FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Five point four billion dollars —that’s billion with a “b”—and it’s the total economic impact that boat engine manufacturer Mercury Marine had on Fond du Lac in 2022.
The number comes from a study by Envision Greater Fond du Lac, using a mathematical formula to determine how Mercury Marine's 4,250 employees impacted the economy.
“What we need is the input data from a company like Mercury Marine, and then we input some local data you know, like our county sales tax, local property taxes, cost of living, and then all that input then kind of spits out a realm of data,” Sadie Vander Velde, president and CEO of Envision Greater Fond du Lac, said.
The study showed the domino effect of job creation from Mercury.
Lee Gordon, VP of communications and public affairs for Mercury Marine’s parent company Brunswick Corporation, said that every job created at Mercury has an indirect effect on three jobs created elsewhere in the community.
“Not only does it mean jobs, but it also means if I live in Fond du Lac, I go to the dentist, I go to the cleaners, I eat at restaurants, I go to Target wherever it is… each employee has an impact on the community,” Gordon said.
While other companies struggled during the pandemic, Mercury Marine saw quite a bit of growth in 2020 After the pandemic hit.
“Boating is one of the most socially distant activities you could possibly do,” Gordon said. “And when spring breaks were canceled, summer trips were canceled, and regular camps were canceled, people wanted to do something. And to get out on the water with your family, away from others, that really increased our business and our whole industry in a way that we could never have anticipated.”
Since 2020, Mercury Marine has seen almost a 15% increase in jobs.
“We've been there for 80-plus years, and it's going to be another great 80,” Gordon said.
But Vander Velde said the economy is not entirely dependent on just one company.
“We have an incredibly stable economic base,” Vander Velde said. “And so we're really lucky that we have large, medium and small manufacturers.”