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Money Talks: Study Reveals South LA and East LA Have More Buying Power

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Photo by Barbara Davidson via the LAT

Go to South LA and East LA and you'll find way more check-cashing spots, liquor stores and mini marts than grocery stores, a continuing problem for residents. The LAT reports that a new study shows that there's more money to be spent than the census estimates in the two areas. Per the paper, a Washington-based nonprofit org Social Compact "says that annual income in Watts, Boyle Heights and seven other neighborhoods in South and East Los Angeles is about $1.9 billion more than the U.S. census has estimated and that 82,000 more people live there than the census has counted." The study included nine neighborhoods: Watts and Boyle Heights as mentioned, as well as Hyde Park, West Adams, Crenshaw/Baldwin Village, Vernon Central, Central City East, Jefferson Park and Leimert Park areas of Los Angeles.

The study also showed the money residents spent on groceries outside their neighborhoods, which amounted to $113 million, and "that most have to travel more than half a mile to shop at a full-service grocer." City officials are hoping to use this study as leverage to woo retail to these areas. But the paper also notes that there has been some progress, pointing out Wal-Mart and Macy's on Crenshaw Boulevard, shopping centers in Compton and the Florence-Firestone neighborhood, and Fresh & Easy in Compton and soon in South LA as well.
· Buying power in nine L.A. neighborhoods is underestimated, study says [LAT]