Historic Preservation: an Overlooked Economic Driver

Historic Preservation: an Overlooked Economic Driver

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In Rhode Island, historic preservation is at the intersection of sustainable development and fiscal responsibility.

Historic  preservation pays dividends for Rhode Island. However, there is a risk that the contribution of historic buildings sites and neighborhoods will be overlooked because they are so integrated in Rhode Island life.

The historic resources of Rhode Island attract visitors who spend significant amounts of money. The beneficiaries of those expenditures are local workers and businesses who are hosts to that market.

Historic  neighborhoods are often the location of choice for millennials, new residents, small and new businesses and the creative and knowledge industries.  Since 2000, more than half the population growth occurred within historical districts.  Rich ethnic diversity is mirrored in the state’s historic districts.

Did you know?

  • Nearly 10 million visitors who are interested in history come to Rhode Island each year and contribute nearly $1.4 billion to the state’s economy.
  • The spending of heritage visitors creates 26,000 direct and indirect jobs and $906 million in direct and indirect wages.
  • Tax credits are available for renovation of historic buildings. 326 historic buildings have been rehabilitated in 26 of Rhode Island’s 39 communities using state Historic Tax Credits.  For every $1.00 the state invests in a tax credit project, $10.53 of economic activity in Rhode Island is generated. Over $1.4 billion has been invested in Rhode Island. That adds $85 million to the economy in direct and indirect wages.

Learn about the economic impact that preservation has on the Rhode Island economy. Download the newly-released statewide report commissioned by The Preserve Rhode Island and the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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