SAVANNAH — An annual study of the economic impacts of University System of Georgia institutions released Wednesday proved that Savannah State University continues to be a major force in the local economy, pumping approximately $148 million into the Savannah metropolitan area during fiscal year 2012.
The report updates similar studies conducted on behalf of the USG Board of Regents by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. It quantifies the economic benefits SSU conveys to Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty and Bulloch counties.
The $148 million output impact represents a $9 million increase since FY 2011, driven in part by increased initial spending by Savannah State for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures that totaled $124 million. Also, spending by SSU students increased by approximately $4 million from FY 2011 to FY 2012.
In addition, the report attributed more than1,560 full- and part-time jobs to institutional spending. Of those, approximately 1,090 are off-campus positions.
The Selig Center’s research, however, only highlights a portion of the true impact of Savannah State on the community. It neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that a higher-education institution and its outreach and service units impart to its host community’s economic development, nor does it measure intangible benefits to local residents, such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation and volunteer work. Spending by retirees who still live in the host communities and by visitors, such as those attending conferences or athletic events, also is not measured.
Overall, the report revealed the 31 USG institutions had an economic impact totaling $14.1 billion. To download the Selig Center’s full FY 2012 report, go to http://www.usg.edu/economic_development/documents/usg_Impact_fy2012.pdf.