A city and a family have something in common: The one you’re a part of probably isn’t perfect, but you have a role in how it grows and evolves.
Springfield was incorporated in 1838, and less than 50 years later my great grandfather started the company I now lead. Standing at the helm of a 137-year old business in a 184-year old city, provides me a long lens on our past, how that informs our future, and how intrinsically intertwined the growth and success of my city and business have been.
That’s why in this year’s Economic Growth Survey, I look forward to taking a look at not only those issues that we’re dealing with inside our companies, but the community in which we choose to live and operate.
We will examine six communities that have faced similar economic development and talent/business attraction challenges and how they addressed them for the betterment of their community, its businesses and citizens. Challenges always bring opportunities.
Right now, we are in an ideal position as business owners and community leaders to leverage the substantial investments and initiatives currently underway including citywide high-speed fiber, educational institution advancements, infrastructure improvements and placemaking enhancements.
But to be candid, our community currently is not very friendly to growth and private development. Whether you acknowledge it or not, as a business owner and leader you not only have the ability but also, I believe, we have a responsibility to take an active role in our city’s evolution and creating opportunities for positive growth. I look forward to seeing you at each of the three visioning workshops and the three inspiration hours to work together toward making the Springfield region a strong and viable area for the next 184 years.
The corner of North Main Street and Tracker Road in Nixa is abuzz with development activity, and the latest structure to emerge is the Walker Heights Retail Center.