Historic preservation is good for Georgia’s economy

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

DNR HPD 2011 Good News report cover

On 28 January 2011, the Georgia DNR’s Historic Preservation Division released Good News in Tough Times: Historic Preservation and the Georgia Economy, a report dated September 2010, on the impact of historic preservation on the state’s economy.

The press release notes:

Report findings show that historic preservation in Georgia spurs investment, attracts visitors, revitalizes downtowns, and effectively leverages scarce resources. Examples include the following:

• Through federal and state tax incentive programs that encourage the rehabilitation of historic buildings, DNR’s Historic Preservation Division has helped contribute to the generation of 10,168 jobs and $420,046,800 in income to Georgia workers.

• Heritage tourism in Georgia sustains 117,000 jobs, generating nearly $204,000,000 in wages and $210,000,000 in local tax revenues.

• Nationally for every business that closes, 1.1–1.2 businesses open. National data available from 2004 to 2008 shows that Georgia’s historic downtowns generated 2.8–4.6 business openings for every business that closed.

Economics are all about scarce resources. Our historical—and archaeological—past certainly must be considered scarce resources. The report also says that individual property owners have invested $560,000,000 in historic buildings over the decade beginning in 2000.

Please login and tell us about more benefits of historic preservation. Consider, for example, the reduction in landfill materials by renovating a standing building, rather than destroying that building and adding to the waste stream—although, admittedly, this is more an ecological than an economic benefit.

Access the report here.The link for downloading the report (1.4 MB) is at the top of the story.