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About Southport

Examining the Economic Impact of Southport 

In February 2017, Southport released an economic impact study that measured the spending, employment and economic output of Southport through an analysis of 2016 operations. The report was undertaken to update the previous economic impact study of 2012, as significant changes have occurred at Southport since then. The new report examines the direct, indirect and induced impact of Southport, which highlights how the impact can ripple through the local and provincial economy. Direct impact is the effect of Southport and businesses located at Southport while indirect impact refers to the businesses that supply and support Southport. Induced impact is a measure of the spending of the direct and indirect employees in the general economy.

The results of the study indicated that Southport and Southport-related businesses directly contribute 570 jobs, (540 full-time equivalents) $33 million in income, $67 million in gross domestic product (GDP) and $111 million in economic output on an annual basis. Looking at these results alone indicates that Southport has a significant impact on the surrounding economy. However, an even bigger picture is revealed by comparing these numbers to the previous study, conducted in 2012.

Southport Economic Impact

Since the last study, Southport increased in every category assessed by the report. Economic impact surged up by $11 million, GDP expanded by $17 million, income increased by $3 million, and 30 new jobs were added.

A portion of this increase is due to general steady growth in Southport-related businesses, but is considerably affected by new tenants at Southport. In 2016, Southport reopened the newly renovated Central Plains RecPlex. The new facility features a 30’ indoor rock climbing wall, walking track, cardio and weights areas, a full-sized rentable gymnasium and is home to Portage Day Care Centre and Southport’s bowling alley.

In the last year, Southport reopened the newly renovated bowling alley, Southport Bowl. The 5-pin bowling alley features an accessible entrance that leads you to 5 lanes of bowling suitable for bowlers of all ages and abilities. Southport Bowl is also equipped for glow bowling and has electronic scoring. Guests can enjoy pizza, popcorn and snacks from the food kiosk Brews + Bites while they bowl.

The latest upgrades to the facility include replacing the lanes, adding additional black lights and glowing features to the lanes for glow bowling and installing lane bumpers and new pinsetters. These new additions to Southport contributed to the overall growth of the community, as well as creating new jobs.

Another difference in the new study was that it also examined the specific impact of military flight training at Southport. The report found that a significant portion of Southport’s economic impact stems from the RCAF program and its related services.

 For example, 350 of 570 jobs at Southport are related to military flight training and its services. In addition, the program contributes $22 million in income, $48 million of GDP, and $70 million in economic output.

While some might find the numbers interesting, others night be curious of the benefit of calculating the specific dollar amount of economic impact.

“It all comes back to Southport’s Mission Statement,” says Peggy May, CEO of Southport, “Our mission is ‘to stimulate economic development in our region by realizing the full potential of Southport’s airspace, airport, and commercial and residential properties for the benefit of the communities we serve.’ An economic impact study is one tool to help us measure how well we are achieving this mission.”

This article was originally published in the 2017 edition of Southport's magazine, Reaching New Heights. View the digital magazine here.

Further Reading: Article: Military Economic Impact at Southport