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Opinion: Calling decision makers to participate in data-packed survey

Publisher's Perspective

Posted online

Springfield Business Journal’s 2021 Economic Growth Survey is coming soon to an inbox near you, marking the fourth time area business leaders will be polled regarding current and future needs and plans for personnel, capital, real estate, expansion, contraction, retirement and more.

In 2019, SBJ set out to capture current data, not being measured or readily disseminated elsewhere, that would aid area businesspeople in informed decision-making and that could serve as a guide for local economic development. Under the guidance of an international but fortunately local research firm, H2R Market Research, SBJ convened an advisory committee of regional economic development professionals to craft a survey that could meet that tall order.

Thanks to an overwhelming survey response, H2R Market Research was able to capture baseline data that allowed us to establish a Springfield business confidence index one year prior to a pandemic that changed the world. The survey went out twice in 2020, pre- and post-COVID onset. The time dedicated by local business decision makers to respond to these surveys proved invaluable to measure the impact of the pandemic and predict future needs in a way that will most certainly shorten and inform local business recovery.

So, let me first express my gratitude. Thank you for taking the time to respond to these surveys. Thank you also for thoughtful participation in forum discussions over the last two summers in person and on Zoom. Thank you for your willingness to help other local businesses recover and prosper by sharing your candid observations and forecasts.

Now for the ask.

The 2021 survey is no less important than the three which preceded it. I urge you to take the 10-12 minutes required to respond to the survey questions that will be delivered to you via email. The primary survey is clearly geared towards management-level decision makers. If you do not function as a decision maker within your organization, I would urge you to use a provided link that will direct you to a consumer-oriented survey for those who live and work in Springfield and surrounding areas. Solving today’s complex problems requires an engaged community with multiple perspectives. That’s why SBJ is investing in this initiative and why we are asking you to once again invest your time.

Here’s my promise: You can expect the time invested here to come back to you in multiples. SBJ, H2R Market Research and survey presenter and sponsor Prosperiti Partners are committed to bringing this data back to the business community in a digestible fashion via forum discussions, town hall-style meetings, expert presentations and panels, and explanatory journalism beginning in July. Forum partners like Ollis/Akers/Arney will contribute their voice and expertise to the discussion as area leaders plan for the future.

Whether you have followed and participated in this five-year data collection project since its launch in 2019 or your involvement begins today, your input is valuable. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Springfield Business Journal Publisher Jennifer Jackson can be reached at jjackson@sbj.net.

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