Laura Osborn believes there are a lot of hidden gems in Springfield and she, along with the Springfield Business Association, are doing their part to unearth them.
Osborn is serving as president of the group, which has technically been around since 2005, but has picked up steam since beginning monthly meetings in February.
“It started in 2005 and was very active, but like a lot of things, it didn’t stay that way,” Osborn said. “When we started talking as business leaders about getting brochures out to new residents, it morphed into a meeting.”
Osborn is a realtor with Nebraska Realty who operates the Springfield Collective. She and her husband, Brian, a member of the Springfield Platteview Board of Education, have been active in the community for several years. It’s because of her belief in Springfield that she thinks it’s vital the SBA becomes active in making people aware of everything the city can offer.
“In our first meeting, we found out a lot of the business owners didn’t even know each other,” Osborn said. “I think there’s a lot of businesses Springfield has that people don’t realize exist, especially people new to Springfield. They might know about everything along Main Street, but there are a ton of other businesses around town they might not see. We want to be involved in networking and being ambassadors for each other.”
Osborn said there are already 32 businesses involved with the SBA and several more have shown interest in joining. The group meets once a month and is putting plans in place to become more visible in the community.
“We’ve done some events already and are hoping to get involved in more,” she said. “We’ve had to use the first few meetings just to get things going. We’ve got a website and we’re working on getting paper brochures for businesses to give to people and let them know all they offer.”
Osborn said that would also involve putting together business packets in which each business would place something in the packet, which would then be delivered to new residents.
The group is also planning a partnership with Platteview High School in which local internship opportunities would become available to students in the career and readiness program. Osborn added the SBA also plans to support and partner with the Springfield Platteview Alumni and Friends Society.
Osborn likes the progress the group has shown through its early stages and believes more awaits them in the coming months.
“I’d say we are just scratching the surface,” she said. “We want to make sure our businesses are on board with direction, then want to grow our community outreach beyond the member businesses to promote community partnership.
“A pillar of the association will be to promote community outreach and we believe we are making great strides with the interest we have seen thus far and will be growing on that interest.”
To learn more about the Springfield Business Association and see a list of current members, visit Springfieldbusiness.org.