Report finds horses mean millions for Aiken economy

AIKEN --- Aiken's equine industry -- a staple in the community for more than a century -- has a significant impact on its economy, to the tune of $71.82 million annually, according to a study released Monday by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce.


"This is an economic cluster that this community will want to continue to nurture," chamber President David Jameson said at a briefing.

The yearlong study was conducted by the University of South Carolina Aiken.

"This is an industry most counties in South Carolina do not have to cushion their economy," Mr. Jameson said.

Aiken County can attribute 1,814 jobs to the equine industry, both directly and indirectly, and the annual cost per horse tops $7,393, which amounts to more than $50 million in total spending, according to the study.

There is also an additional $21.65 million in indirect and induced effects, said Sanela Porca, an associate professor of economics at USC Aiken.

"One dollar of spending by the equestrian industry leads to $1.65 of spending in the local economy," the professor said.


- The equine industry's economic impact in Aiken County tops $71.82 million.

- The impact on household income is estimated to be $17.71 annually.

- The annual cost per horse in Aiken County tops $7,393, which amounts to $50.16 million in spending produced by the equestrian sector. That spending leads to $11.76 million in indirect effects and $9.89 million in induced effects for $71.81 million in gross receipts.

- The industry accounts for 1,329 full-time workers. An additional 283 jobs result from indirect effects, and 202 jobs result from induced effects of the industry.

- There are $16.93 million in income effects that result directly from the local equestrian industry. Indirect household income linkages account for an additional $2.09 million, and the induced effects are an additional $217,513.

Source: USC Aiken study