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Economic Impact Studies

Make Informed Decisions With an Economic Impact Analysis From Regional Strategic, Ltd.

Measuring how a project, program, or policy will affect the surrounding economy is a key step in making informed decisions, securing public funding, and gaining support from stakeholders.

At Regional Strategic, Ltd., we conduct evidence-based research to prepare economic impact reports and cost-benefit analyses that measure how these changes affect the local or regional financial landscape. We’ll tailor our in-depth analysis to your specific needs, using a data-driven approach and incorporating qualitative data and interviews as needed to support our findings.

Over the years, we’ve partnered with both small community groups and large industries and worked in a range of sectors including health care, agriculture, economic development, and environmental sustainability. Our experienced team is committed to catering our approach to your individual needs and giving you a report with clear takeaways and action items that help you turn data into success.

Our Approach

Our analysis uses economic modeling to forecast data on the direct economic impact, such as money spent in the community as a result of the project or program, and the indirect impact, such as where that money goes after it’s spent.

The steps in our process include:


Defining the Event

We define the event to be analyzed and the information needed to effectively define the event within an economic impact model.

Data Development

We use the following:
  • Enterprise accounting systems
  • Stakeholder surveys
  • Pro forma development estimates
  • Secondary or purchased resources

Model Development & Analysis

We usually perform model development and analysis within an IMPLAN modeling environment or an input-output model populated with RIMS (Regional Input-Output Modeling System) multipliers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Project Report

We finalize the report and conduct any presentations that have been agreed upon within the statement of work.

See Our Work In Action

The Iowa Off-Highway Vehicle Association asked Regional Strategic, Ltd. to estimate the economic impact of off-highway vehicle recreation on the state. In addition, the association was interested in Iowa riders’ expenditures outside of the state and some indication of where the membership stood on several public policy issues that directly affected their recreational environment.

The core of this effort was a survey delivered to 1,500 registered off-highway vehicle owners in Iowa. Over 20% of the distributed surveys were returned. Survey delivery was divided by registered owners of off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and side-by-sides. Each recipient was asked for vehicle utilization and expenditure data for each vehicle (of any type) the household owned and demographic information about the household riders. Finally, responses were gathered regarding policy issues of interest to the organization.

The final report was well-received. In addition to presentations to the Iowa Off-Highway Vehicle Association board and membership, Mark Imerman of Regional Strategic, Ltd. presented a webinar to local organizational officers worldwide on behalf of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council in May 2019. Mark was also invited to present to a plenary session of the 2019 INOHVAA/NOHVCC Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada (International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association/National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council).

Trestle Energy LLC and Larksen LLC asked Regional Strategic, Ltd. to estimate the economic impact of partially replacing coal utilized to generate electricity in Iowa and Nebraska with pelletized corn stover. Iowa and Nebraska were studied because they are the largest ethanol-producing states in the U.S. Ethanol receives carbon credit payments in states and Canadian provinces that have implemented Low Carbon Fuel Standards or Clean Fuel Standards. These credit payments are calculated based on the total carbon footprint of ethanol production – including stover. To the extent that any component of the ethanol production chain can be utilized to offset carbon utilization elsewhere in the economy, it offsets the calculated carbon footprint of ethanol – increasing the available carbon credit payments.

Regional Strategic, Ltd. estimated the economic impacts of the following, at multiple scales for Iowa and Nebraska:

  1. Corn stover harvest and delivery.
  2. Corn stover pelletization.
  3. Modification of electrical generating stations for stover utilization.

Because corn stover pelletization is not an existing industry, Regional Strategic, Ltd. defined an appropriate industry within the IMPLAN economic impact modeling system software.

The project generated three reports: one each for Iowa and Nebraska impacts and one providing details of the industry created within the impact modeling system. In addition, Trestle Energy generated community-specific opportunity summaries for nine electrical generation stations in Iowa and Nebraska.

The final reports and Trestle Energy’s community opportunity summaries are available at:

In 2023, Regional Strategic, Ltd. was contacted by a major agricultural equipment manufacturer to estimate the economic impact of its operations on several multi-county communities where it maintains operations. Some of these communities straddled state boundaries.

The project generated reports for each of the community areas and a consolidated report for the company’s footprint across the entire region. The company was a dominant manufacturer in all of the production communities, so industry identification was straightforward.

However, substantial interfacility transfers required reconciling final community outputs with inputs derived from elsewhere within the company and selected communities. In addition, in several communities, the company maintains substantial ancillary operations, such as finance, distribution, product design and development, and management-specific installations. These also had to be modeled separately.

The final reports are the property of the manufacturer.

The National Balloon Classic in Indianola, Iowa, asked Regional Strategic, Ltd. to estimate the impact of its operations and event upon the Des Moines Metropolitan Area in 2023. The Balloon Classic is also interested in utilizing its balloon grounds for additional events throughout the summer and asked Regional Strategic, Ltd. to estimate the economic impact of a proposed one-day music festival attracting 30,000 attendees.

The balloon festival impact was generated with information from the National Balloon Classic accounting system and surveys of participating balloon pilots and on-site vendors. Attendees’ off-site expenditures were estimated utilizing ticket sales information and attendee expenditure estimates for the Des Moines Metropolitan Area.

Estimating the impact of the proposed music festival required contacting music festival promoters in the Midwest and developing a pro forma estimate of anticipated event expenditures. These expenditures’ impacts were estimated utilizing IMPLAN economic impact modeling software. A base estimate was made for a one-day festival attracting 30,000 attendees. This estimate was extended to estimate the additional impacts generated by a 10% increase in one-day attendance or by extending the event for an additional day.

Ready To Get Started With Regional Strategic, Ltd.? Let’s Talk.