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SBDC Annual Meeting highlights Springfield’s bright future


The Springfield Business Development Corporation (SBDC) marked its 40th anniversary with a significant annual meeting at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, attended by over 480 stakeholders. The event was a celebration of four decades of profound economic development and strategic contributions to the local economy led by SBDC, with Christina Angle, the 2024 SBDC Board President and CFO of the Erlen Group, delivering an address that underscored Springfield's remarkable journey of growth and transformation. Angle's presentation highlighted the SBDC's instrumental role in developing and advocating for pivotal infrastructure projects over the past forty years like PIC and PIC-West, which have been crucial in stimulating job creation and attracting substantial investments to the region.  

Keynote speaker Ted Abernathy of Economic Leadership took the stage to provide an insightful analysis of Springfield's economic landscape within Missouri and the national context. Abernathy applauded the city's notable expansion in the manufacturing and technology sectors, attributing this success to Springfield's innovative workforce development strategies and effective regional collaboration. His address went further to compare Missouri's economic resilience and growth post-COVID-19 to national trends, pointing out the state's increasing status as a manufacturing hub in the Midwest, with a special emphasis on technology manufacturing. 

Abernathy’s review painted an optimistic future for Springfield, especially in the tech sector. Leveraging extensive experience in economic advising and site selection, Abernathy also provided an analysis of Springfield’s competitive future and stressed Missouri's competitive edge in construction, manufacturing, and financial activities. Springfield's decade-long manufacturing excellence not only sets it apart in Missouri but also establishes it as a leader across the Midwest and Southeast. This success is linked to a strategic alignment with sectors where Springfield and Missouri have natural or developed competitive advantages. Data suggests Greene County as a leading urban area in Missouri for tech occupation density, a trend anticipated to continue upward.  

The 40th SBDC annual meeting highlighted the importance of visionary leadership in steering economic progress and navigating the complexities of the modern economic landscape and emphasized the importance of strategic initiatives and collaboration in sustaining the region's growth trajectory. As SBDC looks forward to its next four decades, leadership will play an essential role in fostering Springfield’s economic ecosystem, positioning the city for continued prosperity and as an attractive hub for business and innovation. 

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