Report details economic impact of universities

Photo by Claire Murray | Photo Editor. In 2013, Duquesne contributed more than $457 million to Pittsburgh’s economy.

Photo by Claire Murray | Photo Editor. In 2013, Duquesne contributed more than $457 million to Pittsburgh’s economy.

By Brandon Addeo | The Duquesne Duke

Pittsburgh universities made a $9 billion impact on the local economy in the fiscal year 2012-13, a recent report by the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) said.

According to the Oct. 7 report, Duquesne and nine other colleges in Pittsburgh made a total economic impact of approximately $9 billion and created 70,000 jobs. The PCHE’s ten partner universities also make up approximately 32 percent of Pittsburgh’s total GDP.

Members of the PCHE have assisted in the creation of 163 start-up businesses since 2005, an average of 18 businesses per year, the report revealed.

Duquesne made a contribution of more than $457 million to the local economy in 2013, according to the 2013 Duquesne Impact report.

Contributions to local economy include more than $184 million in employee wages, roughly $100 million in University purchases and approximately $152 million in student and visitor spending.

Duquesne’s total student population of 10,045 alone spent more than $145 million on campus and in the local area, the report stated.

Mark Yilmaz, manager at Pizza Milano on Fifth Avenue, said more than 60 percent of the restaurant’s customers are Duquesne students, and that students are a key factor in the shop’s success over the past 30 years.

Zach Charmello, a barber at Joe Madia’s Barber Shop on Magee Street, said the shop sees a decline in business when Duquesne is on break.

“It affects us pretty good,” Charmello said. “It takes away 60 percent [of our customers], so that we’re looking at only 40 percent of customers sticking around.”

The 2013 Duquesne report also said the Duquesne Small Business Development Center (SBDC) generated more than $14.5 million by itself.

The SBDC provides consultation and other assistance to growing businesses in the Pittsburgh region, and provided 8,396 hours of free consulting to 803 local businesses, according to the report.

The SBDC also secured more than $8 million in financing for local businesses by assisting with business planning and management so that growing business can apply for loans, according to SBDC director Mary McKinney.

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