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SBJ Economic Growth Survey: Publisher's Note

The Next Peak

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A goal without a plan is just a wish. A plan without action is just a dream. Or so the sayings go.

Springfield Business Journal’s Economic Growth Series is now priming the pump for action. In years one and two of the five-year study, several obstacles to economic growth in the area were identified through comprehensive economic surveys that were collected from business decision makers as well as consumer groups. Those obstacles identified did nothing but intensify in year three with the fallout of COVID-19. Now in year four, the conversation has shifted to spur thoughtful action. Richard Ollis, president of Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance and Business Advisors, is leading the way as presenting sponsor for the series and as a voice for business in the ongoing interactive discussions.

On Aug. 23, key community and business thought leaders convened at Metro Eats for a deep dive into how employers can best address the cadre of issues surrounding workforce attraction and retention. Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow pointed to the urgency of attracting people to the area through support of private development and by capitalizing on existing area assets. Morrow challenged employers to engage in professional development of the current workforce and to think in new ways about talent attraction. Small work groups brainstormed on such ideas as child care cooperatives, job sharing initiatives and inclusive culture building, among other things. 

This special section broadens the conversation with expert commentary from Central Bank in Springfield on right-sizing your business to be lean and efficient in the current market. You will read insights from area economic development experts about what incentives are most needed to attract outside businesses to the region and the vision for area growth in the next decade.

I encourage area business stakeholders to join this conversation as it continues in the coming weeks. SBJ’s 2022 Economic Growth Series will make its next appearance at Finley Farms in Ozark on Sept. 14, with future conversations planned for Sports Town, OTC’s Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Forward SGF offices. I look forward to seeing you there.

SBJ 2022 Economic Growth Survey collected April 29-June 22. Survey sample size of 235, with a +/- 5.4% margin of error and 95% confidence interval.

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