UB's Annual Impact On WNY Economy Set At $1.41 Billion

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: September 12, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo pumps $1.41 billion a year into the Western New York economy, a report by the University's Center for Regional Studies has found.

The report, "The Impact of the University at Buffalo on the Economy of Western New York," was prepared by Sam Cole, Ph.D., director of the Center for Regional Studies in the UB School of Architecture and Planning.

First prepared in 1990 and updated every two years, the report shows that UB's annual direct expenditures total $582 million, and that for each $1 spent, more than $1.40 in additional activity is generated in the Western New York economy. Details of that impact are outlined in a new university publication, "UB Counts in the Changing Economy of Western New York." (A copy of the publication is enclosed.)

UB President William R. Greiner said helping to build the economy in greater Buffalo and throughout Western New York is a crucial part of UB's public service.

"We attract and support research-intensive firms, we develop new technologies, we do consulting and training for local companies, we assist small businesses trying to get started in our neighborhoods, we help make connections between U.S. and Canadian firms, we draw visitors to the region, we support thousands of jobs -- UB conducts a wide range of economic development activities," Greiner said.

"And, of course, the most central kind of 'economic development' that UB does as a public university is human development -- educating fellow New Yorkers in ways that help them contribute to our increasingly sophisticated workforce and function as well-informed citizens.

"We take our responsibility to our area friends and neighbors very seriously," he added, "and we are proud of the part we play in keeping Western New York strong and competitive."

The $582 million in direct annual expenditures represents money spent directly by the university on research and education, and maintenance and construction, and the living expenses of faculty, staff and students.

It also includes associated direct expenditures, such as money spent by scholars, parents and friends visiting UB; recreational and cultural events at the university; consultancies by UB faculty, and money spent by UB retirees living in the area.

Of the $582 million in direct expenditures, approximately 85 percent -- $495 million -- is spent in Western New York.

The money UB spends in Western New York circulates in the local economy, where it creates jobs and additional income, Cole says. The money UB employees and students spend locally on food, housing, household goods and entertainment, in turn, supports employment in each of these areas, he notes.

The same is true, he adds, of the businesses that supply UB with equipment, material, supplies and contractual services. They and their employees spend money locally, which has a ripple effect on the regional economy.

Cole calculates that each $1 spent by UB eventually generates more than $1.40 in additional activity in the Western New York economy.

Moreover, UB directly and indirectly supports 17,000 jobs in Western New York, Cole has determined. For every job on campus -- UB employs more than 5,000 full-time-equivalent faculty and staff and nearly 2,000 full-time-equivalent student assistants, research fellows and others -- the university indirectly supports 1.45 other jobs in the region.

In addition, of the $200 million in state support received by the university, approximately $141 million is returned to the state in taxes and fees, in effect, an indirect return of nearly 70 cents on every $1 invested by the state annually.