SC Small Businesses, Local Economies in Reap the Benefits of Active Communities
Reprinted with the permission of Eat Smart Move More South Carolina.
Business is booming in many South Carolina towns and cities thanks to local infrastructure projects that have made communities more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. Ten municipalities, featured in a new report released by Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, have noted millions of dollars in returns on investments, not to mention more active citizens. In Stronger Economies Through Active Communities: The Economic Impact of Walkable, Bikeable Communities in South Carolina, small business and municipal leaders are seeing large returns on investments in health.
In one such case, the cities of Easley and Pickens jointly built a 7.5-mile multi-use, paved rail trail, called the Doodle Trail, to provide citizens with a safe place to be active. Since its completion in 2015, both cities have experienced business growth, and Pickens’ hospitality tax revenues grew 12%. Property values near the trail are also on the rise.
“The Doodle Trail in Easley supports our business,” said Cindy Maxey, owner of Upcountry Outdoors, LLC. “Our bike shop would not have opened if it had not been for the trail.”
According to Pickens Mayor David Owens, the Doodle Trail meets all of their needs. “Our residents needed to be active and healthy, and we also wanted to bring people into Pickens to visit our community. We just needed a place to do all that.”
Many small businesses in the featured communities are experiencing economic growth, and municipalities have seen increased property values, more private investments, and a rise in tourism. Importantly, citizens also are using these resources to lead more active lives.
On October 12th, a webinar hosted by Eat Smart Move More SC, Care Share Health Alliance, and Population Health Improvement Partners will feature the report and highlight several communities in North and South Carolina. Click here to register today.