recent — from 2010 — and he is not surprised by the outcome.
“We think any university in any town serves as an economic engine for the community it’s in,” Beck said