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Since 1998, the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) has aimed to be a driving force of economic, cultural, and social development in downtown Springfield. The SBID’s mission is to facilitate growth within the downtown community and utilize resources efficiently. City revitalization will be achieved through increased marketing and visibility, partnerships with cultural organizations, keeping the streets safe and clean, improving and renewing infrastructure, and focusing on developing local business. Through these outlets, we aim to build a city which attracts a wide audience to live, work, and play.
In our mission to build Springfield to be a better place to live, work, and play, there are many steps to take. Our passion for growing Springfield is truly our core ideology, and all of the programs we implement and tasks we take on keep this in mind. We have a commitment to community responsibility and banding together people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and welcoming new employees, citizens, and visitors to Springfield. All of the programs listed below, to be undertaken in the near future, will keep these values in mind.
The first hurdle the SBID aims to cross within Springfield is the perception surrounding the downtown area. Marketing and public relations will be an important tool to transform Springfield into a place people truly want to be. An easily accessible interactive map and wayfinding tool will be integrated into a new Springfield Downtown website, as well as positive news, a central community calendar, and retail resources. These tools together will make visits to the area more fulfilling and simple to plan prior to and during trips. Partnerships with local news outlets such as the Republican, MassLive, and 22News will be strengthened. In these new relationships, metrics may be spread both pre and post event in print, television, and social media to build one unified voice of a positive Springfield.
The Springfield Business Improvement District is a supporting member of the Springfield Central Cultural District and has led the hiring and support of a new cultural director. The creation of this cultural district will enrich the existing arts within the downtown area and elevate Springfield as the cultural hub of Massachusetts. A volunteer network will also be organized to welcome new visiting groups to the city and showcase the many cultural and historical sites we already have.
For years, the Clean and Safe program has been the main focus of the SBID. Support will continue to be given to making the downtown attractive to visitors through sweeping sidewalks, removing graffiti, planting, watering, and maintaining landscaping and hanging baskets, and providing some snow removal. This has proven to be a valuable program to businesses and will continue to be. In addition to the beautification of downtown Springfield though the Clean and Safe program, the SBID has allocated money to be used to highlight historical architecture through uplighting. Paired with a new partnership with WMECO’s energy efficiency program and DevelopSpringfield’s Corridor Storefront Improvement Program, we will create a warm corridor of light throughout the downtown.
An easily-understood way finding system through varied outlets will be soon undertaken to better serve visitors who want to plan their trip to Springfield ahead of time. This will be in conjunction with improvements to pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly improvements to the streets such as bicycle lanes, bicycle racks, and enhanced crossing zones to help create a safe environment for those traveling by foot.
Of course, the Business Improvement District ultimately works to develop Business within the area. Some steps the SBID is taking in this realm is supporting combined marketing efforts and creating unique events to bring in visitors. We are working strategically to identify development sites, potential developers, and sources of funding to rehab or repurpose existing housing stock within the city. Market rate housing is important to developing the city as a place to live, work, and play.
- Morgan Drewniany
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