SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield is number one on Forbes list of “Cities You Wouldn’t Expect to be Great for Business.”
Forbes says it’s Springfield’s low labor costs and tax base that puts it at the top of the list. Professionals here agree, but add that it’s also the collaboration between businesses that makes this an ideal community for starting and growing a business.
For those in the business world in Springfield, this ranking is not surprising.
“I think people in Springfield aren’t necessarily surprised,” said Rachel Alexander, an entrepreneurial specialist at the eFactory.
“We’ve known that for a long time, but to have it recognized by a national publication is just superb,” said mayor Ken McClure.
Brian Kincaid, director at the eFactory says the city has always been a community for entrepreneurship.
“We have a deep-rooted history of entrepreneurship, everything from Bass Pro, and Jack Henry, and others,” he said.
McClure believes Springfield is welcoming for large companies, small businesses, and start-ups.
“I think it’s really spread all across, and I think that’s a real selling point as people look at the community,” he said.
Kincaid says the key is the collaboration between businesses.
“That’s evidenced by the number of organizations that we have engaged with the entrepreneurial development,” he said.
The geography helps too.
“We are in the middle of the country,” said McClure. “We have good access from a transportation standpoint.”
Rachel Anderson, an entrepreneurial specialist at the eFactory says growing industries are manufacturing, education, healthcare, and technology. She says the city is intentional about attracting and retaining talent.
“We made the effort to make sure that businesses have the support they need, the resources they need to get started here,” she said.
One initiative to help keep pushing Springfield in the right direction for growth is the
“Always be learning what people are doing, what’s working, what’s not working and how we can remain competitive with other cities,” said Paige Oxendine, the program coordinator for the Network of Young Professionals at the Chamber of Commerce, who is part of the
The Millenial SWAT Team is comprised of 18 young professionals who traveled to different cities researching ways to implement ideas to Springfield. Their findings, according to the city, will be released to the public soon.