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Minot AFB plays important role in local economy

Minot Air Force Base’s annual economic impact report always is a bright spot in the area’s economy.

2nd Lt. Rein Marie Northrop of the base’s 5th Comptroller Squadron on Thursday presented the base’s fiscal year 2020 report during a Zoom meeting with members of the Minot Area Chamber EDC’s Military Affairs Committee.

The base’s total economic impact came to a whopping $622.3 million, the highest number at least since fiscal year 2010 and perhaps even for previous years.

Although it wasn’t in the presentation, The Minot Daily News calculated, based on past base economic impact reports from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2020, that Minot AFB has had a more than $6.7 billion – not million but BILLION – impact on the local area. Just think of that – billions of dollars just in 10 years. Add that to all the previous years back to the 1950s when the base began operations and you would have a staggering high number of Minot AFB economic impact to this area.

Some people may not be aware much of what happens at the air base as far as economic impact ripples into the local economy. The economic impact report includes the payroll for military and civilians (a total $419.6 million in FY2020). Where do many of them spend their money? Right here in Minot by purchasing or renting housing and buying vehicles, clothing and many other items.

Northrop pointed out the base invests a lot of money in the upkeep of existing buildings as well as new construction projects. She said many of these projects are a direct benefit to private companies based in the surrounding areas of Minot and the city itself. In FY2020 the total for construction, services contracts, materials, equipment and supplies procurement amounted to more than $96 million – an increase of about 36.5% from FY2019.

The number of indirect jobs created shows how the money plays out in the local community. Northrop pointed out “about 2,000” indirect jobs were created in FY2020 with about $106 million in value.

About 3% of Minot’s population is made up of military retirees who are not included in the report’s total number but Northrop said they bring in about $33 million (gross payroll).

Minot AFB is a vital part of this area not only for the economic impact but all their contributions to this community and the region.

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