Westover Air Reserve Base added almost $195 million to the local economy during the 2018 fiscal year.
Despite declining military budgets, Westover told 22News the Base is a major contributor to the local economy in terms of revenue and jobs.
According to Sgt. Andrew Biscoe, from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 the 439th Airlift Wing impacted had an economic impact of $194,541,415 on communities within a 50-mile radius
Biscoe said the impact is a $18 million decrease from the previous year, partly due to a decrease in military payroll and construction at Westover.
Additionally, the reserve base’s presence is estimated to have created 812 indirect jobs.
Previous years’ economic impacts are as follows:
- 2016 fiscal year: $197,254,006
- 2015 fiscal year: $221,175,721
- 2014 fiscal year: $220,856,889
- 2013 fiscal year: $224,946,752
Biscoe said the total impact, however, doesn’t include numbers from the 2018 Great New England Air and Space Show.
The Frontera Grill in Chicopee has benefited from its proximity to Westover. Especially, during its monthly trainings that bring in a big crowd and keeps business booming.
“We see a mass amount of people. They come in from all over the place, so what happen is the business for that day or that weekend increases,” said owner Federico Mendiola. “So what we have to do as business owners is get prepared to take care of them when they come in because that’s an extra source of income.”
Mendiola told 22News, they’re proud to provide service for the men and women who work to keep us all safe.