Six community forums focused on Springfield Business Journal’s 2021 Economic Growth Survey have come to a close for the calendar year. These, and the five special Economic Growth Survey publications that preceded them, 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. Further, we emphasized the importance of recording changes over time.
I like to think of this final Growth Survey section of the year as a report card of sorts. Just as school report cards are a powerful tool for communicating with families about a student’s progress, SBJ’s annual Economic Growth Survey provides an opportunity for local decision-makers to take stock of how far we’ve come and what still lies ahead. Student report cards often inform the parent-teacher conference to reinforce set goals and then clearly define the family’s and the school’s roles in achieving those goals. Likewise, these forum discussions have provided a valuable opportunity to engage with other leaders, assess progress on any previously identified deficits and hopefully identify what we can each personally contribute for continued improvement.
In this edition, you will read about the key issues central to economic progress in our region. You will be updated about what is being done to address workforce shortages. You will read about how behavioral shifts are changing how people spend money. You will learn from area leaders what traits are most needed to navigate a crisis.
Thank you to all who have given so generously of your time to respond to the surveys and contribute your voice to forum discussions. 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.
SBJ 2021 Economic Growth Survey collected April 12-May 4. Survey sample size of 309, with a +/- 5.6% margin of error and 95% confidence interval.
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.