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The Springfield Council of Better Business is working to identify challenges and opportunities for members.
SBJ file
The Springfield Council of Better Business is working to identify challenges and opportunities for members.

New Springfield business advocacy group forms

Posted online

A new organization designed to advocate for Springfield metropolitan area business is up and running.

The Springfield Council of Better Business has a goal of making the community better for businesses through advocacy work and events for members, said Executive Director Jacob Ruder.

"Anything that impacts our local businesses, we will advocate on behalf of," he said. "We've been seeing really good progress."

Declining to disclose early membership numbers, Ruder said SCofBB businesses have responded favorably to a one-member, one-vote system.

"Each company gets one vote on different surveys on issues that are impacting our members or things they'd like to see us doing," he said.

SCofBB was formed as a nonprofit with the Missouri secretary of state's office last year, but the organization has started to get off the ground in earnest this year. Ruder said a podcast he’ll hosts with politicians and business leaders is one of the first services to be implemented. Events such as quarterly luncheons, golf tournaments and annual banquets are planned, he said.

The organization formed by Ruder, previously a credit analyst with Legacy Bank and Trust, and businessperson Bruce Caison, CEO at Advanced Facilities Services Inc., does not currently have an office or a board of directors. Ruder said those options may be considered in the future.

First, he said SCofBB is trying to connect with as many businesses as possible to learn of challenges and opportunities.

"Local businesses and small-business owners are independent thinkers. Independent thinkers have been successful in what they do," Ruder said. "It's a challenge to get these people together. What we're doing is organizing these voices so we can push for a greater good in the community."

One member is Fraley Masonry, co-owned by Lee Fraley.

"We are thrilled to become a member of SCofBB who will listen to our concerns and magnify our voice," Fraley said in a news release. "For years, we have struggled with problems in our community that have not been addressed or solved. SCofBB has encouraged us to continue to help solve these problems with other members and other local businesses within our community."

Ruder said issues identified so far include regulatory concerns for developers and crime.

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