Welcome to the 2015 Economic Outlook.
What can we say about the future? While no one truly knows what’s in store this year, these professionals representing 16 industries have a pulse as good as any.
With each passing year shaping the next, if these forecasts hold true, international stocks will outpace domestics, diversity will find its place in corporate leadership, “Obamacare” reforms will take form and professional service jobs will reign.
It’s not all rosy. Transportation funding will continue to decline. A stock market correction is in the works. And another recession is around the bend.
They said it. We’re reporting it.
We expect you’ll find insight, hope and hurdles to help you plan for business in 2015.
Here’s The Outlook.
-Eric Olson, Editor
Economy: Jeff Layman, BKD Wealth Advisors LLC
“International stocks are really due to have a good year relative to U.S. companies.”
Health Care: Paul Taylor, Ozarks Community Hospital
Through the settling of ACA reforms, there will be new norms established, centered on developing a medical home model for providing primary care.
Manufacturing: David Moore, Paul Mueller Co., and Jack Stack, SRC Holdings Corp.
Manufacturing sector growth through 2017, followed by a recession 2018–20.
Social Entrepreneurism: Matt O'Reilly, Green Circle Projects LLC, Farmers Markets of the Ozarks Inc. and TrailSpring Inc.
“A large market correction and continued improvement of consumer behavior – and with the excess of profits, you’ll see more and more giving.”
Education: David Manuel, Drury University
Declining enrollment will continue to challenge schools nationwide.
Law: Dwayne Fulk, Polsinelli PC and Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association
“Rate pressures will be high, especially for practices that are growing faster than the market, and because of increased competition, law firms will increase their marketing and business efforts.”
Insurance: Trevor Croley, Croley Insurance & Financial
“The Senate and Congress are going to figure out a way to allow employers that have maintained their health plan to renew it once again.”
Construction: Cameron Collins, Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins Inc.
The engineering firm’s annual revenue will grow roughly 10 percent.
Retail: Kathi Cryderman, Harem & Co.
“I feel a sense of vibrancy. I see it and feel it in the housing market, in furniture, clothing, accessories, shoes.”
Transportation: Becky Baltz, Missouri Department of Transportation Southwest District
“Our transportation funding is declining (and) it will continue without additional funding support.”
Diversity: Ken Coopwood, Missouri State University
Diverse backgrounds will begin to play in the economic success of the city and will help align its resources accordingly.
Government: Bob Cirtin, Greene County
“Even though we are budgeting flat in 2015, I project that sales tax revenue will occasionally increase from quarter to quarter.”
Employment: Rayanna Anderson, Small Business & Technology Development Center and the Management Development Institute
Job creation will remain key, with the largest increases in service sectors, such as professional and information services.
Economic Development: Jeff Seifried, City Council and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
The Springfield chamber will exceed last year’s 10 project announcements.
Arts: Leslie Forrester, Springfield Regional Arts Council
Art entrepreneurship and the need for support services will continue to grow.
Tourism: Laura Whisler, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
“We do anticipate both room demand and room sales to continue to increase.”
SBJ survey data is used to analyze the flow of money.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.
Caleb Scott, coach and co-owner of Queen City Insane Asylum football team, says he had to sacrifice early on to make sure his team had places to play. With the business climate at the time, it wasn't easy.
Aaron York talks about the culture he fosters at Donco3 as the general superintendent. York says the key is to treat your business like family.