TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N TA R I O / TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N...
Acknowledgements                      This BR+E Resource Manual is based on materials originally developed by the followin...
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS              BR+E Ontario gratefully appreciates the assistance provided by the organizations             ...
by the University of Minnesota and certified by Business Retention and                                                    ...
TABLE OF CONTENTS                BR+E Introduction ............................................................... 1      ...
Appendix 18   Guidelines for Volunteer Visitors.................................................. 89                      ...
BR+E INTRODUCTION               INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION:               THE BR+E PROGRAM          ...
Benefits of the BR+E Approach                                                                    The overall goal of visit...
YES to all three?        Your community is ready for BR+E. You may also wish to use Appendix 3,        the Community-readi...
ingenuity in addressing business concerns together. The booklet Working with                                              ...
another community. Your community may also have specific local concerns, e.g.,      tourism issues or downtown revitalizat...
BR+E PROCESS                                                                                  A BR+E project should involv...
KEY PLAYERS                                  A BR+E project involves five key players or groups that work together to make...
• Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator — organizes response to urgent                                                       ...
Key Players’ Roles, Responsibilities and Duties                                                                           ...
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E  10                                                                       ...
Leadership Team Roles, Responsibilities and Duties                                                                        ...
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E  12                                                                       ...
Red-flag and                                                                                                          Visi...
BR+E FOUR-STAGE PROCESS                                                                                    This section is...
• Some examples include:                                     – A strong volunteer force capable of sustaining the effort (...
The Task Force                                                                                     • The Task Force should...
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Business Retention and Expansion Manual
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Business Retention and Expansion Manual

  1. 1. TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N TA R I O / TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N TA R I O/ T A K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N T A R I O T A K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N T A R I O /BR+E BR+E Resource ManualT A K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N T A R I O / / T A K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N T A R I O TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N TA R I O / TA K I N G C A R E O F B U S I N E S S I N RU R A L O N TA R I O
  2. 2. Acknowledgements This BR+E Resource Manual is based on materials originally developed by the following organizations: Business Retention and Expansion International University of Minnesota Extension Service Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development United States Department of Agriculture West Virginia University There are sections of the manual that cannot be reproduced outside Ontario without written permission from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural DevelopmentISBN 0-7794-0190-5 (English edition)Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) = Maintien et Expansion des Entreprises (M+EE) Tool Kit© BR+E Ontario09/00-en-manual-250
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS BR+E Ontario gratefully appreciates the assistance provided by the organizations and individuals that contributed to the development of our Canadian resources. Our BR+E Resource Manual is based on the series of booklets entitled Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Programs (NERCRD Publication No. 72), authored by Scott Loveridge (West Virginia University) and George Morse (University of Minnesota) and published by the Northeast Center for Rural Development (7 Armsby Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA 16802, (814) 863-4656). The series includes the following five booklets: • Is It for Our Community? • Initiators Manual for Starting New BR&E Visitation Programs • Visitation Co-ordinator Manual • Local Leadership Team Manual • Using the Video to Introduce the Program and Train the Volunteers Several organizations provided financial support for the development of the concepts in this series, the research to test these ideas, or workshops to disseminate the information: North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Western Rural Development Center, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Southern Rural Development Center, The Ohio Cooperative Extension Service, West Virginia University Extension Service, The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, USDA Extension Service, and Farm Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Programs of the regional rural development centres are available equally to all people, and materials are provided on an at-cost or no-cost basis. We are grateful to the Northeast Center for permission to quote and paraphrase these materials. However, because numerous adaptations have been made from the original booklets, the BR+E Ontario authors take responsibility for the final edition. If you are serving as a BREI certified Consultant, we encourage you to obtain a copy of the original booklets from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, which will serve as an excellent additional resource. Writers and editors of the BR+E Ontario manual include: Selena Hazlitt Chuck Bokor Clare Wastenays Harold Flaming Stuart Budd Bea Gosselin Susan Leuty Mary Ellen Norry Car Jane Muegge Norman Ragetlie Brita Ball R. Jane Cunningham Eric Lawlor Pat Parent We would also like to acknowledge and thank Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) and the University of Minnesota for collaborating with us on the development of the BR+E Consultant Certification Course copyrighted BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  4. 4. by the University of Minnesota and certified by Business Retention and Expansion International. For additional information on BREI, see their web site at www.brei.org. None of the Resources for BR+E Ontario would have been possible without the contribution of a number of partners: Government of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Ministry of Environment Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Government of Canada Industry Canada/FedNor Human Resources Development Canada Canadian Rural PartnershipTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  5. 5. TABLE OF CONTENTS BR+E Introduction ............................................................... 1 Introduction To Business Retention And Expansion: The BR+E Program ................................................................................................ 1 Is Our Community Ready For BR+E? ................................................................... 2 Getting Started ........................................................................................................ 3 Using The BR+E Resource Manual ........................................................................ 4 BR+E Process ...................................................................... 6 BR+E Four-stage Process ........................................................................................ 6 Key Players .............................................................................................................. 7 Key Players’ Roles, Responsibilities and Duties ........................................................ 9 Leadership Team Roles, Responsibilities and Duties .............................................. 11 BR+E Four-stage Process .................................................... 14 STAGE 1 — Project Planning and Business Visits .................................................. 14 STAGE 2 — Immediate Followup ........................................................................ 25 STAGE 3 — Data Analysis and Recommendations ................................................ 27 STAGE 4 — Public Meetings and Implementation ................................................ 29 BR+E Resources Appendix 1 BR+E Volunteer Requirements................................................... 35 Appendix 2 BR+E Financial Costs.................................................................. 36 Appendix 3 Community-readiness Checklist ................................................... 37 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Appendix 4 Trained and Certified BR+E Consultants In Ontario ................... 44 Appendix 5 Leadership Team and Task Force Members ................................... 51 Appendix 6 BR+E Work Plan ........................................................................ 52 Appendix 7a Overall Co-ordinator Job Description .......................................... 55 Appendix 7b Visitation Co-ordinator Job Description ....................................... 57 Appendix 7c Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator Job Description .................. 59 Appendix 7d Media Co-ordinator Job Description ............................................. 61 Appendix 7e Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator Job Description .............. 63 Appendix 7f Task Force Member Job Description ............................................ 65 Appendix 7g Volunteer Visitor Job Description................................................. 67 Appendix 7h Data-entry Volunteer Job Description .......................................... 69 Appendix 8 Sample Media Releases................................................................. 70 Appendix 9 Confidentiality Contract............................................................... 76 Appendix 10 Guidelines for Sampling and Selecting Businesses ......................... 77 Appendix 11 Sources of Information ................................................................. 79 Appendix 12 BR+E Local Question Guidelines ................................................ 82 Appendix 13 List of Volunteer Visitors .............................................................. 84 Appendix 14 Volunteer Visitation Team Assignments........................................ 85 Appendix 15 Volunteer Visitors’ Training Invitation ......................................... 86 Appendix 16 Volunteer Visitors’ Training Agenda.............................................. 87 Appendix 17 Tips for Preparing Volunteer Visitors’ Packages ............................ 88 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL i
  6. 6. Appendix 18 Guidelines for Volunteer Visitors.................................................. 89 Appendix 19 Guidelines for Using the BR+E Survey......................................... 91 Appendix 20 Volunteer Followup Suggestions .................................................. 96 Appendix 21 Volunteer Thank-you Letter ........................................................ 97 Appendix 22 "Red-flag" Worksheet.................................................................. 98 Appendix 23 "Red-flag" Followup Activity..................................................... 100 Appendix 24 Letter to Businesses..................................................................... 101 Appendix 25 Business Thank-you Letter ......................................................... 103 Appendix 26 BR+E Data Analysis .................................................................. 104 Appendix 27 Agenda for Task Force Retreat................................................... 109 Appendix 28 BR+E Action-planning Guidelines ............................................ 110 Appendix 29 BR+E Action–planning Worksheet............................................ 115 Appendix 30 Agenda for Initial Public Meeting............................................... 116 Appendix 31 Final Report............................................................................... 117 Appendix 32 Evaluation Guide........................................................................ 118TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E ii BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  7. 7. BR+E INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION: THE BR+E PROGRAM Business development and job creation are key factors in developing healthy and vibrant communities. Depending on the characteristics of your community’s economy, anywhere from 40 to 90 per cent of new jobs come from existing businesses. Traditionally, municipal officials, economic development officers, representatives of Chambers of Commerce or Boards of Trade, and others have visited business people to hear their concerns, and then addressed the issues facing the business community. Another approach some communities use is to hire Consultants to systematically survey businesses and prepare reports based on the findings. The BR+E approach is different. What is BR+E? BR+E takes the best of both approaches to create an even better one. This approach combines the initiative of community business visits with a systematic interview process, using community leaders and other citizens to make it work. This combination is the real secret to effective and well-managed economic development that leads to increased economic opportunities and improved quality of life in a community. The combination builds wealth and human capacity. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) is an action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities learn about issues and concerns of, as well as opportunities for, local businesses and set priorities for projects to address these needs. Ultimately, communities will have greater success in attracting new business if existing businesses are content with local economic conditions and community support. Community-based, Volunteer-driven BR+E is community-based because it involves a variety of people who bring experience from all sectors. It is a multi-stakeholder process that can build the commitment needed from a variety of community organizations to implement action plans. Broad citizen participation is a key first step for future community- based initiatives. BR+E is volunteer-driven because key roles are played primarily by people who volunteer their time. In other instances employers allow BR+E volunteers time during work hours to be involved in the project. Business visits are completed by teams of community members who are trained before interviewing business people. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 1
  8. 8. Benefits of the BR+E Approach The overall goal of visiting community businesses is to identify needs and concerns that enable businesses to retain or create jobs. BR+E provides a number of additional benefits, including • lower direct costs for systematic business visitations due to the donation of goods and services from community supporters and time from volunteers; • citizen support for the recommendations and actions they helped create; • increased citizen awareness of business concerns and broader economic development issues; • increased community capacity and enthusiasm to take on future economic development projects. Short-term BR+E Objectives • Provide community support for local business and improve profitability • Identify and address immediate concerns of individual business • Let local businesses know how much they are valued in the community Long-term BR+E Objectives • Increase the competitiveness of local businesses • Establish and implement a strategic action plan for economic development • Promote business development and job creationTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E IS OUR COMMUNITY READY FOR BR+E? Every community is different and will approach community economic development with a different combination of strengths and assets. As a guide for groups that are considering BR+E, we offer the following three “readiness criteria” as a starting point. Answer These Three Questions 1. Do we have a core group of four to six community members who understand and believe in the concepts of the Business Retention and Expansion program and who are willing to commit the time and energy needed to champion the community BR+E project? (see Appendix 1 — BR+E Volunteer Requirements) 2. Do we have an established volunteer base with the ability, willingness, and time to become active participants on the BR+E Task Force? (see Appendix 1 — BR+E Volunteer Requirements) 3. Do we have adequate financial resources to carry out a BR+E project? (see Appendix 2 — BR+E Financial Costs) 2 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  9. 9. YES to all three? Your community is ready for BR+E. You may also wish to use Appendix 3, the Community-readiness Checklist, to give more thoughtful consideration to the first two questions. NO to one or more? Your community probably needs a bit more preparation before taking on a project as demanding as BR+E. Appendix 3, Community-readiness Checklist, may help you to pinpoint more specific areas that need strengthening. NOT sure or need more information? If you are not already in contact with a BR+E Consultant, contact one now. See Appendix 4 for a list of trained and certified Consultants in your area. GETTING STARTED The BR+E Tool Kit The BR+E tool kit contains all the resources to guide you through a BR+E project. The kit includes a BR+E resource manual, a video, a CD-ROM and many other resources. BR+E Video TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Watch the video first! This will give you the overall picture of the BR+E process and will make the other resources easier to use. BR+E Resource Manual The BR+E resource manual is the map to the BR+E process. Fifteen steps are outlined in detail along with appropriate resources to help your community plan and implement a successful BR+E project. BR+E CD-ROM The CD-ROM contains the survey and the Ontario-developed database program with a User Guide that is critical to the collection and analysis of the data that you will collect in your community. The CD-ROM also contains electronic versions of the resource manual and all the resources. Supporting Resources A BR+E project will not work without the leadership and support of a host of individuals in the community. Without the dedication and commitment of many volunteers, this community initiative will not be possible. The BR+E project relies on people—their hard work, their ability to work together, and theirBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 3
  10. 10. ingenuity in addressing business concerns together. The booklet Working with People contains ideas, tools, and techniques to support the people involved in the local BR+E project. This focus on the “people aspect” of the project will help the Leadership Team, the Task Force, and the Volunteer Visitation Teams achieve their objectives. As the BR+E project in your community progresses, remember to stand back and reflect upon what you have accomplished. By documenting and assessing your work, you will be able to learn from your experience and to assess what worked and what didn’t in order to improve your BR+E activities in the future. The booklet BR+E Evaluation Guidelines for Communities will help your community develop tracking and reporting systems that document your progress with BR+E, plan a long-term results-assessment strategy, and communicate your results to the community. BR+E Consultants There are over 100 BR+E Consultants in Ontario who have been trained in the BR+E process and who have been certified by BRE International (see below). Experience has shown that a Consultant familiar with BR+E is a valuable asset to a community planning a BR+E project. The BR+E Consultant is there as a coach for you and your community. Refer to Appendix 4 for a list of Ontario Consultants. BR+E Ontario BR+E Ontario has evolved since 1998 from a public-private steering committee that was formed to guide and support a number of BR+E pilot projects. TheTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E steering committee continues to play an important role in enhancing the delivery of BR+E projects, heightening the credibility of BR+E in Ontario, and educating partners, their staff, and clients. See the Ontario BR+E web site hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at http:// www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/rural/BRandE/resources.htm BRE International Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) is a nonprofit, professional association of economic development professionals who are working for the advancement of business retention and expansion as an economic development strategy for communities. Visit the BREI web site at www.brei.org USING THE BR+E RESOURCE MANUAL The BR+E Resource Manual is designed as a guide for communities undertaking a BR+E project. Four stages and 15 steps are clearly outlined; however, these stages and steps will not produce the same product every time. Every community is different and has its own history, assets and mix of people, organizations, and values. What works well in one community could be much less successful in 4 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  11. 11. another community. Your community may also have specific local concerns, e.g., tourism issues or downtown revitalization, which could focus your BR+E program quite differently than in another community. The BR+E process has been developed over time and represents a successful tool for community economic development. BR+E has been tried and tested in many communities. Each of the steps is important, and communities should not change or eliminate any fundamental parts of the process—but, in keeping with community-development principles, BR+E is designed for flexibility. If one of the steps does not seem to fit well with what is happening in your community right now, or if the timing of some of the events would make more sense in a slightly different order, please make adjustments. It would be advisable to discuss significant changes to the process with a trained and certified BR+E Consultant. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 5
  12. 12. BR+E PROCESS A BR+E project should involve the community, demonstrate a pro-business attitude, and set priorities for community-sponsored programs that meet the needs of local businesses. To best achieve these objectives, there are four stages to BR+E. This section is based on the copyrighted series of booklets entitled Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Programs (NERCRD Publication No. 72), authored by Scott Loveridge (West Virginia University) and George Morse (University of Minnesota) and published by the Northeast Center for Rural Development. The section cannot be reproduced outside Ontario without written permission from the Northeast Center for Rural Development. BR+E FOUR-STAGE PROCESS STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 STAGE 4 Project Planning and Immediate Data Analysis and Public Meetings and Business Visits Followup Recommendations Implementation Step 1 Step 7 Step 8 Step 11 Introducing BR+E to the Immediate Action on the Data Entry Initial Public Meeting to Community “Red-flag” Issues Present Findings and RecommendationsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Step 2 Step 9 Step 12 Leadership Team and Task Force Analysis of Survey Committees to Implement Recruitment and Orientation Responses the Recommended Action Plans Step 3 Step 10 Step 13 Project Design Task Force Retreat Implementation of Action Plans Step 4 Step 14 Volunteer Visitor Recruitment Monitoring the Progress of and Training the Implementation Strategy Step 5 Step 15 Business Visits Followup Public Meetings Step 6 Review Completed Surveys for “Red-flag” Issues 6 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  13. 13. KEY PLAYERS A BR+E project involves five key players or groups that work together to make an effective community project: • Leadership Team • Task Force • Volunteer Visitation Teams • Resource Network • BR+E consultant These players, as groups or individuals, have specific roles to play in the BR+E process. All contribute to its success. The Leadership Team is the executive committee and has a central role in managing the local project on a day-to-day basis. The Leadership Team members are also members of the Task Force. The Task Force supports the Leadership Team by determining the objectives, design, and policies for the local process, assisting in responding to immediate business needs, and developing and implementing the strategic action plans. Task Force members and other volunteers pair up to create Visitation Teams that interview the businesses. The Resource Network comprises people from various agencies who support the project by providing information and assistance to address identified business needs. Some Resource Network members may sit on the Task Force; others may TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E be Volunteer Visitors, while others may provide advice only for specific needs. The BR+E Consultant may contract with the Leadership Team to provide information, guidance, and training through all phases of the project. Leadership Team The Leadership Team should The Leadership Team is the executive committee of the Task Force and provides comprise individuals who will ongoing project management. The Leadership Team should comprise individuals “champion” the project and who will “champion” the project and motivate others to take action so the projectmotivate others to take action. can succeed. The Team introduces and promotes the project in the community, contracts for the services of a BR+E Consultant, and co-ordinates volunteer activities, Task Force meetings, and immediate followup to the survey results. The Team should be a mix of people who are representative of the community. Because each community is unique, Leadership Teams will differ. However, there are a number of important tasks that are common to successful BR+E projects. The following is a list of volunteer positions on the Leadership Team: • Overall Co-ordinator — oversees entire BR+E project and serves as chair of Leadership Team. • Visitation Co-ordinator — organizes Volunteer Visitation Teams and arranges business visits. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 7
  14. 14. • Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator — organizes response to urgent businesses concerns and requests for information. • Media Co-ordinator — communicates the progress and results of the BR+E project to the public. • Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator — oversees data analysis and co- ordinates Task Force Retreat to review survey findings. The Task Force is a broad-based group of community leaders. It should include, where appropriate, representatives of local economic development committees, Community Development Corporations, Chambers of Commerce, local government, financial institutions, relevant federal and provincial representatives, area utilities, education officials, and other respected and influential community leaders. Depending on the diversity of organizations in the community, the Task Force should range in size from 15 to 30 members. Volunteer Visitation Teams consist of two people per team who visit two to four businesses. These teams may comprise Task Force members, educators, business people, retirees, accountants, bankers, youth, etc. All volunteers should be enthusiastic about the local BR+E project and must understand and respect the confidentiality of the information gathered. The Resource Network is a group of people from various agencies that may provide useful information or assistance to businesses. Prompt and effective followup is crucial to the success of BR+E. People in the Resource Network should be able to respond to issues, concerns, and opportunities identified in the business surveys.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E The Resource Network must be in place before starting the business visitations. Its main purpose is to provide people who can provide quick action and assist by following up on “red-flag” issues. For example, a Resource Network member specializing in real estate may be able to help a business looking for a new location. In addition, people in the Resource Network may be interested and able to participate in BR+E by being members of the Task Force. The BR+E Consultant may The BR+E Consultant may work with the community through all stages of the work with the community project. BR+E Consultants may be found by contacting BR+E Ontario. through all stages of the Consultants will have completed BR+E training and understand the BR+E project. process. The Leadership Team will want to contract with the Consultant to identify how to best work together. The Consultant is a coach to the team implementing the project and may play a role in facilitating various tasks and events, depending on the needs of the community. A list of trained BREI-certified Consultants can be found in Appendix 4. The chart below outlines the main tasks, duties, and responsibilities of the key players at each stage in the BR+E process. 8 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  15. 15. Key Players’ Roles, Responsibilities and Duties Volunteer Leadership Team Task Force Visitation Teams Resource Network BR+E Consultant STAGE 1 Project Planning • Introduce and promote • Work as a team to support • Must participate in • Could consider being • Initially review BR+E concept with four and Business Visits BR+E project in the BR+E project development volunteer training members of the Task to six key community leaders community • Set overall scope, session before Force • Conduct a community-readiness • Contract with BR+E objectives, design, policies interviewing businesses assessment Consultant for project (e.g., Number of • Complete business visits • Assist Leadership Team to identify • Recruit Task Force businesses to visit, types of as jointly determined local sponsor members businesses to include, with Leadership Team • Assist in identification of Co-ordinator • Co-ordinate overall number of visitation teams, • Work with partner and within Leadership Team development of BR+E etc.) interview business people • Provide Leadership Team and Task project • Assist in securing written • Identify "red-flag" issues Force with orientation and training • Facilitate and manage endorsements from local and information requests organizations • Meet with Leadership Team to discuss BR+E work plan and • Submit completed organization and implementation of implementation of project • May take part in volunteer surveys and followup BR+E e.g., recruitment and training, on a day-to-day basis visitation training and forms to designated identification of business sector(s) to • Facilitate Volunteer business interviewing person be targeted for visits Visitor recruitment and • Advise on development of work plan training • Assist with formation of Resource • Ensure business visits Network completed • Take the lead in implementing an appropriate volunteer training session STAGE 2 Immediate • Ensure immediate • Participate in meetings to • Provide critical • Assist in facilitating appropriate Followup followup on "red-flag" handle immediate concerns information and/or responses to "red-flag" issues issues of local businesses ("red- services to address "red- • Send requests for flag" issues) flag" issues of information to businesses • Help in followup work businessesBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 9 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E
  16. 16. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 10 Volunteer Leadership Team Task Force Visitation Teams Resource Network BR+E Consultant STAGE 3 Data Analysis and • Oversee data entry and • Participate in Task Force • Provide information • Provide options for data analysis Recommendations preparation of preliminary Retreat and/or service to • Facilitate data interpretation and report • Review research results in businesses as required recommendations • Arrange for interpretation preliminary report and set • Assist Leadership Team in organizing of findings and priorities for long-term Task Force Retreat to review development of action plans preliminary report recommendations • May lead the • Facilitate Task Force Retreat • Organize and participate implementation of certain • Facilitate development and in Task Force Retreat action plans prioritization of action plans in • Ensure development of response to findings action plans • Summarize outcome of Task Force Retreat and prepare Final Report STAGE 4 Public Meetings • Host and present survey • Assist in planning initial • Participate in initial • Participate in initial • Assist in facilitating Public Meeting, if and findings and Public Meeting Public Meeting Public Meeting requested to by Leadership Team Implementation recommendations at • Participate in Public Meeting • Consider involvement in • Consider involvement in • Provide support in implementation of initial Public Meeting • Assist, as appropriate, in implementing action implementing action identified projects • Oversee establishment of implementation of plans plans plans • Assist Leadership Team to establish action plan committees • Attend quarterly progress • Provide information and implement method of identifying • Track progress of action reporting sessions for a year requested by businesses benchmarks and tracking results of plans and implementation after adopting priority carrying out action BR+E project strategy action plans plans • Provide options for documenting and • Assess results of the BR+E • Participate at future Public communicating project results to project against short-term Meetings community members and others and long-term objectives • Identify possible links with other BR+E of project (evaluation) communities to share information and • Ensure followup Public documentation Meeting held in one year Time • Overall Co-ordinator— • Total—20–30 hrs each • Total—10–12 hrs each • Varies depending on • Varies depending on needs Commitment 100+ hrs needs of community • 10–100 hrs • Other Co-ordinators—45 hrs eachBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL People Required • Generally four to six; • 15–30 with a broad range of • Depends on number of • Depends on community • one enough to share experience; varies businesses to visit; can needs responsibilities and tasks depending on community include Task Force needs members To ensure the integrity of the BR+E project, all BR+E volunteers and Consultants who have access to confidential business information will be asked to: • Sign a confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality
  17. 17. Leadership Team Roles, Responsibilities and Duties Red-flag and Visitation Resource Media Survey and Data Analysis Overall Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator STAGE 1 Project • Act as primary contact and • Identify and recruit Volunteer • Take lead role in • Establish contacts with the • Co-ordinate survey preparation Planning and possibly spokesperson for Visitors establishing a Resource media and data entry Business Visits BR+E • Identify and communicate with Network • Ensure media coverage to • Prepare local questions for survey • Dedicated to BR+E, with businesses to be visited • Prepare and gather fact introduce BR+E to the (if needed) in consultation with sufficient time to manage • Ensure appropriate number of sheets about local community the Task Force and implement activities business visits occur programs and resources • Prepare background • Co-ordinate the Leadership • Co-ordinate practice visits for for businesses information sheets to provide Team and act as chair Leadership Team members • Prepare and gather quick responses for basic • Organize recruitment of • Send introductory letters and BR+E information to promptly inquires about BR+E and local Task Force members surveys to businesses assist businesses with implementation • Co-ordinate the design/ "red-flag" issues • Prepare news releases for • See that volunteers are divided into planning of the project teams of two and assigned to visit • Accept or ensure someone media as activities are two to four businesses is assigned to accept progressing completed surveys from • Co-ordinate and host Volunteer Volunteer Visitors Visitor training • Ensure confidentiality contracts are signed by all volunteers and people working on the project for pay • Track progress of business visits and co-ordinate rescheduling as required • Mail thank-you letters to Volunteer Visitors STAGE 2 Immediate • Assist with "red-flag" • Assist with "red-flag" followup • Ensure immediate • Assist with "red-flag" • Assist with "red-flag" followup followup followup • Co-ordinate with Red-flag and followup on "red-flag" followup • Assist with information requests • Assist with information Resource Co-ordinator to mail issues • Assist with information followup requests followup thank-you letters to businesses • Organize "red-flag" review requests followup with appropriate followup by the Task Force information and resources • Assign a Task Force member to handle each immediate business concern • Co-ordinate with Visitation • Co-ordinator to mailBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL thank-you notes to businesses with appropriate followup 11 information and resources TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E
  18. 18. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 12 Red-flag and Visitation Resource Media Survey and Data Analysis Overall Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator STAGE 3 Data Analysis • Participate in Task Force • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Participate in Task Force • Ensure media coverage of • Recruit and train Data-entry and Recomm- Retreat Retreat progress in BR+E Volunteers endations • Supervise preparation of • Participate in Task Force • Ensure Data-entry Volunteers sign BR+E final report, working Retreat confidentiality contract closely with Survey and • Ensure timely, accurate data Data Analysis Co-ordinator entry • Supervise preparation of preliminary report (tabulated survey results) • Co-ordinate analysis of survey responses • If needed, identify consultant to help summarize results, identify themes, and suggest recommendations • Co-ordinate arrangements for Task Force Retreat • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Take lead role to ensure recommendations and action plans are developed • Work with Leadership Team to prepare Final Report for presentation at Public Meeting STAGE 4 Public Meetings • Host Public Meetings • Participate at initial Public Meeting • Participate at initial • Ensure media coverage of • Participate at initial Public and • Co-ordinate presentation of • Consider involvement in Public Meeting initial Public Meeting before, Meeting Implementation survey findings and implementing action plans • Consider involvement in during, and after event • Consider involvement in recommendations at initial • Participate in followup Public implementing action plans • Participate at initial Public implementing action plans Public Meeting Meetings • Participate in followup Meeting • Participate in followup Public • Track progress of action Public Meetings • Document and communicate Meetings plans and implementation ongoing project results to strategy the media and other targetBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL • Assess results of BR+E groups (e.g., municipal against short- and long- representative, other term objectives of project communities etc.) (evaluation) • Consider involvement in • Ensure documentation of implementing action plans project results • Participate in followup Public • Followup after stage 4 Meetings (e.g., quarterly meetings) • Participate in followup Public Meetings
  19. 19. Red-flag and Visitation Resource Media Survey and Data Analysis Overall Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Co-ordinator Time • 100+ hrs • 45 hrs • 45 hrs • 45 hrs • 45 hrs Commitment • More time if involved in • More time if involved in • More time if involved in • More time if involved in • More time if involved in implementation implementation implementation implementation implementation NOTE In Stage 1 all Leadership Team members: In Stages 1 to 4 all Leadership Team members: • Sign a confidentiality contract • Maintain Confidentiality • Help with recruitment of Task Force members and Volunteer • Participate in Task Force meetings Visitors • Help other team members as required • Complete practice business visits • Participate in Volunteer Visitor training and visit at least two businessesBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 13 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E
  20. 20. BR+E FOUR-STAGE PROCESS This section is based on the copyrighted series of booklets entitled Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Programs (NERCRD Publication No. 72), authored by Scott Loveridge (West Virginia University) and George Morse (University of Minnesota) and published by the Northeast Center for Rural Development. The section cannot be reproduced outside Ontario without written permission from the Northeast Center for Rural Development. STAGE 1 — Project Planning and Business Visits Step 1 Introducing BR+E To the community BR+E Consultants have BR+E Consultants have received training in the theory and practice of BR+E. received training in the theory They are available to review the BR+E concept with communities, and provide and practice of BR+E. They are assistance to local BR+E projects. See Appendix 4 for a list of Ontario Consultants. available to review the BR+E A BR+E Consultant can meet with a group of four to six key community leaders concept with communities and and citizens who have an interest in or a responsibility for economic development in provide assistance to local the community. The result of this meeting will determine the next course of action. BR+E projects. Who Should Attend the Meeting? • Chair of economic development committee or organization • Mayor or local politicianTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Local entrepreneur who is a champion for economic development • Director of Planning and Development • President or Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and/or local business association • Manager, Community Futures Development Corporation • Representatives from the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, forestry sectors, etc. Purpose of the Meeting • To assess the “readiness” of the organization and the community to be involved in the BR+E project • Have a general discussion regarding the organizational capability of the community to be involved in economic development. • Consider local commitment along with economic and leadership capability. • Review factors that communities should consider before starting BR+E. The more criteria a community meets, the more likely that BR+E will be successful. 14 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  21. 21. • Some examples include: – A strong volunteer force capable of sustaining the effort (refer to Appendix 1) – Financial capacity to fund the project to completion (see Appendix 2 for details) – Funding sources and/or in-kind service providers such as local agencies or businesses to pay for various expenses (e.g., meeting space, photocopying, mailings, telephone calls, refreshments at training, etc.) incurred during BR+E project • Refer to Appendix 3 for a Community-readiness Checklist to begin a review of the community capacity to undertake a BR+E project. • To explain the details of the BR+E project • Project criteria • Goals and objectives of BR+E • Anticipated results • Roles of various participants (sponsoring organization(s), Leadership Team, Co-ordinators, Task Force, Volunteer Visitors) • Survey, which is the mechanism to gain information from local businesses • “Red-flag” response • Survey analysis • Task Force review of preliminary report and action plan development and implementation Step 2 Leadership Team and Task Force Recruitment and Orientation Once a group has determined there is commitment to the BR+E concept, and if TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E the assessments indicate that the community is ready to implement BR+E, it is appropriate to proceed. Begin by forming a Leadership Team and considering the type of involvement you would like from a trained BR+E Consultant. The Leadership Team • Identify key people who should be on the Leadership Team and consider potential candidates for the Task Force. Appendix 5 can be used to list these people. • The Leadership Team should comprise four to six individuals who will “champion” the project, motivate others, and take action.Use job descriptions to assist • Use job descriptions to assist with the Leadership Team recruitment process. with the Leadership Team Refer to Appendices 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, and 7e for sample job descriptions. recruitment process. • The Leadership Team will facilitate and manage the work plan (see Appendix 6) and implementation of the project on a day-to-day basis. • The Leadership Team members will also be on the Task Force. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 15
  22. 22. The Task Force • The Task Force should be a broad-based team of 15 to 30 business/ community leaders who support the BR+E project. • They give the Leadership Team direction, advice, and assistance throughout the BR+E project. • Use job descriptions to assist with the Task Force recruitment process. Refer to Appendix 7f for a sample job description. Stakeholder Meeting • Organize a larger stakeholder meeting for all potential Task Force members and other interested members of the community to explain BR+E, organizational needs, implementation steps, and anticipated results. • Recruit Leadership Team members • Continue to recruit for remaining Leadership Team positions. • Provide orientation and training. • Identify local objectives, goals, and indicators for success (with direction from Task Force). • Prepare the BR+E work plan. • Find local sponsor and secure endorsements from other community organizations. • Recruit the Task Force team members • Provide orientation and training. • Start making the community aware of the BR+E project. (Refer to mediaTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E releases in Appendix 8.) Step 3 Project Design Goals and Objectives To design your BR+E project, • Although there are standard objectives for BR+E, such as letting local consider local conditions and businesses know how much they are valued and promoting business identify what you would like to development and job creation, you can design your BR+E project based on achieve in your community in the particular conditions and interests in your community the short term and long term. • Setting goals and objectives for BR+E before starting will guide the Leadership Team and Task Force in designing the local process. Knowing where you want to go helps to determine which route to take. • Identify what you would like to achieve through BR+E in your community in the short term, medium term, and long term. (e.g., 6 to 12 months, 2 years, and 5 years, respectively). • Plan how you will track progress and assess the overall results of BR+E. In your BR+E work plan, allocate time and resources for frequent monitoring of project activities and periodic (e.g., annual) evaluation of project results. Refer to Appendix 32 for guidance. 16 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL

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