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 email@example.com.
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Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, talks about small business start-up trends in a post-pandemic year. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, says startups that offer new services and products to help people work from home or that enhance mental health could find greater success.
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Darline Mabins talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about growing up after a tragic accident took the lives of her mother and older brother. Mabins is now the regional branch sales manager for Arvest Bank. No Ceiling is an SBJ podcast, going in depth with local women, sharing their journey to the top of their professions.
Caleb Scott, owner, coach and player for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about the ways that the team works to support each other on and off the field. Scott says you can’t force people to become leaders, they have to come naturally.
Steve Williams, owner of Crosstown Barbecue, discusses the role relationships have played throughout the 51 years that Crosstown Barbecue has been in business. He says that while he puts effort into providing the best food he can, ultimately “people like to do business with people they like.”
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, relates his experience building relationships with clients since he became a photographer. He says building relationships with his clients and perfecting his craft are the most important things he does to spread his business.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, shares the reason behind the business’ name. She says part of the inspiration goes back to a painting her daughter had in her room when she was younger.
Heather Kite, owner of Rooted Deep Farms, relates how she started up her business in the summer of last year. She says it was a long journey, but she is satisfied with the choice she made.
Amy Susan, director of public relations at EquipmentShare, discusses EquipmentShare’s philosophy of design thinking, and how field experience dictates their innovation. Design thinking consists of brainstorming, collaborating, beta testing and a practical implementation of solutions.