PeopleForBikes, the Walton Family Foundation and BikeNWA have released a series of free templates to help communities derive the economic contribution of cycling.
Earlier this year, the region went bananas when the Walton Family Foundation released findings from a series of studies that found that biking contributed $137 million worth of benefits to the Northwest Arkansas economy in 2017. This included $86 million in health benefits and $51 million in business benefits.
The new templates will give communities across the nation access to the tools to calculate their own figures and help them answer questions like, “What’s the economic benefit when a bicycle race comes to town?”.
As an example, it was calculated that the most recent Epic Rides Oz Trails Off-Road event brought $300,000 worth of economic impact to the region. You can read more about the impact of regional trails and cycling events in Dirt Rag Magazine’s recent piece on Northwest Arkansas.
The templates can help any community calculate the dollars-and-cents value of bicycling across six categories: tourism, events, retail sales tax, resident spending, the bike business, and health.
“Northwest Arkansas is a shining example of the positive impact cycling can have on a community. We hope to inspire other towns and cities by sharing the lessons and impact we’ve observed, such as the importance of quality miles over quantity of miles, the proximity of trails to downtowns and advocating for female and youth cyclists.”Steuart Walton