Page 7 - BusinessWest December 7, 2020
P. 7

Rick Sullivan says that, like Hawaii,
Western Mass. can position itself as an effective place to work — with
a view.
well — are starting to think about whether they want or need to be in an urban setting.
These factors may be enough to turn some heads, said Sullivan and others we spoke with, all of whom noted that, as the pandemic approach- es the 10-month mark, the emphasis is shifting locally — from talk about how there may be an opportunity to seize, to action when it comes to seizing such an opportunity and getting those heads to turn.
Nancy Creed, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber, is taking action in the form of online tools, through which interested business- es, agencies, and individuals can obtain needed information about the region and even explore
options within the commercial real-estate market for a new home.
“We’ve invested in a whole suite of tools, one of which has seven or eight tools that basically walk a business through everything from why the Springfield region is a good place to start a busi- ness or expand a business, all the way through where your competitors are, where your custom- ers are, and where your workers are,” she said of a product called Localintel. “And then it contin- ues with information about where to find real estate that fits your purpose; it heatmaps every- thing for you.”
Meanwhile, Sullivan said the EDC, which has received an uptick in the number of incoming
calls from businesses and site selectors looking to learn more about the region, has made efforts to promote the area and take advantage of pan- demic-related trends and movements as one of its strategic priorities for the coming year.
“Part of our strategic plan is to increase the marketing for such efforts and make that pitch,” he explained. “We’re going to work through what
“When I talk to people about
this, I see a lot of heads nod in agreement — they see why this region makes sense on many levels. The pushback comes with people not wanting to uproot themselves and make that move. We have to be able to overcome that.
that looks like, but we are certainly not equipped to do a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign. I do think we can raise our profile and make that pitch.”
But while there is opportunity in the midst of this pandemic, challenges exist as well.
Evan Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin and a long-time promoter of Springfield and especially its downtown area, said there are some lingering perceptions about the city and region — regard-
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DECEMBER 7, 2020 7
 Staff Photo

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