PITTSBURG — Nearly twelve grand, per student, per year — It’s no small number, and it’s how much Pittsburg State University reports each student brings into the local economy. When you consider how many students are enrolled at PSU the numbers become staggering.

It’s long been known that PSU has a positive effect on the Pittsburg community. The college is known not just for it’s sports — but also for its cultural impact — especially with the opening of the Gene Bicknell Center of the Arts.

However, a recent release by the college shows PSU is bringing more than just culture to Kansas, it’s bringing the cash.

“Studies have put student spending at an estimated minimum of $11,848 per student per year, a figured calculated by Michael Davidsson, director of Kelce Business & Economic Research Center at PSU.”

It’s a big financial boost to local businesses. Aside from the places you would expect, such as bars and restaurants, students impact other sectors as well. Other businesses like local second hand shops say they benefit from the students’ return as well.

Michael Hagerty, who owns and operates Past Time Flea Market and Antiques in Frontenac, said the college students and their families are good for his business.

“It’s always nice to see new faces, and their families at the store,” Hagerty said. “We know we are creating repeat customers with our furniture and items that are just the thing for a student on a budget.”

The increase in business is not just from student purchases. According to Kimberly Clark, owner of Little Shop of Flowers in Pittsburg, the start of classes every year acts as a go bell for the entire community.

“It seems like once the college starts back, all the locals start to dial back in again too,” Clark said. “So we see an increase not just in students sending and receiving flowers, but also the community stepping back in and engaging now that the school is back in.”