News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Little things lead to big things–Maybe a New Restaurant Coming to Town?

clock July 20, 2011 12:11 by author Jeff Quibell

Maid-Rite restaurantLocation, location, location. We’ve all heard how the right location can make or break a business. So, how does a new business choose where to locate? How does it decide if a city has the right demographic mix to make a business successful? In reality, every situation is different, with a variety of issues to evaluate prior to making any commitments.

As a City Council member, I am always looking for opportunities for the residents of our city. As my wife Wanda and I travel the country, we enjoy dining at new and different restaurants. When we discover a restaurant I think it might be a good business to have in Blue Springs, I simply ask for corporate information and contact their home office to let them know about our great city. Frustratingly, most of the contacts never bear fruit, yet I believe it’s important to continue to try. You never know when a great opportunity may come along.

Recently, an opportunity came to me in an unusual way. Many of you know that I am an active user of a smartphone application called FourSquare.  FourSquare allows you to “check-in” and let your friends know where you are. One feature of this application is to publish your check-ins on Twitter. Twitter is an Internet service that shares 140 character “tweets” with anyone who is out there watching.

Here is where the story begins: Growing up, my parents and I frequently traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to visit family. Along the way, we always stopped at Taylor’s Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, Iowa, to have a Maid-Rite sandwich. If you are unfamiliar with Maid-Rites, you’re missing something wonderful. They may very well be one of the healthiest hamburgers you can eat. Frankly, healthy has nothing to do with it. They are just great.

On a recent drive down I-35, I noticed a sign for a Maid-Rite store along the highway and couldn’t resist. I pulled in and we had a couple of Maid-Rites. Like always, I “checked in” and sat down for dinner. By the time we were back in Blue Springs, I had a tweet from Maid-Rite Corporation thanking me for dining at one of its restaurants. I tweeted back “you’re welcome” and suggested the company locate a store in Blue Springs and provided contact information for the city.

Imagine my surprise when this week’s council packet contained information regarding negotiation for locating a Maid-Rite in Blue Springs. It is seeking a franchise owner to run a Maid-Rite store in our city!

In a struggling economy, with more people looking for work than the number of jobs available, entrepreneurship flourishes. Somewhere in Blue Springs, someone willing and eager to start their own business may be waiting, eager to provide work for themselves, their family and friends. This is an opportunity looking for a connection. If this sounds like the business you are looking for, contact Tania Burt, executive vice president of Maid Rite Corporation at 515-276-5448. She can help you explore the possibility.

Entrepreneurship and small business is the foundation of our economy. Many believe the best solutions to our economic troubles will rise from our entrepreneurial spirit. Could a simple “check-in” actually create jobs for our city? Stranger things have happened.


Progress coming in Blue Springs

clock April 14, 2011 00:11 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @300 ResAnother election day has come and gone, and the voters of Blue Springs have spoken. I am honored to once again represent District 1 residents as their voice on the city council. I will continue to provide information and updates on issues of concern to the residents of Blue Springs through my newsletters on www.AboutBlueSprings.com and articles in our local newspapers. As we work together to make our city the best it can possibly be, interaction and discussion with the citizens is crucial. Please share your thoughts with me; 816-223-2865 or jeffq@cprosinc.com.

I am eager to work with the Mayor and other members of the Council. Significant effort will be required to realize the vision of Missouri Innovation Park, the revitalization of our downtown area and the continued redevelopment on MO-7Hwy and US-40 Hwy. Progress, at times, seems painfully slow. However, I believe that we are moving deliberately and conscientiously forward in the direction of our goals for Blue Springs.

The plan for the expansion and upgrade to the Woods Chapel corridor now includes a 3 million dollar grant that will extend the road improvements from Duncan Road just North of I-70 south to Walnut Street, just past Old Mill Park. The timeline for full completion of this critical project extends into 2013, and includes significant enhancements to the corridor that will encourage quality development of this gateway into our city. We are all anxious to see this project advance as quickly as possible.

In future articles, I will address these and many other issues that are facing the city, along with items of interest as they arise. Thank you for the wonderful support over the years and for the opportunity to again be of service to the citizens of Blue Springs!


Always Leave Your Campsite Just a Little Better Than How You Found It–Remember to Vote on April 5th

clock March 25, 2011 11:06 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 Res“Always leave your campsite just a little better than how you found it.” Adult Scout leaders often shared this fundamental principal with my scout troop. As I completed the requirements for Eagle Scout, it became a foundation for my beliefs and goals as an adult and later as an elected official.

I have visited thousands of homes in Blue Springs and have found residents very consistent in their expectations. They want their elected officials to find ways to make our city just a little better than how they found it. This basic philosophy of improvement is important to the long-term health of our community, and I feel very strongly that it is important for our elected officials to pursue such a worthy goal.

This year, residents are sharing with me their excitement about new shopping and dining opportunities that have come to our city, but they are concerned about the economy and looking to our elected officials, both locally and nationally, to find solutions. They are looking for a return to prosperity in the housing industry, and especially interested in insuring that the housing provided for our citizens is of high quality and yet affordably priced. The hope for older businesses to update their facilities and empty buildings to be better utilized continues, while recognizing that progress has been made in this area, there remains much to be done.

Missouri Innovation Park continues to move forward with small steps of accomplishment. I am committed to assisting with the facilitation of this project and to the quality jobs that will come as a result of its success. With new business and new employees, increased demand for housing and increased revenue for existing business will result in a stronger economy for our city.

Current city policy prevents or limits the renovation of many existing business facilities in Blue Springs. Many years ago, zoning policies were enacted that designated the location of specific industries within certain business corridors; car dealerships placed along the Outer Road, as an example. The unintended consequence of those policies is that existing businesses are prevented or limited in their options to improve their buildings when their location is inconsistent with existing zoning. Fixing the problem will require revised policies that will allow existing businesses to improve their properties, while still requiring new businesses to locate in the appropriate corridors of the city. This is a beginning step in the necessary process of addressing the blight and vacant buildings, and will show support and appreciation of the existing businesses that have sustained our community for many years.

I am excited about the opportunity to assist in finding solutions to all of the issues facing our city. Please remember to vote on April 5th. I will work hard to make our city better than it is today.


Free Business Seminars at Mizzou Center in Blue Springs

clock October 17, 2010 11:17 by author Jeff Quibell

Information & Learning at

MIZZOU CENTER

1600 NE CORONADO DRIVE * BLUE SPRINGS, MO 64015 * (573) 884-0282

FALL 2010 SEMINAR SCHEDULE

Charting the Path to Improved Performance

Every organization wants to improve its performance, but finding the right path can be expensive and time consuming. This session will introduce you to the Performance Pyramid, a model and set of tools that cuts costs, saves time and charts your path to improved performance.

Presented by: John Wedman - Professor & Director, University of Missouri

c October 15, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

Business Intelligence for Free: Clients, Competitors & Suppliers

Learn to make informed decisions by using the business information offered free through your local public libraries. This session will highlight the ReferenceUSA database to find sales prospects, competitors and suppliers for your company. The MidContinent Public Library resources will be featured.

Presented by: Chris Le Beau - Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Missouri

c October 22, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

What do your website users REALLY want?

Do you know if your website is producing the expected results? Learn the steps your organization can take to ensure the best website user experience. Apply website usability testing techniques and explore advanced methods for more comprehensive usability evaluation.

Presented by: Sanda Erdelez - Associate Professor, University of Missouri

c October 29, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

Leading from the Sidelines: Essential Coaching Skills

The coaching process is central to performance management. By creating the appropriate climate, environment, and context to empower individuals and teams, great coaches are able to achieve extraordinary results. This professional development workshop examines the coaching process and provides many tools and techniques to help shape your employees’ behavior on the job.

Presented by: Dewey Thompson - Business Trainer and Consultant, The Missouri Training Institute

c November 5, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

Cultivating Trust

High-performance organizations are built on a foundation of trust. Vital leadership skills include personal strategies to strengthen trust at work and ways to overcome common trust traps. This session builds awareness of barriers to trust and strategies to cultivate trust, helping leaders create an environment in which people take risks, identify and solve problems and work together. We’ll provide you with hands-on, proven strategies for building trust in the workplace

Presented by: Rea Lee - Business Trainer and Consultant, Missouri Training Institute

c November 12, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

People Power: Winning Through HR

Are employees your greatest asset? Are your employees engaged and committed to the success of your organization? The ultimate goal of the Human Resources function is to ensure that the right people are in the right positions and the organizational systems allow for employees to contribute fully to the accomplishment of the organizations goals. In this session, we’ll discuss how to shape your organizational culture, create systems for empowering employees, and align HR and organizational strategies for a cohesive approach to managing human capital.

Presented by: Gay Albright - Director of Business Development, The Missouri Training Institute

c December 3, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

Strategic Planning

An organization’s competitive advantage starts with its strategic plan. By deciding where you want to go and how you want to get there you can engage stakeholders to move towards the common mission, values, and goals of your organization. This session will explore the purpose and value of strategic planning, identify the steps in the strategic planning process, and provide you with the tools you need to effectively develop and/or leverage a strategic plan for your organization.

Presented by: Alan St. John - Director of the Missouri Training Institute

c December 10, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

FREE BUSINESS SEMINARS OFFERED BY:

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies

Missouri Training Institute

Sponsored by: Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

Registration Required: http://innovations.missouri.edu/MizzouCenter/

Need Info? Contact: Andrea Smolanovich - smolanovicha@missouri.edu -

(573) 884-0282


Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

clock September 3, 2010 12:21 by author Jeff Quibell

- PRESS RELEASE -

Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

 
 

Blue Springs, MO- Sept 3, 2010-

For more information, contact:

Ann Judd

Blue Springs EDC

816-228-0210

ajudd@bluespringsedc.com

 

Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

The following video story was aired on Kansas City's Fox4News on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

BLUE SPRINGS, MO - More students are looking to stay closer to home to further their education, and as a result the University of Missouri is bringing a unique program to the metro area as specialized graduate classes are now underway at the new Mizzou Center in Blue Springs.
FOX 4's John Pepitone is Working for You with the report.

Click on the following image:

For more information about The Mizzou Center and/or the Missouri Innovation Park, checkout our website at www.bluespringsedc.com/innovation.aspx.

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Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014

www.ThinkBlueSprings.com

   
 

Blue Springs EDC | 1600 NE Coronado Drive | Blue Springs | MO | 64014


Much to see and savor across U.S.

clock July 21, 2010 09:27 by author Jeff Quibell

New Theatre 001 The past few weeks have been an adventure, one that I have dreamed of for 30 years. Last summer we purchased a Gold Wing motorcycle from Dell’s Powersports, setting the stage for a touring vacation.

We spent 12 glorious days exploring North and South Dakota, culminating in the Smidt family reunion in White, S.D. My two great aunts, 96 and 101 years young, along with many members of my maternal grandfather’s family, enjoyed a great reunion. Our travels took us to the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, Spearfish Canyon, Standing Rock Indian Reservation, the Corn Palace, Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Homestead and Pageant, and the cities of Brookings and White. What a truly remarkable country we live in!

When we arrived in Brookings, a city of about 20,000, we spent a little time seeing the sights and discovering hidden treasures. Tree-lined streets with sidewalks set far back from the right of way enhanced the walk-ability and attractiveness of the community. Their downtown is vibrant and focused on local business, dining, and entertainment. Like many cities along an interstate highway, their business community also included national chain stores and restaurants at their interchanges. Similar to Blue Springs, Brookings has its own economic development corporation collaborating with the city to achieve balance, as it pursues opportunities for growth and development.

Blue Springs was again recently honored by Money magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live,” ranking us 49th out of a total 100 cities honored. Our low cost of living, nationally recognized schools and low tax rates helped us stand out among the 746 cities considered for recognition.

It is a blessing to live in one of the best cities in America, but that blessing requires commitment from our residents and our elected leaders. One of our long-standing challenges is the revitalization of our downtown. The city has adopted a blueprint for that revitalization that will allow our downtown to grow to a size that is appropriate in relationship to our current population. Our downtown business owners, city government and Chamber of Commerce continue to work hard to provide and promote events that encourage residents and visitors to the downtown area. These events help to generate the synergy necessary to make our downtown thrive.

By working together, we have the ability to make this happen. There are those in our community with the available resources to bring more business opportunities into our downtown. However, they need the confidence that we will support those businesses once they open their doors. We need to focus on local innovation and creating a unique mix of businesses that will make our downtown a destination for residents and visitors alike.


Mizzou Center Opens in Blue Springs

clock May 19, 2010 10:41 by author Jeff Quibell

Tuesday May 18, 2010 marked the opening of the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs as a part of Missouri Innovation Park.

 

image EDC Meetings 005

 


Economic group pushes ahead

clock May 19, 2010 10:32 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 When I began my term on the City Council in 2005, I quickly discovered I had a lot to learn about many diverse subjects. The Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation was just beginning to take shape, and one of the most challenging issues we faced at that time was how to improve the economic development environment in Blue Springs, effectively and efficiently.

The city examined ways to shift the function of economic development from a city department into a public/private partnership that would engage the business community. Business and development leaders worked collaboratively with city staff and elected officials to focus on finding solutions to the issues that were holding back our city.

As the EDC officially structured its organization, private businesses became investing partners by pledging financial support and leadership resources. Founding members included business leaders from all over the area. A complete listing of the current investors of the Blue Springs EDC is available at http://bit.ly/bsedcinvestors.

Wanda and I discussed the opportunity of investing and decided to make a three-year commitment to the organization through our company, CPros. We have since renewed our investment for a second three-year commitment, in support of the EDC and recognition of the success it is achieving as our city restores the focus on positive development, and the quality of life in our city continues to improve.

My business, CPros, is a local company, but over the years, I have learned that my business is not easy to understand. CPros was begun in 1987 by Glenn Beasley, providing custom computer programs for businesses. I joined Glenn in 1994, and our mission has always been to help businesses increase their profitability through computer automation. For example, if you take a music lesson or rent an instrument from Meyer Music, our software helps them manage that process. If Ryan Lawn & Tree takes care of your yard, our software creates the invoices you receive.

CPros expanded about 10 years ago, adding computer network-support options for our customers. We maintain computers and networks for small- to medium-sized businesses, serving as an IT department. We also sell computers, including desktop systems and servers.

Mayor Ross has appointed me to serve on the EDC board of directors, as a representative of the city. As a local public/private partnership, there is always the possibility of conflicts of interest when serving in such a capacity, and I feel it is important that I disclose my company’s affiliation with the EDC. CPros provides technical support and maintains the EDC’s computer network. I take my representation of the city very seriously and will recuse myself from any discussion or vote that might involve my company’s service to the EDC or any conflict that may arise from our business relationship. I appreciate the opportunity to represent our city in this capacity and for Mayor Ross for appointing me to serve on this board.


BSEDC WELCOMES MIZZOU TO BLUE SPRINGS

clock March 28, 2010 12:07 by author Jeff Quibell

- PRESS RELEASE -

Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

 
 

Blue Springs, MO - March 26, 2010 -

For more information, contact:

Brad Scott

816-590-0264

bradscott@embarqmail.com

 

BSEDC WELCOMES MIZZOU TO BLUE SPRINGS

The University of Missouri at Columbia (Mizzou) has signed a lease agreement for space at the Heartland Financial Building in Blue Springs.  The space will provide for a base of operations that will enable Missouri's flagship research institution to provide support for area research initiatives, outreach services, student recruitment and alumni support.  This initial lease is a pre-cursor to a sought after permanent presence in western Missouri in a dedicated facility, the Mizzou Center.

Steve Wyatt (left), Vice Provost of Economic Development from MU, announces lease agreement at Blue Springs EDC Investor's Mtg, 3/26/2010

Mayor Carson Ross said, "We are very pleased with the decision of the Mizzou officials.  Their decision to lease space at the Heartland Financial Building at MIP is evidence of their conviction to have a greater presence in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We have a shared and complementary vision for the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP) and we plan to partner closely as we see our vision become a reality."

Bill Wrisinger, Chairman of the Blue Springs Growth Initiative (BSGI), said, "Plans for development of the MIP will move forward.  Our land use plan and financial planning will continue as we work to accommodate Mizzou's prospective needs and the needs of other interested tenants.  Mizzou's intention to locate an "advance team" in Blue Springs affords BSGI the time needed to execute a land-use plan and to recruit other prospective tenants."

Brien Starner, President, Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation stated, "Blue Springs and Mizzou officials plan to move forward together to identify opportunities to aid new and existing companies in meeting their research and commercialization needs. We hope to identify those with whom we can partner and those who may be interested in supporting the Mizzou Center or the MIP financially.  Mizzou has affirmed our vision and we have forged a partnership that will bear fruit for both Mizzou and MIP."

Mayor Ross added, "It is no secret that our State Government is experiencing challenging economic times.  Far from retreating in the face of these challenges, Mizzou is making a courageous and strategic decision to invest in the future of Mizzou and of the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We appreciate their confidence in MIP and their commitment to our partnership."

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To view MU's Press Release, click MU Press Release_03-26-10

 

Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014

www.ThinkBlueSprings.com