One part of my job I’m most passionate about is bringing new business to Springfield. Over the last few years, G.S. Moore & Son has brought in large companies like Harbor Freight, Aspen Dental, Zaxby’s, and Firestone, along with many smaller businesses, such as the new Korean restaurant that will be opening on Tom Austin soon.
Every time we announce a new business coming to town there is always a lot of excitement – and rightfully so. Springfield and Robertson County are growing fast, and new businesses are serving the needs of our growing population.
At the same time, there are often requests for businesses that are still a bit outside of our reach. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard rumors that a Target will be taking over one of our vacant buildings, or a Chick-Fil-A is opening on the corner where Rite Aid once stood. Just check out any Springfield group on Facebook to see the rumors for yourself.
While it’s highly likely brands like these will begin looking at our area someday soon, Springfield needs to continue our current growth trajectory for a bit longer before we get commitments from them.
As cities and towns begin to grow and develop like the ones in Robertson County, companies look at certain target metrics to determine if opening in the area is a wise business decision. One such metric is median household income. In other words, they predict how often a person or family will shop at their potential location based on discretionary income.
Springfield’s median household income has grown rapidly over the last several years. According to the latest surveys, it was $47,048 as of 2016, which is up from $33,379 in 2000. In the last few years alone we’ve seen it rise quickly from the low $40,000’s. However, it’s still below the national average of $59,000, barring us from some larger brands taking interest just yet.
So how do we fix this and get *insert-your-favorite-brand-here*?
The movement of people from Nashville to Springfield has helped grow household income, especially with the pop we’ve seen in remote workers moving to Springfield. These workers typically hold white collar positions in larger corporations. They get the benefit of working from home, and find a lot of value in purchasing homes in areas like Robertson County where their buying power is greater than in Nashville.
Our towns see the benefit of their property and sales tax dollars. Many companies now support working from home or at co-working spaces and this trend is significantly boosting our suburban economy. It would be beneficial for us to continue attracting these remote workers in order to boost our median income level.
In addition, the Robertson County Economic Development Board is diligently working to bring more opportunity to Springfield and surrounding areas. In fact, they recently launched a survey to gauge the the types of positions commuters hold, so they can begin to attract businesses who would offer those same positions to Robertson County. Every win they have helps us attract those larger restaurants and retail that we would love to have!
Perhaps the most important thing we all can do is to continue to shop local. The more tax dollars that we keep in our county shows prospective businesses the high level of support they can expect. When we’re able to show consistent year-over-year growth of population, median household income and spending within Robertson County, then we will attract the best of the best – and each day we are getting closer and closer.