Lindsay Hoskins: Downtown Impacts: How temporary workers have reignited the economy and personally owned businesses

As drilling operations move in and out of towns, they bring with them people to work, maintain and supervise the drilling sites. Workers come from many states to temporarily live on or around fracking sites during production. In these mostly rural communities, downtown businesses have benefited from increased sales. Consumer demand has increased for restaurants, gas stations and bars, and even jewelry stores. The influx of workers has led to demands for apartments, laundromats, and dry cleaning services. This population increase has helped feed the economy, but also has affected resources and space in local communities. Roads that were once filled with light traffic are plagued with continuous truck traffic that makes it difficult for people to park and shop downtown. Also, with the small number of hotels in these areas, businesses have had to turn away tourists in order to house workers (“Downtown Business”, 2011).