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WESST Helped Create 1,159 Jobs Over 4 Years

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Small businesses that received support from economic development organization WESST created 1,159 jobs with $60 million in wages and salary compensation over the past four years, a new study shows.

The study by the Mid-Region Council of Governments also says goods and services provided by WESST clients resulted in $87 million in consumer spending and $128 million in gross domestic product.

“This level of economic development and job creation is comparable to locating a new, 290-person business to New Mexico each year,” WESST President Agnes Noonan said in a news release.

WESST is the state’s third-largest economic development organization, providing training, consulting and loans to entrepreneurs across the state. It also provides business incubation services to members of the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque.

The organization contracted MRCOG to analyze its economic impact on the state from 2008 to 2011.

Noonan estimated about half of WESST’s clients are retail service businesses, but they also include manufacturing businesses and professional services.

WESST-assisted small businesses in the state’s most populous county, Bernalillo County, created 491, or 42 percent, of the total jobs reported in the study. Those businesses had a gross domestic product of $51 million, wages and salary compensation of $24.4 million and personal consumption of $27.4 million.

WESST help resulted in 47 jobs in Sandoval County, 118 in Santa Fe County and 503 in the rest of the state.

“It is very gratifying to be able to quantify the impact that WESST has had over this recent period of economic downturn,” WESST Chairwoman Mary Jury said. “We were able to help New Mexicans create businesses and that effort created jobs.”
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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