The Economic Impact of Western New York’s Not-for-Profit Industry

November 2014

Prepared By: Kent Gardener, Ph.D. – Project Director; Center for Governmental Research Inc.CGR Logo


Click here to download the 2014 Economic Impact of Western New York Full Report


Center for Governmental Research (CGR) was engaged to estimate the impact of the not-for-profit cultural industry in Western New York*.  CGR broke the impact out into two parts: the arts and cultural organizations and their audiences.  The economic impact is summarized in the table below:


Table 1 and 6 Ec Impact




The arts and cultural organizations in Western New York contribute an estimated $87 million to local GDP.  They spend it in the form of wages to employees and payments to suppliers which supports about 2,200 jobs.  These workers earn about $64.2 million in total.  This income generated an estimated $3.2 million in sales and income tax.



Attendees to arts and cultural events generate revenue for local businesses.  An average arts attendee spends $17.77 in addition to the cost of admission.  Event attendees provide an estimated $70.2 million in revenue to the Western New York economy and support 700 jobs.  Non-local attendees spend more than local attendees ($8.92 vs $52.10).


*Western New York includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.



Funding for this report was provided by the New York Community Trust.

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