Supporting Regional Economic Growth in Southwest Missouri
Snyder Construction Group has been building projects all over Southwest Missouri for 45 years. Our team knows that the economic health of the region is vital to everyone who lives here. It’s not just about Springfield. Branson, Ozark, Nixa, Republic, Willard, Rogersville, and all areas important to our region’s growth. We live in those smaller suburbs. We commute. We go to dinner and enjoy local amenities.
As a second-generation, local family business, we know that economic vitality is essential not only for the health of our business but also for the good of our people and their lives. When the whole region thrives, everyone benefits.
Regional Success Stories Are All Around Us
All someone must do is drive two hours to the Northwest Arkansas region to see one of the biggest success stories of regional growth in the United States. Bolstered by Walmart, J.B. Hunt, and Tyson Foods as well as the University of Arkansas, each community in Northwest Arkansas (NWA) maintains their identities even though you can drive from Fayetteville to Bentonville without leaving an urban landscape.
You can see the same type of economic prosperity here in Southwest Missouri, where Snyder Construction Group is based. Our location used to be surrounded by fields. Now, we’re building a U-Haul storage facility right across the street. More and more construction is happening between Springfield and Branson, and highway expansion continues to make traffic flow more easily.
Southwest Missouri can take its cue from NWA. In 1990, the Northwest Arkansas Council was formed to spur development for the three-county region. What began as a dream from communities joined by a five-mile mountain biking trail turned into a multi-billion-dollar growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) from 2015 to 2022. Similarly, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, with more than 2,000 members, is leading the way with a regional approach.
How Our Region Has Grown Over the Past 20 Years
Northwest Arkansas has a beautiful approach to having a cohesive, regional growth pattern. Southwest Missouri has had steady growth, too, from all facets of our communities. While Springfield is the largest city, many metropolitan areas have grown alongside the Queen City.
Springfield-Branson National Airport has exceeded more than 1 million annual passengers three times in its history, in 2018, 2019, and 2022. Renaming the airport to something regionally offered a simple yet effective way to tout our region to travelers who might come to Springfield for business but might want to spend time in Branson for a vacation. Continual upgrades and updates to the airport’s infrastructure continue to serve these burgeoning passenger numbers.
Republic has grown as the southwest corner of Greene County continues to develop. The addition of a 1.3 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in 2021 bolstered the region’s job growth and retail economy.
In Springfield proper, expansion and renovation of facilities associated with the Mercy and Cox health systems has spurred growth along the Medical Mile. New medical facilities to handle higher patient loads led to retail and hospitality rejuvenation and development, including the construction of extended-stay hotels near both hospitals.
Education has continued to be an economic engine for this area. Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) has opened satellite campuses in Republic, Hollister (Branson), Waynesville, and Lebanon to serve as a way for local residents to explore educational opportunities with an associate’s degree with a possible route to higher-level degrees.
Branson has seen enormous growth as the entertainment capital of Missouri has moved beyond the confines of Highway 76 as the main strip to include Branson Landing, a much larger and expanded hospital, and bigger venues for family-friendly vacations. As such, Branson saw nearly 10 million visitors in 2021, the highest number in the tourism destination’s history.
Learning From Northwest Arkansas
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce sent a large delegation of regional leaders, including Brandi Bailey from Snyder Construction Group, to tour Northwest Arkansas in 2022. The hands-on experience allowed all of Southwest Missouri’s regional leaders to see the benefits of regional growth.
Ahead of the trip to NWA, we studied our own regional communities in 2021 to discover growth opportunities and outdoor amenities. Following the delegation’s trip to Northwest Arkansas, Springfield Chamber president Matt Morrow sat down with Republic city administrator David Cameron and our own Brandi Bailey to discuss the trip on the SGF Inside podcast.
We discussed the vitality of regional collaboration, brand identity and natural assets of our beautiful area, attracting and retaining talent, and realizing the value of long-range regional planning to help every community in our region grow. Much like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a region to uplift every community in Southwest Missouri.
Building Regional Relationships That Last
Work with us at Snyder Construction Group. We build partnerships that last, in our home region and beyond, for retail, hospitality, education, multifamily residential, and many other types of projects.