Springfield Business Journal’s Economic Growth Survey is back and has proven more timely and important than we could have imagined just a few months ago. As many of you know, SBJ kicked off a five-year study of the Springfield business community to identify opportunities and challenges for planned growth. This project launched in partnership with Prosperiti Partners in 2019 with a survey of the local business community and six discussion forums that took place over the summer months. At that time, it felt important to release and discuss the data as quickly as possible so that business leaders could receive the maximum benefit of timely information. The 2020 survey started with a similar goal, but we quickly modified that plan as our world turned upside down with the local onset of COVID-19 just two short weeks after data collection was completed.
This year’s forums and accompanying print series will span the course of the year and will focus on a changing data set with new surveys administered at crucial benchmarks along Springfield’s COVID-19 and economic recovery journey. These surveys will allow us a rare opportunity to measure the real impact of this pandemic on business confidence in our area. It is our hope that this data set, and the discussions built around it, will not only inform Springfield’s approach to a possible outbreak in the future, but also can serve as a catalyst for economic recovery in the next few months.
I implore you to engage with the information and opinions contained here and to attend the remaining five forums scheduled this year, whether in-person or by webcast. While each leader and business sector faces a unique set of circumstances, our ability to survive and thrive is integrally intertwined, and we will need to forge the path forward in tandem.
*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, with a +/- 3.7% margin of error and 95% confidence interval
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