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New Magazine to Showcase 417-Area Businesses Announced

A bi-monthly magazine for local businesses to showcase their success will launch this fall. Gary Whitaker, president of Whitaker Publishing and publisher of 417 Magazine, on Thursday announced the launch of Biz 417.

Whitaker calls the publication “networking in print,” or a place to meet area business personalities, become inspired by their successes and learn from their mistakes.

During Thursday’s launch at the eFactory in Springfield, officials unveiled the Biz 417 website and social media accounts. The first issue is the November issue, which will debut on October 28.  Its inaugural subscription will feature six issues.

“Biz 417 is a magazine dedicated to local business success stories and positive lessons that can be glean from failure,” Whitaker stated in a video.

Whitaker is known for publishing 417 Magazine, 417 Home, and 417 Bride. The goal of Biz 417 is to give future business leaders a chance to be inspired and network with business entrepreneurs and professionals in southwest Missouri.

Speaking to KSMU, Whitaker stated, “Let’s identify who the next generation of business leaders are and feature them in the magazine and give them credit and give them a spotlight and give them a voice.”

The planning of Biz 417 began August 2014 after 417 Magazine published a cover story called “Generation Next”. The magazine featured about 15 young people who were following the footsteps of the owners of the company they worked for.

Credit Khadijah Forrest, KSMU
Gary Whitaker and Missouri State's President Clif Smart

“When we did that story we got a lot of feedback,” explained Whitaker. “There’s this whole sea change of business leadership in Springfield and as the baby boomers move on, who is it that’s moving up?”

Whitaker also explained the difference between 417 Magazine and Biz 417.

He said, “417 has a brand of being a place people go to find out what’s best about living here.” As for Biz 417, Whitaker said, “This magazine is similar and it’s pointing to what’s best about doing business here.”

During Thursday’s launch event, Whitaker presented a check for $20,000 to Missouri State University President Clif Smart in support of the eFactory.

Readers can subscribe to Biz 417 through its website and also for a chance to be listed on a page as the business magazine’s founding subscribers.