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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield’s Economic Vitality Department is celebrating National Small Business Week Sept 13-17, recognizing the resilience and renewal of Springfield’s small businesses and the City’s efforts to support them, which contribute to the economic vitality of Springfield.
The Economic Vitality department’s primary services are entrepreneurial development and support, business retention/tourism support and business expansion and attraction.
The Department of Economic Vitality “focuses on vibrancy and taking a proactive approach to helping businesses and entrepreneurs, which directly impacts our economic ecosystem," according to Deputy City Manager Maurice S. Jones.
Primary objectives are to encourage reinvestment and quality economic growth, coordinate significant development projects that impact the community’s tax base, retain and facilitate expansion of existing businesses, promote entrepreneurship, and attract new businesses by fostering a positive business environment.
Creating and retaining quality jobs to increase the local tax base and the overall quality of life for the citizens of Springfield are also major emphases, Jones said.
The City of Springfield has operated a Commercial Loan Program since 1984, capitalized by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. All loans must be used to assist low/moderate income business owners, create jobs benefiting low/moderate income persons or remove slum and blight.
During the last fiscal year, the Commercial Loan Program made loans totaling $430,000 to eight businesses within the city limits. From these loans, a minimum of 16 full-time equivalent jobs will be created within two years. Loans made in previous years documented 14.45 full-time equivalent jobs in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
"I urge the residents of our community, and communities across the country, to support small businesses and merchants not only during National Small Business Week this week, but throughout the year,” says Mayor Ken McClure “Our local entrepreneurs, friends, families and small business owners in the community should be supported as they keep and spend the dollars in the state, thus creating a large multiplier for every dollar spent."
The Department of Economic Vitality also provided through CARES Act funding, a total of $753,587 in grants to 74 businesses. From those grants, 20 low/moderate income business owners were assisted, and 361 full-time equivalent, low/moderate income jobs were retained.
Consistently, over the years, more than 80% of Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce members are businesses with 50 or fewer employees, according to the chamber.
“That (number) generally mirrors our broader business community here and is one of many indicators of how crucial small business success is to the area’s ongoing economic vitality. Small businesses have continued to show amazing resilience and ingenuity in the current business environment,” said chamber President Matt Morrow.
### For more information, please contact Melissa Haase, assistant director of Public Information and Civic Engagement, at 417-864-1003 or [email protected].