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Publisher's Note

SBJ Economic Growth Survey: View from the Top

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Six community forums focused on Springfield Business Journal’s 2020 Economic Growth Survey and an additional measurement of post-COVID-19 sentiments have come to a close for the calendar year. This, and the five special Economic Growth Survey publications that preceded it, highlight key data points and feature the voices of business decision makers in our community. It was our intention in 2019, at the onset of this five-year undertaking, that we would work to supplement and fill gaps in the data that key community and business decision makers use to guide the growth and well-being of the local economy. That remains the focus today. What we couldn’t have anticipated was how critical that ongoing measurement of business sentiment would become or how rapidly that sentiment would change in the midst of a pandemic.

This final Growth Survey section provides a view from the top as we talk to key governmental, quasi-governmental and private-sector decision makers about what’s on their data dashboards to help them predict and prepare for what’s ahead in 2021. You will hear from small-business owners who innovated their way through COVID in ways that will forever change their business models and will continue to grow their businesses. Big-business leaders share their future vision and focus on employee safety, mental health, physical facility requirements and workspace needs. You will learn more about the changing landscape and local demand for habitational space and residential real estate. Further, you will read about the recovery resources available that make our region special and uniquely position us for what one higher education leader predicts will be a Springfield renaissance.

Whatever lies ahead in 2021 is still rapidly unfolding. SBJ will be here to tell the stories and help facilitate a continued community conversation. Be on the lookout for a downloadable version of the 2020 data to appear in January and for more discussion to follow. Expect the 2021 survey to arrive in your email inbox in March. It is my hope that you will continue to share your candid business plans and sentiments with us in a way that will help guide the forward momentum of our collective business community well into the future.

*Wave 1 (collected Feb. 15-March 1) sample size 492, with a +/- 4.4% margin of error and 95% confidence interval; wave 2 (collected April 9-19) sample size 696, wit ha +/- 3.7% margin of error and 95% confidence interval

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