Economic Analysis Concludes: Trees Mean Jobs
Washington, DC — The proposed reauthorization of a national tree-planting program will produce an estimated economic impact of $741 million over the next five years according to a recent study. In addition, the program would create a total employment impact of more than 6,000 jobs during those five years, generating more than $87 million in revenue for federal, state and local governments at a time when municipal greening budgets continue to be cut.
The Small Business Environmental Stewardship Assistance Act (SBESA) is currently being considered in both chambers of the U.S. Congress. H.R. 4509, which would reauthorize the Small Business Administration’s “National Small Business Tree Planting Program,” was introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR) on January 26, 2010. A Senate companion bill was introduced on April 29, 2010 by Sen. Ron Wyden (OR). Between 1991 and 1994, more than 18,000 green industry firms were employed to plant more than 23 million trees across the country through the SBA program.
The report, released on May 13, 2010 by Dr. Alan Hodges of the University of Florida, joined by Dr. Charles Hall and Dr. Marco Palma at Texas A&M University, is entitled “Projected Economic Impacts of the Proposed Small Business Administration Tree Planting Program.” The SBESA Act reauthorizes the SBA National Tree Planting Program at $50 million annually between fiscal years 2011 and 2015. The money supports planting trees around retail storefronts, rental housing unit and other public areas. This program also requires a 25 percent match for any grant under the program, including in-kind contributions such as the cost or value of providing care and maintenance for a period of three years after planting. This match ensures that both private and community investments are made for the installation and care of trees funded by this program.
“Thousands of small business jobs, millions of urban and community trees, tens of millions in local, state and federal tax revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars impacting our national economy,” said Corey Connors, ANLA director of legislative relations. “With National Small Business Week coming up next week, consideration of the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Assistance Act sounds like a pretty good idea to our industry.”
ANLA has launched a new web-based, grassroots campaign in support of the SBESA Act. Dr. Hodges, Dr. Hall and Dr. Palma’s full report, as well as more information on H.R. 4509 and S. 3279, can be found at www.treesmeanjobs.com