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Simon Says: Nearly 500 jobs created from SRS vendor spending

Dr. Simon Medcalfe, AU Economics Professor

Editor’s Note: Savannah River Site contractors need staffing companies, printing, off-site event planning and much more. Here is a snapshot of how much money was spent in 2020 and which groups received SRS’s business. This research project was put together by several students in Dr. Simon Medcalfe’s economic class at Augusta University.

In 2020, the organizations from the Savannah River Site (SRS) spent over $176 million with small businesses (out of a total nonpayroll expenditure of over half a billion dollars). In the five-county area (Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell counties in South Carolina and Columbia and Richmond counties in Georgia) this was $115 million, or about 65% of the total expenditures with small businesses.

My students also calculated the spending occurring at different categories of small businesses. Women-owned businesses in the local area benefitted from over $56 million of expenditures by SRS organizations, 73% of the total expenditures with women-owned businesses. SRS also spent over $16 million with veteran-owned or service-disabled owned small businesses. Over $21 million was spent with small businesses in Historical Underutilized Hubs or with disadvantaged-owned small businesses (those that are owned by individuals who have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias).

Business Total Five-County Five-County %
 Small Business  $176,758,020  $114,607,052 64.8%
 Veteran-owned  $15,480,892  $9,387,286 60.6%
 Service-disabled  $8,969,633  $7,499,862 83.6%
 Historically Underutilized  $9,508,584  $2,985,160 31.4%
 Disadvantaged  $41,191,427  $18,375,061 44.6%
 Women-owned  $77,496,762  $56,672,042 73.1%
 Other Small Business  $24,110,721  $19,687,641 81.7%


Using a modelling software call IMPLAN, my students estimated that these expenditures are responsible for 284 jobs at women-owned businesses in the local area and 86 jobs at disadvantages-owned businesses. Almost 100 jobs are supported at veteran-owned or service-disabled owned business.

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