DSI and the other economic development organizations in Sangamon County are asking citizens how they are feeling going into this new phase. Are you going out and visiting local businesses? Are you waiting for a vaccine until you resume normal activities?
A new website, donated by a local Springfield business, will consolidate business information across Sangamon County to keep consumers apprised of the status of their favorite local businesses and their services in one, easily searchable, place.
The website is SpringfieldZoom.com.
Any Sangamon County business or organization can simply click on “Register My Business” to get started. It takes less than three minutes for a business to create a free account. Plus they can update their status as the situation changes.
For the public, they can easily search for their favorite businesses to find out their status and whether they can purchase gift certificates, get take-out, etc.
This one-stop website was built and is being donated by Springfield businesses GoWeb1 and AlertsMadeEasy.com, who built it in two days. They are donating this effort for the entire business community in Sangamon County as a free tool to help businesses and organizations quickly communicate their operational status to the public.
All of the partner economic development organizations will market this site as Sangamon County’s one-stop information source for consumers to look up business openings and closings throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Val Yazell, City of Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development
Josh Collins, Sangamon Springfield Growth Alliance
Chris Hembrough, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Clemmons Stott, Downtown Springfield Inc
Katie Davison, Innovate Springfield | Macarthur Boulevard Association
Chris Long, Local First Springfield
Kevin Lust, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College
Sangamon County hired The Development Consortium to analyze our area’s regional economic development efforts and the report was released last night. The consultants give DSI’s new direction a big thumbs up on Page 13.
Some downtown-centric highlights:
- DSI has been primarily operating in a vacuum, mostly not of its own creation. As a needed placemaking organization, it needs to be part of the overall regional economic development strategy and included as a partner.
- More than 300 current State of Illinois employees are enrolled in UIS programs, and other plans are under consideration of development in order to more fully integrate the campus into the fabric of the community. To the extent that UIS can expand its presence into the downtown areas of Springfield, prime opportunities for dynamic partnerships with business and government can more easily happen, with the additional economic impacts of having students learning, working and living in the City’s core. It would be a real game changer for the landscape and vitality of downtown Springfield.
- Placemaking and quality of life improvements needed to attract and retain younger workers and recent graduates, and, really, people in all stages of life, need to be planned for, funded and executed, especially in the downtown, as a long-term strategy with representatives from all facets of life represented in the discussion along the way. Support organizations such as Downtown Springfield, Inc. that are working on this. Quality of place is important to new and long-term residents and visitors alike.