Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

The Kmart store in Springfield has closed. As a result of the store's closure, 68 jobs will be lost.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

The recent closure of Kmart in Springfield will mean the loss of 68 jobs. The chain, which is owned by parent company Sears Holdings, has shuttered the doors on two other area stores, pushing the job loss total to nearly 200.

Losing a job at any time of the year is tough, but particularly over the holiday season. That's why Amy Donahoe, director of hiring and employer services with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber activated a special program to help displaced Springfield Kmart workers.

Clark County-based Speedway is expanding and adding jobs.
brutalSoCal / Flickr/Creative Commons

  Clark County is likely to see a boost in employment opportunities over the next five years as Speedway and Dole add jobs.

At a recent job growth conference in Springfield, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and members of the Dayton Development Coalition pointed to Speedway and Dole's expansion as key factors in Clark County's growth. Speedway is projected to add 350 jobs and Dole expects to add another 150 jobs in the next five years.

Canadian Family / Flickr Creative Commons

The Dole Food Company in Springfield received a tax incentive from the State of Ohio for a $9 million expansion in Clark County.  Besides the expansion, the company will be able to add new jobs.

Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Mike McDorman said that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved a tax incentive package for Dole that made the expansion possible.

"That enables the company to do this $9.5 million project in Springfield as well as add 140 jobs," McDorman said.

Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall is now under new management, and city officials are hoping the change will give the shopping center a new lease on life.

Wells Fargo Bank initiated court action against the Upper Valley Mall and the Simon Management Associates in June seeking to have it placed in receivership. The bank claimed Simon defaulted on a $47 million loan.

The mall opened in 1971, and Horton Hobbs with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, believes for the most part, the Simon Group did a good job of running it.

The Springfield Champion City Kings dedicated a new scoreboard Thursday night
Wayne Baker / WYSO

Springfield's collegiate summer baseball franchise, the Champion City Kings, will conclude its inaugural season next week. The team has made a good impression so far on fans and city officials.

Last night was a good example of the team's progress: The Kings unveiled a brand new $200,000 video scoreboard prior to their game against the Richmond River Rats. The scoreboard is 34 feet tall and features an 11-foot-high video monitor.

Enon-based Speedway announced this morning that it is expanding operations. The company is estimating that the expansion will bring over 300 new jobs to Clark County over a three year period.

Mike McDorman, president of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, indicated that Speedway's expansion plans include buying an office building in Springfield’s NextEdge Applied Research and Technology Park, while also investing $9 million in its current headquarters.

Governor John Kasich released his $63 billion budget plan on Monday. The plan, which the governor is calling Jobs Budget 2.0 is set to have a profound effect on Springfield's economy. 

Governor Kasich has proposed $1.4 billion in tax cuts over the next three years and $3 billion in sales tax revenues over the next two years.

Kasich wants to reduce the tax rate on most small businesses by 50 percent and cut the income tax rate by 20 percent over three years.The sales tax rate will also drop from 5.5 to 5 percent.

Two new companies are coming to Springfield, one is an insurance firm and the other sells gift items.  Between the two of them, hundreds of the jobs could be coming to Clark County.  That's why the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, along with the Workforce Development Center, is holding a job fair tomorrorw to connect job seekers with employers.

With an 8.9% unemployment rate, Springfield's lackluster economy has made it hard to fine a job. But the situation is changing thanks to the arrival of 31 Gifts and Code Blue, and the growth isn't limited to these companies.