The Springfield Business Development Corp. marked more than $88 million in capital investment pledges last year, officials said at the organization’s Feb. 21 annual meeting.
Ryan Mooney, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of economic development, pointed to the SBDC’s role in helping secure six projects in 2019 that are expected to collectively generate $88.3 million in capital investments, $14.3 million in new payroll and 321 jobs. The projects entail either expansions or relocations.
“I think that is the anchor,” Mooney said of the planned projects. “Companies that have made that commitment are a little more anchored to our community.”
The SBDC, which works to attract and retain businesses to the Springfield region, is the economic development arm of the chamber. Its annual meeting at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center was attended by nearly 490 people, according to chamber officials.
Three of the projects referenced by Mooney are connected to the food processing and specialty manufacturing sectors. Two of them involve businesses already established in the Queen City – Vital Farms Inc. and Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co.
Vital Farms announced plans in October to add 64,000 square feet to its 84,000-square-foot plant in Partnership Industrial Center West, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Through the expansion, the company expects to add 50 more workers to its plant that employs nearly 100.
Also in October, Ozarks Coca-Cola began dirt work on a two-phase, $40 million expansion for a new production line and 400,000 square feet of warehouse space to its existing 125,000-square-foot plant. It’s expected to bring 25 new jobs, according to a December news release.
Mooney also pointed to the future in his presentation, citing placemaking efforts such as the $21 million federal grant received by the city for the Grant Avenue Parkway Trail Connection project and Springfield’s ongoing comprehensive plan, dubbed Forward SGF.
Through such projects, Mooney said the SBDC is a “great vehicle for our community to be able to move these initiatives forward.”
“If we can make this the best possible place to work and to live, we will be able to attract talent,” he said. “We will be able to attract high quality talent to our community and that will help us win the competition for jobs.”
Other competitive economic development projects noted in the SBDC annual report were expansions for CNH Industrial Reman and Jarden Plastic Solutions. New project announcements involved food ingredient maker IsoAge Technologies LLC and electrical harness manufacturer Alpine Aviation Group Inc.
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