Walton Family Foundation investment supports bicycling’s role in fostering economic development

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BOULDER, Colo. — In support of PeopleForBikes’ Business Network, and their expanding efforts to tell the story of economic development and bikes, the Walton Family Foundation renewed their commitment to the organization for 2017. Through their contribution, PeopleForBikes will help ensure more federal, state and local community leaders understand the rewards of investing in bike infrastructure, better bike policies, and increased access to trails.

“Over the last ten years, Northwest Arkansas has seen the power of bikes and trails first hand and what they have done to attract new business, retain professional talent and create community,” says Vice President of PeopleForBikes’ Business Network Jenn Dice. “Our job is to showcase those quality of life improvements at the national level.”

Both organizations have worked together for several years to expand and celebrate the business case for bikes: job creation, increased retail sales, business attraction and employee retention, improving health, access to jobs, and quality of life. PeopleForBikes will use the 2017 funding to continue its outreach and education efforts to cultivate a business climate for better bike policy.

“Bikes and the businesses that surround them are innovative, create jobs, and are a key component of the local business environment and national GDP,” says Dice. “Through a steady drumbeat of CEO-level educational meetings, business-focused talking points and handouts, entrepreneur meetups, bike biz blogs and more, we are making the business case for bikes.”

PeopleForBikes is also working with the Walton Family Foundation and BBC Research and Consulting to quantify the benefits of bicycling including economic development, health outcomes and social/business benefits. The resulting data will develop best practices and standards that communities can use to measure their own biking benefits and shape future decision-making at a local level.

“Most communities don’t have the resources to conduct a rigorous study of the economic development associated with bike trails, paths and events,” said PeopleForBikes Research Director Dr. Jennifer Boldry. “Our goal is to create national guidelines and templates so that local bike champions can tell the important economic story of how bikes create better communities for everyone.”

About PeopleForBikes

PeopleForBikes is uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make better bike riding for everyone. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.

The Business Network of PeopleForBikes works to organize the local, state and federal voice of business behind better bicycling in the U.S. It is the voice for every business that backs biking, including the U.S. bicycle industry.

About the Walton Family Foundation

For nearly three decades, the Walton Family Foundation has continued the philanthropic vision begun by Sam and Helen Walton. Their legacy is more important than ever as the foundation accelerates efforts to improve K-12 education for all students in America, to protect rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and to give back to the region that first gave Sam and Helen Walton opportunity. In 2015, the Walton Family Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $375 million. Learn more at www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org.

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