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Investment in community organizations improves local economy, study finds

A recent economic impact study commissioned by the Table nationale des corporations de développement communautaire (TNCDC), and conducted by AppEco, a firm specializing in economic analysis, confirms that investing in community organizations improves local economies.

CDCs, or Corporations de développement communautaire, are groups of community organizations which work in a diversity of fields to aid the socio-economic development of their respective communities. The TNCDC is a network of CDCs stretching across the province.

The AppEco study found that since 2001, CDC funding across the province has decreased by 12 per cent when inflation and the number of members served are considered. This underfunding prevents CDCs from increasing their resources, and reduces their capacity to aid vulnerable populations.

The study also concluded that for every $100 million invested in community organizations, $183.7 million is injected into the economy, with 45.2 million in additional production from suppliers, and 38.5 million in consumer spending. For the same $100 million invested in community organizations, a GDP of $110 million is generated in that community, and 1900 jobs are maintained or created.

Locally, the MRC Haut-Saint-Laurent receives $3.3 million, and the MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry receives $15.4 million in community investment from the provincial government. This translates to 252 jobs created through the members of the CDC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, and 400 through the CDC de Beauharnois-Salaberry.

If the ratios discovered by AppEco are applied, there is roughly $34.4 million of real impact on the Suroît economy – a considerable contribution that would benefit from being improved.

To fully achieve its mission, the CDC network estimates an additional $8.7 million in funding is needed in 2022-2023. It says this would allow it to make up for the past 20 years, in community intervention and improvement and response to increasing needs.

In addition, increased funding would allow for improved wages and would contribute to better retention of professionals. “We hope this study, which confirms both the economic impact and the underfunding of the CDCs, will encourage the government to release the amounts expected,” says Marie-Line Audet, Executive Director of TNCDC. “The study clearly shows that investing in local communities pays– not only socially, but economically as well.” (RP)

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