an affiliate of SPAR
Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA) works to:
- Promote civic pride and awareness of Springfield’s assets, particularly those of the business community, through marketing, fundraising and cultural participation;
- Recruits professionals and business owners to open offices and retail establishments in our area to provide a greater range of goods and services and job opportunities;
- Collaborates with other neighborhood organizations and government agencies on projects designed to enhance the quality of life in our business district and surrounding neighborhoods; and
- Offers educational and networking opportunities to member businesses.
Connect with SAMBA
Click here for the SAMBA membership directory
SAMBA Accomplishments & Goals
Since the inception of the Facade Grant program in 2017, $5,240 in grants have be dispersed to seven Springfield businesses.
SAMBA works with local governmental agencies to provide beautification and pedestrian upgrades to the neighborhood; including improvements to crosswalks, plantings in tree wells and on Main Street medians, more trash cans on Main Street, electrical improvements on Main Street, and Sesquicentennial branded banners for Main Street and 8th Street.
We’ve had a lot of growth in the last 2 years! In 2017 we had an average of 12 attendees at our meetings, and in 2018 we grew to an average of 24 attendees.
Membership has grown from no regular dues paying members in 2017, to 72 members as of 3/20/19.
We had a wonderful collective of speakers at our 2018 SAMBA meetings, including:
- Jacksonville SCORE – how to enhance your business
- VyStar representatives – business lending, grants, SBA 504
- JEA Urban Forester Joe Anderson – street tree care
- Bonnie Upright, APR – social media and communications for businesses
- Kate Mitura, Visit Jacksonville – tourism industry in Jacksonville
- RouxArt- studio tour and art possibilities available to commercial properties
We have reached out to local publications that are willing to offer a group page for local Springfield businesses, and have had representatives from those publications at SAMBA meetings so businesses can have a one-on-one opportunity to discuss advertising options.
We created the “You Belong Here” poster campaign in 2018. These posters help to spread a message of inclusivity in the Springfield neighborhood and were given to local businesses to display in the store windows.
SAMBA works with Visit Jacksonville to keep the Springfield neighborhood page updated with new content on at least a quarterly basis. We also share additional opportunities through Visit Jacksonville with our members.
We coordinated a collaboration between Springfield breweries and Aardwolf Brewing Company and Intuition Ale works to create a special beer for the Sesquicentennial. Through our partnership with Champion Brands, we will be hosting pop-up events throughout Northeast Florida in 2019 for this beer. This will be giving the Springfield breweries significant additional exposure for their brands and build awareness of Springfield.
We have given tours of Springfield to Visit Jacksonville staff and the Florida Blue Foundation staff; with additional company outings planned for 2019. The purpose of these tours is to highlight the revitalization of Springfield, with a focus on our commercial corridors.
We are generally one of the first points of contact for businesses who are interested in opening in Springfield. From meeting with business owners to discuss neighborhood needs, logistics, and playing “match maker” with commercial property owners; we are a valued resource for new business owners. We also have ongoing discussions with developers about Springfield neighborhood needs; and have had multiple meetings about potential grocery stores and gas stations coming to the neighborhood. We are also a resource for established businesses, and have helped find sponsors, vendors, musicians, and volunteers for events hosted by Springfield businesses.
SAMBA has worked to coordinate meetings between our Councilman and city departments when businesses have had issues with opening.
SAMBA members can add four events per month to the Historic Springfield Community Calendar.
SAMBA shares relevant posts on our social media pages.
Our goals for 2019 include a SAMBA website!
- $50/year - General Member
Invited to meetings, receive newsletters and updates, able to vote during meetings
- $100/year - Associate Member
All General Member benefits, plus: business included in directory, business links on website, inclusion in SAMBA sponsored events
- $250/year - Executive Member
All Associate Member benefits, plus: 1 SPAR household membership ($40 value), 2 tickets to the Springfield Tour of Homes ($20 value), PorchFest Friend ($75 value), and the ability to attend Jax Chamber events on behalf of SAMBA.
Make a donation below at your desired level of SAMBA membership.