Business Retention and Expansion Manual

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  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. • 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. 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
  • 23. ConfidentialityAll BR+E workers must sign a • Everyone associated with the BR+E project must understand that the informationconfidentiality contract prior collected from the businesses is to be treated as confidential and is not to be to taking part in the BR+E disclosed to others except in the context of the work for which it was collected. project. • All BR+E workers must sign a confidentiality contract prior to taking part in the BR+E project. • Refer to Appendix 9 for an example of a confidentiality contract. Identifying Businesses Generally, the Task Force determines the number and type of businesses to be interviewed. The credibility of the survey data depends on how many businesses are interviewed as well as how the businesses were chosen. • Random sampling is important if the total business population size prohibits the inclusion of all businesses in the survey. Tax rolls or lists of business • Tax rolls or lists of business directories prepared by Chambers of Commerce or directories prepared by other groups provide good bases for sampling. Divide the number of businesses Chambers of Commerce or by the number to interview. The answer tells you to select every “nth” other groups provide good business e.g., for 500 businesses and 50 interviews, select every tenth business bases for sampling. on the list. • Refer to Appendix 10 for Guidelines for Sampling and Selecting Businesses. Numbers to visit • Fifty to 100 business visits will usually give enough data for analysis. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Thirty visits is the minimum; otherwise there may not be enough data to properly analyze. Types to visit • Basic sector businesses (manufacturers and other exporters) might be the first priority since they bring in “new dollars” to an area. • Basic sector businesses bring money into a local economy by selling goods or services outside the community or by selling to nonresident visitors. This sector is responsible for the injection of money into the local economy, while the nonbasic sector is responsible for recirculating money.1 • Other businesses can be selected by asking some of the following questions: • What types of businesses employ the most people? • What businesses make the community unique? • Have any business areas experienced problems or shown potential for growth? • Should the project focus on one or more business sectors? 1. Carvalho, E. and Scott, C. 1996. “Local Economic Impact Analysis,” Economic Development Bulletin. University of Waterloo, 6. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 17
  • 24. Location of Businesses When planning your survey, consider whether or not you want to compare your results depending on where businesses are located in your community. For example, do retailers in the downtown have different issues/concerns than retailers in the mall or on the highway strip? If these are important considerations in your community, you will need to define these specific geographic areas before you begin the survey. The Data Analysis Co-ordinator • The database provided in the BR+E Tool Kit requires that a broad “BR+E should explore the BR+E Area” be identified and permits the identification of smaller areas or database to become familiar “communities,” so that results can be compared. with options for survey design • See the database User Guide for a description of the kinds of printouts that and reporting. can be produced using three key identifiers: “project,” “community,” and “BR+E area.” Resource Considerations • Community resources may influence the number of businesses. Ask these questions: • What financial resources are available for the project? • Do we have enough volunteers to conduct the survey? • Can we deal with the followups to business concerns promptly? Establishing the Resource Network • Be prepared for as many as two-thirds of the businesses to request followups. Slow, inadequate response can undermine the success of your project. ATAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Resource Network will enable the Task Force to respond quickly. Slow, inadequate response can • The Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator takes a lead role in establishing the undermine the success of your Resource Network. project. A Resource Network • The key to having a valuable Resource Network is to include the following will enable the Task Force to items on a summarized list: respond quickly. • Contact name • Business or agency name • Phone number and e-mail address • What the person can provide • The BR+E Consultant and the Leadership Team identify local, federal, and provincial government ministries and agencies, local colleges and universities, and any one who is actively involved in business development. Some sources are listed in Appendix 11. • It is important to recognize people in the community who can help. They may also be possible volunteers for the Task Force. 18 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 25. The Survey The Volunteer Visitors must complete a survey during each business visit. Without it, each visitor may ask different questions, making it difficult to get an overall picture of the concerns of the businesses. Question Setup and Content • The CD-ROM found in the BR+E Tool Kit contains sets of survey questions that the Leadership Team should review. • After reviewing the questions and revisiting the local goals for the BR+E project, a survey for the community may be printed from the CD-ROM. • Sets of questions on the CD-ROM are broken down into three categories: • General • Sector, including: – Retail – Tourism – Farm/Agriculture – Natural Resources/Forestry – Mining • Local Community • Every survey must contain questions from the General category and may include a set of questions from the Sector category. • Once the Leadership Team has chosen their survey questions, the survey may be printed directly from the CD-ROM and copied for business interviews. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E May We Add Our Own Questions? • Yes, communities are encouraged to add up to five local questions to the survey. The local questions should be added after the Local Community (LC) questions category in the core survey provided on the CD-ROM. See Appendix 12, point 12, for more information. • These questions should focus on local issues not already covered in the core survey. Process for Adding Specific Community Questions • Once the decision is made to add specific community questions, the Leadership Team and Task Force will meet to develop questions relating to any local issues. • The Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator, in consultation with the Task Force, will prepare the final questions and incorporate them into the survey.BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 19
  • 26. Do the Local Questions Measure Up? • Refer to Appendix 12 for local question development guidelines. • Review the Statistics Canada web site www.statcan.ca/english/kits/survey.htm. The site provides you with an opportunity to submit survey questions and have them reviewed by a Statistics Canada employee. Coding the Survey for Each Business • Each business requires an identification number for the survey. Create your own business ID • Create your own business ID numbers or use numbers that correspond to data numbers or use numbers that previously collected in your local area. correspond to data previously collected in your local area. Test Survey at a Practice Visit • All Leadership Team members participate in practice visits to acquaint them with the interview process. These visits give them • a better understanding of the BR+E project • first-hand experience in the project and the survey • a true test for locally developed questions • ability to report on their experiences to other Task Force members and the Volunteer Visitors How Do We Set up the Practice Visits? • Select two businesses in your community. • Try to select businesses with whom you would feel comfortable and whoTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E support economic development. • Try to vary businesses in size and type (manufacturing vs. retail). • Try to limit the interview group to three or four since more may be overwhelming to the business representative. • The Visitation Co-ordinator should schedule the visits and explain the BR+E project at the time the business contact is made. • The Visitation Co-ordinator ensures that the replies are kept confidential and included only as part of the overall survey results. All Leadership Team members • Interviews may last one to one-and-a-quarter hours, so allow extra time in case participate in practice visits to you are invited for a tour. acquaint them with the • A letter of confirmation with a copy of the survey should be sent to the interview process. businesses 10 days in advance. • After the visits, the team will assess the interview, identify concerns, and conduct any followup. • A meeting of the entire Leadership Team may be helpful following the practice visits in order to share experiences. 20 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 27. Step 4 Volunteer Visitor Recruitment and Training Recruit VolunteersVolunteer visitors are the heart Volunteer visitors are the heart of the BR+E project; they represent the project of the BR+E project; they to the business community. represent the project to the Volunteers are an essential part of increasing local capacity and community business community. ownership of the outcomes from the project. Volunteers also help to reduce the overall project costs and reach a greater number of businesses. By being involved, volunteers learn more about their community and are likely to take a greater role in implementing action plans. • The Leadership Team should select volunteers who represent a cross-section of the community, including people from the private and public sectors. These individuals should be respected in the community. • The Visitation Co-ordinator records the names, occupations, and phone numbers of the volunteers. Refer to Appendix 13 for a worksheet to record the information. • The volunteers have a number of responsibilities that must be clearly explained before they commit to being involved. See Appendix 7g for a Volunteer Visitor job description. • Confirm that the volunteers will complete the business interviews in a professional manner and maintain confidentiality. • Contact potential volunteers in person and confirm by letter. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Why Are Teams of Two Volunteers Sent to Businesses? • Each team member offers the other peer support. • Teaming up allows one person to conduct the interview and the other to record the responses, reducing the likelihood of omissions. • Pairs of visitors show businesses that there is community commitment and support. How Many Volunteers Do We Need? Number of Volunteers Teams • The number of volunteers needed is related to the number of businesses to be Needed surveyed40 volunteers would be needed • Calculate the number of volunteer teams needed: to survey 60 businesses • 40 volunteers would be needed to survey 60 businesses 60 businesses/3 visits/ team • 60 businesses/3 visits per team = 20 teams = 20 teams • 20 teams x 2 people per team = 40 volunteers 20 teams x 2 people/ team • Assign two to four businesses to each team of volunteers. Refer to Appendix 14 = 40 volunteers for a business assignment worksheet. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 21
  • 28. • It is a good idea to train a few extra volunteers in case someone misses the training session, fails to complete the interview assignments, or the business prefers that a specific person not visit them. • The Task Force must set policies to reassign visitors if a volunteer does not participate in training, there are conflicts in assignments, or visits are not completed within the allotted time. How Do You Find These Volunteers? • Generally, every Task Force member is also a Volunteer Visitor. • Publicize the project and the need for volunteers in the local newspaper and at community meetings. Visitation team options include: • Have Task Force members personally invite people to volunteer. — pre-assign volunteers to • Ask members of sponsoring and endorsing organizations to volunteer. teams and send letter to businesses listing visitors • As an alternative to community volunteers, staff of business and economic — allow volunteers to pick development agencies and/or municipalities may be able to do business visits as their partners and assign part of their work duties businesses to each pair — allow volunteers to choose How Are Volunteer Visitation Teams Chosen? partners as well as the • Visitation team options include: businesses to visit. • Pre-assign volunteers to teams and send letter to businesses listing visitors. • Allow volunteers to pick their partners and assign businesses to each pair. • Allow volunteers to choose partners as well as the businesses to visit.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Conduct Volunteer Training When an adequate number of Volunteer Visitors has been recruited, hold the training session to prepare the volunteers for their visits. • Attendance at the volunteer training is mandatory. • Send a letter to volunteers prior to the training to outline the date and time of the training session. A sample letter is included in Appendix 15. • Include a volunteer training agenda in the letter to the volunteers. See Appendix 16. Attendance at the Volunteer • Volunteers who do not attend training will not be able to conduct interviews Training is mandatory. of the quality set by training • Verify attendance and reassign business visits as necessary to make up for no- shows. Consider scheduling two sessions (e.g., day and evening) and allow volunteers to select the most convenient time. • Try to avoid conflicts when pairing volunteers and assigning teams to the businesses. Reassign volunteers if they are uncomfortable with their initial assignments (e.g., someone assigned to an ex-employer or competitor). • It’s imperative that the business owner/manager feels comfortable with the interview process and the people conducting the interview. The Visitation 22 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 29. Co-ordinator should be prepared to reassign volunteers if the business person requests a change. It is imperative that the • Give Volunteer Visitors packages containing at least the following items:business owner/ manager feels • List of Leadership Team members with contact informationcomfortable with the interview • Blank surveys process and the people • Copy of Guidelines for Volunteer Visitors conducting the interview. • Copy of the letter sent to businesses • Copy of the confidentiality contract Refer to Appendix 17 for a complete list of resources and information to include in the Volunteer Visitor packages. The BR+E video is an effective training resource that underscores the important concepts. The role-playing segment was developed to be used during Volunteer Visitation team training. Important issues to review at the volunteer training • Confidentiality — have each volunteer sign the confidentiality contract at the training session • Print clearly — legible surveys are important • Identify skipped questions • Highlight “red flags” • Promptness • Courtesy TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E For information on important points to cover with Volunteer Visitors at the training refer to Appendices 18 and 19. Appendix 18 provides a summary sheet for the Volunteer Visitors while Appendix 19 provides more background details to cover at the training. Step 5 Business Visits Mail Survey To Businesses • A few days before the training, mail letters to the selected businesses including a copy of the survey in each. Business people are more likely to agree to the interview if they get the survey in advance. Refer to Appendix 24 for a sample letter.Business people are more likely • The letters must be sent just before the training. The volunteers will schedule to agree to the interview if their visits immediately after the training. Businesses will be expecting thethey get the survey in advance. volunteers’ calls. • Delayed letters may confuse and frustrate both the volunteers and businesses, resulting in lower participation. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 23
  • 30. • At the same time the letter is sent to the businesses, followup contact is made with the Volunteer Visitors to remind them of the training. Schedule Interviews • If possible, plan to complete all interviews within three weeks of volunteer training. Provide a deadline for the Volunteer Visitors to have their interviews completed. • Businesses will be expecting visitors to call to arrange a time for interviewing. Appendix 18 provides suggestions for scheduling the interviews. Provide a deadline for the • When calling, volunteers should: Volunteer Visitors to have their • Mention the letter interviews completed. • State the purposes of the BR+E project • Stress the confidentiality of survey responses • Business owners/managers have full schedules so volunteers should offer several alternative times for interviews, e.g., breakfast or evening meetings, location other than the office. • Volunteers should call the Visitation Co-ordinator if there are any questions or concerns. e.g., unable to reach someone or refusal. Conduct Interviews The “Skip-It” Rule • Prior to the visit, volunteers should review their package of material and If the owner/ manager does carefully read the survey. not wish to respond to a • Volunteers should realize they are meeting with the business owner/manager question, volunteers shouldTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E to gather information not to give advice. They are listeners and recorders only. not force a response. Let the business person know that • Before the interview begins, volunteers inform the business owner/manager of there is no need to explain the their commitment to confidentiality, and the business owner/manager and reasons. Simply write both volunteers sign the confidentiality agreement on the first page of the "skipped" across the question BR+E survey. on the survey. • Volunteers also advise the business owner/manager of the “Skip-It” Rule: • If the owner/manager does not wish to respond to a question, volunteers should not force a response. Let the business person know that there is no need to explain the reasons. Simply write “skipped” across the question on the survey. • Refer to Appendix 19 for detailed interview guidelines. • The interview is scheduled to last for one to one-and-one-quarter hours. Be prepared to stay longer if the owner/manager wants to show you around the property. • As an alternative to conducting interviews at the business sites organize an interview blitz session. • All the business people come to a central location (e.g., a town hall) at prescheduled interview times. 24 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 31. The interview is scheduled to • Volunteer interview teams conduct two to four business interviews in last for 1 to 1¼ hours. Be private meeting rooms (this provides confidentiality for the business people). prepared to stay longer if the • At the end of the interviews, surveys are handed directly to the Red-flagowner/manager wants to show and Resource Co-ordinator, thereby ensuring prompt submission of the you around the property. information for “red-flag” followup and analysis. Step 6 Review Completed Surveys for “Red-flag” Issues • Immediately after leaving the interview, the Volunteer Visitation Team should complete a followup suggestions worksheet (see Appendix 20) in a private setting to identify any urgent followup required and to ensure legibility of notes. • Volunteer Visitation Teams should make the Red-flag and Resource Co- ordinator aware of any issues requiring an immediate response. • Volunteers promptly return the survey in a sealed envelope to the Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator or an assigned person in the community (the procedure for returning surveys will need to be predetermined in each community, and those directions should be given to Volunteer Visitors at their training session). • Visitation Co-ordinator should send a letter to the volunteers thanking them for their time and enthusiasm in BR+E. Refer to Appendix 21 for a sample volunteer thank-you letter. STAGE 2 — Immediate Followup TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E The success of your BR+E project is highly dependent on the effectiveness of the followup activities. The survey will identify problems, concerns, and opportunities. The short-term followup work can be very time consuming. The success of your BR+E Expect approximately two-thirds of the businesses to request information or askproject is highly dependent on for assistance. The Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator, Task Force members, the effectiveness of the and BR+E Consultant can help in the followup. followup activities. Step 7 Immediate Action on the “Red-flag” Issues Followup on Request for Information or Assistance Followup begins with the Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator who: • Reviews the entire survey with the Task Force. • Each survey is reviewed by three people from the Task Force. • To maintain confidentiality the front page of survey is removed prior to review. • Determines the urgency of followup. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 25
  • 32. • Develops a work plan and assigns followup to team members. See Appendices 22 and 23. • Alerts people in the Resource Network if immediate action is needed (e.g., a business closing, relocating, or having expansion problems). Simple requests for information can often be met by sending materials with the thank-you letters or by calling the business. Limit second visits to businesses that expressed urgent concerns or have plans for expansion. Tips for Organizing the Followup Work • Task Force members should play a key role in following up on the “red-flag” issues. • Call those businesses expressing complaints or asking for help to clarify their needs and to determine the need for further consultation. • Arrange followup meetings with businesses expressing an urgent problem. Involve people in the Resource Network. For example, the business development specialist could call on someone needing help to develop a plan for refinancing. Send thank-you letters to • Remind all members of the Task Force to maintain confidentiality. businesses immediately after • Maintain a followup worksheet for each business. Record all followup the interview. Enclose fact activities—who is responsible, what was done, the outcome, date completed, sheets, brochures, workshop suggestions for future action such as workshops, etc. ads, and other information requested. • Send thank-you letters to businesses immediately after the interview. Enclose fact sheets, brochures, workshop ads, and other information requested.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • To simplify the task of responding to basic information requests, organize an initial Task Force response work meeting to package resources to send to businesses: • The Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator compiles and organizes the information requests from the businesses. • The Visitation Co-ordinator in co-operation with the Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator prepares business thank-you letters (see Appendix 25) and addresses envelopes. • Task Force members help fill the envelopes. The information is organized in piles on tables. Task Force members pick up letters and attach the specific requested information. Completed packages (letter and information) are promptly mailed to the businesses. 26 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 33. STAGE 3 — Data Analysis and Recommendations Step 8 Data Entry • The Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator needs to ensure local Data-entry Volunteers are prepared and scheduled to begin as the first surveys arrive. Refer to Appendix 7h for a Data-entry Volunteer job description. • It is important to enter the data on a timely basis and print the preliminary report for the Task Force while momentum for BR+E is still high. • Local data entry of the survey responses may be done using the CD-ROM provided in the BR+E Tool Kit. • Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator ensures people entering the data have signed the confidentiality contract. • Data-entry volunteers will need some initial training and supervision to ensure they understand the confidentiality issue, how the CD-ROM runs, and the need to properly input comments from the business surveys. • Avoid data-entry mistakes that may greatly skew results of the business surveys, by: • Taking breaks between entering surveys • Double-checking entries • Ensuring accurate, legible surveys by training volunteers well Step 9 Analysis of Survey Responses TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Upon completion of data entry, a preliminary report containing tabulated results of the business surveys may be printed from the CD-ROM. • Some results may also include a short description of what the number means to the local economy. Refer to Appendix 26 for information related to BR+E data analysis. • If the Leadership Team and Task Force feel they do not have the capacity to confidently review the survey data, they should bring in someone who can. • Check expertise in the community or identify funding to hire a Consultant who specializes in data analysis to summarize the results, identify themes, and make recommendations for action. Step 10 Task Force Retreat • Co-ordinated by the Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator. • Consists of all Task Force members and the BR+E Consultant. • Could be one four-hour meeting (plus meal) or six hours at two meetings.BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 27
  • 34. Several Days Prior To the Retreat • All Task Force members should be sent: Task Force members should • A copy of the tabulated data report (preliminary report) review the tabulated report • A copy of the blank survey prior to the Retreat to prepare • Information from the initial assessment for “red flags” for discussions. • Other relevant community information/documentation to assist with analysis of report findings (e.g., local and/or regional business reports, other research, strategic economic plan) Before the Retreat • Task Force members should review the tabulated report prior to the Retreat to prepare for discussions. At the Retreat See Appendix 27 for a suggested agenda and Appendix 28 for suggestions on action planning. The Task Force members: • Review local objectives of the BR+E project. • Review the Preliminary Report. • Review the findings of the preliminary report • Analyze for themes and opportunities, asking: Which findings stand out? Which findings suggest opportunities for meeting local goals? What is the theme?TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Relate conclusions to the data presented and knowledge of Task Force members. Focus on conclusions that help solve original objectives. • Identify Possible Actions. • Small group facilitated discussion to recommend specific actions • Nominate and prioritize suggested actions • Decide on specific actions • Identify Task Force members or other qualified people to lead the action plan implementation. Refer to Appendix 29 basic action plan worksheet • Set a date for Public Meeting. After the Retreat • The Leadership Team summarizes outcome of meeting. • Prepare a summary of the Retreat and include additional information that supports the recommendations • The Leadership Team and Task Force prepare the Final Report for presentation at the Public Meeting. 28 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 35. Attendance at the RetreatThe Leadership Team and Task • High attendance at the Retreat is important to provide credibility to theForce prepare the Final Report priorities decided upon by community leaders. for presentation at the Public Some ideas for high attendance include: Meeting. • Hold frequent Task Force meetings after volunteer training; you may use these meetings to review “red-flag” issues or review new economic development trends • Get input from Task Force members to select the most suitable date and time so it doesn’t conflict with other meetings, community events, or vacations • Send written notices and reminders to the Task Force • Establish a community telephone tree to call Task Force members two to three days prior to the Retreat reminding them of the importance of their role in the meeting and what they committed to earlier in the process. STAGE 4 — Public Meetings and Implementation It may take at least one month between the Task Force Retreat and the Public Meeting to finalize and print the Final Report with recommendations. People attending the Public Meeting as well as the businesses participating in the project should receive a copy of the Final Report. A greater degree of community ownership will be achieved by this action. Step 11 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Initial Public Meeting to Present Findings and Recommendations • The Public Meeting signifies the start of local action plans to improve the business climate. • In addition to providing information to the community, the meeting can be a celebration of the completion of a major phase of the BR+E project. • The Leadership Team should prepare an agenda and confirm the dates, times, and format with all people who will be participating at the meeting. • There should be three parts to the meeting: • Explaining the BR+E process • Thanking businesses and volunteers • Presenting findings and possible opportunities for action • The Public Meeting agenda should include: • Background of BR+E project • Celebration of accomplishments • BR+E volunteer recognition and appreciation • Summary presentation of findings • Recommendation for action plans • Start up of committees to implement action plans BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 29
  • 36. Refer to Appendix 30 for example of a Public Meeting agenda and Appendix 31 for a suggested outline for a Final Report. How Do We Present Our Strategies? • Present a summary version of full Final Report—( highlight only projects adopted and name Task Force members who agreed to work on each project). • Consider using visuals. Pie charts and bar graphs can effectively highlight trends in findings. In the BR+E CD-ROM there is a reporting template created in PowerPoint. The template has a variety of slides based on the survey in the BR+E Tool Kit. Pie charts and bar graphs can • The Overall Co-ordinator and/or a Leadership Team Member could present effectively highlight trends in the background and findings portion of the Final Report. findings. • Select one Task Force member to present each action plan at the meeting. • Include in each presentation: • Overall concept of the action plan • Survey results related to the action plan • Recommended projects • Specific objectives of each action plan • Ensure that each presenter is influential in the community, has good public speaking skills, and is willing to report the actions selected by the group rather than his or her own personal agenda. • Provide time for community input on the recommended action plans. It is important to gain community support for the plans.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Encourage Community Attendance! • Collectively organize and plan the Public Meeting. • The Public Meeting is a special event that signifies the end of business visits and the beginning of the community taking action to enable the local economy to grow. • Attract media coverage before, during, and after the meeting. A wine-and-cheese event in an • Hold this event separate from any other meeting. historical building or a • Do not invite a guest speaker. This will detract from the main purpose of the breakfast meeting at a special meeting. restaurant are great ways of thanking the businesses and • Make it a social event. volunteers, as well as • Send out invitations motivating community • Serve refreshments members to continue their • Allow socializing time involvement with the local • Reserve a banquet room economy. 30 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 37. • Celebrate the occasion. A wine-and-cheese event in an historical building or a breakfast meeting at a special restaurant are great ways of thanking the businesses and volunteers, as well as motivating community members to continue their involvement with the local economy. • Have the chair of the BR+E Leadership Team call the businesses that were visited to make it a more personal invitation. • Do not present findings and recommendations prematurely. Present a collective vision, not individual business requests or concerns. • Give people an opportunity to sign up for committees/projects. Step 12 Committees to Implement the Recommended Action Plans • Once priority projects are identified, teams must be assembled to lead each project. • A Task Force member or other qualified person should lead each action plan committee. People from outside the BR+E • At least four to six people should be on a committee to organize and project could be invited to implement each project over the next six months. help with implementation • Committee members may come from within the BR+E project (e.g., businessefforts. This ensures additional owners, Volunteer Visitors, Leadership Team, and Task Force members). community input andcommitment to follow through • Three to six people from outside the BR+E project could be invited to help with projects. with implementation efforts. This ensures additional community input and commitment to follow through with projects. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Step 13 Implementation of Action Plans • Other people in the community who are interested in assisting with economic development should be identified and contacted to take part in the action plans as required. • The chairperson assigned to each action plan committee should be responsible for a work plan and ensuring the team meets its goals and objectives. • The chairperson may wish to hold monthly committee meetings to receive updates and address any issues or concerns. Step 14 Monitoring the Progress of the Implementation Strategy Monitoring (Tracking Progress) • The Leadership Team will monitor the progress of the committees with assistance from the BR+E Consultant when needed. • The Leadership Team should try to meet with the chairpersons of the committees on a regular basis (at least once every two months) to see how the implementation of action plans is progressing. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 31
  • 38. • Regularly scheduled meetings will: • Provide an opportunity to identify issues that require assistance or to refine objectives and implementation plans • Provide committees with deadlines • Ensure completion of action plans • It is important to track and report ongoing progress. Records should include details of project inputs (time, money, resources), activities (events, training, work projects, etc.) and the results of each activity. All committees should have a mechanism to keep others informed of their overall progress. This will help encourage others and provide an opportunity to celebrate as soon as goals are reached. Evaluation (Assessing Results) • The Leadership Team should work with the BR+E Consultant to develop a plan for measuring the results of BR+E against the short-term and long-term objectives identified in Step 3. • The plan should include a process for collecting information to establish benchmarks (e.g., business and economic conditions at the start of the project) with which progress and results can be compared at regular intervals throughout the implementation of the action plans. This will help you identify the impact BR+E is having on the local economy and community. Consider both quantitative (i.e. • Assessing the overall results or effects of BR+E should consider both numerical) and qualitative quantitative (i.e. numerical) and qualitative information (e.g., peoples information (e.g., peoples perceptions, opinions, experiences) about the projectTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E opinions, experiences) when • The evaluation should answer questions such as: assessing the progress and results of BR+E. • To what extent was the BR+E initiative effective in retaining and/or expanding business in our community? • What changes occurred in the community as a result of BR+E? What factors enabled these changes to occur? • What objectives were not achieved? Why not? • What challenges or opportunities did the BR+E team experience in terms of implementing the project (e.g., communications, participation, project management, etc.). • A framework with questions to guide your evaluation is provided in Appendix 32. Regularly updating your evaluation framework during and after the project assists in documenting project impacts and results and keeps businesses and community members informed. • For assistance in evaluating your BR+E project, refer to the BR+E Evaluation Guidelines included in the BR+E Tool Kit. 32 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 39. Step 15 Followup Public Meetings A Public Meeting should be A Public Meeting should be held a year following the implementation of BR+E held a year following the to report the results of action plans that were developed in Step 12. Additional implementation of BR+E to meetings should be held later to report on further progress towards identified report the results of action goals and to describe unexpected benefits. plans. Suggested Agenda Items • Report on BR+E results as measured against benchmarks and goals to answer these questions: Did it make a difference? What difference did it make? Note: Be prepared to show concrete evidence that certain results were achieved and be prepared to explain why certain results were not achieved or why changes were made to local objectives and action plans. • Discuss “next steps” such as developing and implementing additional actions or doing another BR+E survey (possibly with another sector). Report on BR+E results as • Reinforce that BR+E is an ongoing process for community economicmeasured against benchmarks development. and goals to answer the • Determine the need for future meeting to share results. questions: Did it make a difference? Future BR+E Projects What difference did it make? A business retention and expansion project should be seen as one key component of a community’s overall economic development strategy. A community should consider implementing a BR+E project on a regular basis. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 33
  • 40. BR+E RESOURCESTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 34 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 41. BR+E Volunteer Requirements Appendix 1 Estimated Time Commitments for BR+E Volunteers Number of Participants* Time Commitment Participants per Project # of Hours per person Overall Co-ordinator 1 100+ Other Leadership Team Members 4 45 Task Force Members 15–30 20–30 Volunteer Visitors 30–60 6–10 Business Owners 30–100 1–1¼ BR+E Consultant 1 10–100 These estimates of time commitment are for the first three stages of the BR+E process: • Project Planning and Business Visits • Immediate Followup • Data Analysis and Recommendations It is expected that most of these individuals will also be involved in Stage 4: Implementation; however, the time commitments are less predictable and will vary widely depending on the types of projects initiated and the individual TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E involvement. The first three stages of the BR+E process are carried out over a time period of 4–9 months with the last stage being carried out over a longer time period depending on the short-term and long-term actions planned. * Note: The participant number estimates represent an overlap of some individuals. There is an expectation that most of the Task Force members will also serve as Volunteer Visitors. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 35
  • 42. BR+E Financial Costs Appendix 2 BR+E Administrative Costs Item Amount Office supplies $200 Office space and equipment rental e.g., computer (for 6 months) $2,400 Postage, photocopying, telephone, etc. $1,000 Hall/room rental and refreshments for meetings, Task Force Retreat and Public Meeting $900 Total $4,500 Experience has shown that these costs could range from $4,000 to $6,000. Additional expenses as negotiated • BR+E Consultant fees and expenses (rates vary widely, check for rates in your area). The certified Consultants employed by public sector agencies may not charge fees. • Honoraria for volunteer co-ordinators (consider what is common in your community for this type of volunteering).TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 36 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 43. Community-readiness Checklist Appendix 3 Is Your Community Ready for a Business Retention and Expansion Project? BR+E is a community-based, volunteer-driven economic development tool to encourage growth and stability of local business. BR+E works to improve the competitiveness of local businesses by evaluating and addressing their broader needs and concerns. This is crucial to the sustained viability of communities since businesses that stay competitive are more likely to remain and expand in their community. Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) projects are working and becoming very popular in communities throughout North America. Communities are recognizing the need to focus on business as a key element in the health and prosperity of the community. Understanding and acting on the issues to help keep existing businesses, and removing barriers to their expansion, is key to building a more vibrant community overall. Is your community ready for a BR+E effort? Even when the need for a project is obvious, its success will depend on the strength of the “human resources” in your community. People get things done; not plans, not processes, and not technology. Consider the following to determine the strength of your community’s human resources, its interactions, and its networks: • Leaders • Citizen involvement • Community support and volunteerism TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Organizations working together • Community-based planning • Community communications The following worksheet is a Community-readiness Checklist to help you assess the status of the human resources in your community. The section that follows will help you to understand why each question is being asked and why it is important. As you answer these questions, your level of satisfaction with the current situation will become evident. Write out your responses to better express your concerns. One of three conclusions will emerge from the discussions: 1. High satisfaction with the existing human resources — proceed with BR+E 2. Medium satisfaction — could proceed but should work on filling the gaps identified 3. Low satisfaction — delay starting a BR+E project; instead, work on filling the gaps identified in the worksheet Of course, even with low to medium satisfaction with the existing human resources and networks, you could proceed with a BR+E project. With strong commitment, passion and energy, all barriers can be overcome. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 37
  • 44. Level of Community-readiness Checklist — 20 Questions satisfaction Leaders 1. Are there people in the community who are visionaries, action-oriented, and could be recruited to serve on a project-leadership team? 2. Are there a number of people with skills to lead economic development plans and projects to completion? 3. Is there an existing organization with a primary focus on economic development? 4. Is there an organization in the community that will take a lead role and provide support to the project? Citizen Involvement 5. Are many community members involved in developing the community economy? 6. Are citizens currently involved in organizing and running projects in the community? 7. Are a variety of people from different walks of life currently involved in community economic projects? Community Support and Volunteerism 8. Is there a strong volunteer force in the community, capable of sustaining a complex project over an extended period of time? 9. Is there active municipal support for economic development? 10. Is there active support of economic-development activities from a range of community organizations? Organizations Working Together 11. Have there been successful community projects that involved community groups coming together for a common goal? 12. Does your community have economic relationships with other communities and development institutions? 13. Is the general quality of relationships among people and organizations in the community healthy?TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Community-Based Planning 14. Does the community have a current, comprehensive economic strategy with an action plan? 15. Does the community have an overall vision of what it wants to be like in the future? 16. Is the community taking actions to influence its future? 17. Is economic development activity in the community well-organized and managed? Community Communications 18. Do community members know and understand the vision and the plan? 19. Is there regular communication among community groups to inform and involve each other? 20. Do the leaders communicate progress to community organizations, volunteers, and citizens? 38 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 45. Community-readiness Checklist—20 Questions Why Are These Important? Each of the questions in the preceding chart will lead to discussion concerning satisfaction with the current status of the social infrastructure and readiness of the community to start up a community-based BR+E project. Each question is highlighted below, with a brief explanation of its importance. As each question is discussed, a level of overall satisfaction with the community situation will emerge.1. Are there people in the community who are visionaries, action-oriented, and could be recruited to serve on a project-leadership team? “Ask a busy person and the job will be done!” This well-known saying implies that someone with a full plate is often well organized and manages his or her time and efforts well. Community members who are not only visionaries but also get things done are the people you should approach to be involved in a BR+E project. If the community lacks these people, it may be difficult to gather support for a BR+E project.2. Are there a number of people with skills to lead economic development plans and projects to completion? The ability to manage projects is critical to the overall success of the BR+E project. All the skills of project management are required: planning and design; implementation and evaluation; and delegation and strong interpersonal skills. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E3. Is there an existing organization with a primary focus on economic development? An existing organization is a potential source of leadership for the project. It is prudent to involve this organization in the project to make sure that the efforts aren’t contrary to or duplicating others’ work. Another reason to discuss this question is to understand the power structures and relationships in the community. You’ll need to determine if a particular organization that might be considered as the most appropriate (because of its mandate or its name) in fact has the credibility within the community to take that role. Will the community accept the lead role of this organization?4. Is there an organization in the community that will take a lead role and provide support to the project? The preference in most cases would be to have an organization with an economic-development mandate take a lead role. If there is no organization with a focus on economic development, there may be another organization that is interested in improving the business climate for a healthier community overall. No matter which organization takes the lead role, a key element is its credibility in the community, particularly in the eyes of the business people there. In addition, the organization must bring commitment, energy, and enthusiasm to the lead role, along with resources — time and people. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 39
  • 46. 5. Are many community members involved in developing the community economy? The BR+E project is community-based. Having citizen volunteers visit businesses in the community, analyze the results, and develop approaches to assist in removing barriers to retention and/or expansion, is most effective because of the overall ownership and commitment to the effort. If many community members are already involved in other projects, assume that another community-based economic development project will work. You will want to tap that network of community members, looking for potential resources (money and people), and the lessons learned from previous experience in those projects. 6. Are citizens currently involved in organizing and running projects in the community? If citizens are involved, contact them to learn about the most effective processes, the power structures, key contributors, potential barriers, and influencers in the community. If the amount of citizen involvement is not significant at the present time, identify the reasons and prepare to spend more time and effort starting a community- based BR+E project. 7. Are a variety of people from different walks of life currently involved in community economic projects? According to community economic-development principles, the people who will be impacted by the policy being developed or the project being delivered must be involved in the process of planning and implementing it. For example, if people from different backgrounds, age groups, education levels, gender, location, economic status, cultures, etc. will be impacted by the BR+E project, they need toTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E be involved in the Leadership Team, the Task Force, and the business visitations. If people from different walks of life are not currently being involved in community economic projects, spend time convincing others that their input is critical. 8. Is there a strong volunteer force in the community, capable of sustaining a complex project over an extended period of time? The BR+E project relies on volunteers. If the community already has a strong volunteer ethic, the project will have a higher potential for success. If it doesn’t, and the BR+E project is to proceed, the organizing team may have to spend considerable time and effort in recruiting people to help with the planning, business visits, and followup. If the volunteer force is strong in the community, there may be established expectations as to how to manage volunteers. Good job descriptions, recruiting and training processes, and recognition (celebration of achievement) activities are critical to a successful volunteer program and will be expected by experienced volunteers. 40 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 47. 9. Is there active municipal support for economic development? The municipal staff and elected officials are often the most significant influencers of projects and policies in the community. It is important to get their support so that potential barriers can be avoided, and credibility of the project can be developed in the eyes of the business community. In addition, the municipality may be able to provide resources to the effort and certainly will be key to any followup activities involving local policy, regulation, infrastructure improvements, etc.10. Is there active support of economic development activities from a range of community organizations? If you have many community organizations currently involved in economic development activities, the BR+E project will receive the support and overall community commitment it needs. Community organizations are the sources of leadership, volunteers, resources, and expertise to make the project a success in your community.11. Have there been successful community projects that involved community groups coming together for a common goal? Collaboration among organizations is critical to the success of the BR+E project. If a number of organizations come together and lend their support to the project, businesses and the community overall will see the effort as credible and worthwhile. In addition, the more organizations that become involved in the project, the more experience, resources, and influence the project will have in improving the TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E community’s business outlook. A history of successful collaboration in the community increases the potential for success of the BR+E project significantly.12. Does your community have economic relationships with other communities and development institutions? BR+E is more than just a business-visitation program. It is meant to result in actions that will ultimately improve the business climate and help retain existing businesses or help others to expand. It may be necessary to involve other communities in the solutions that come out of your BR+E process (e.g., infrastructure improvements). If a relationship with other institutions involved in funding, education, or providing a service to the business community already exists, it may be advantageous to involve those institutions in developing BR+E solutions.13. Is the general quality of relationships among people and organizations in the community healthy? If people and organizations in the community are getting along, the potential for co-operation, collaboration, and eventual success of the project is increased. If there appears to be a constant struggle among organizations or people in the community, and you see little or no progress in supporting common goals and projects, a BR+E project may experience similar barriers. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 41
  • 48. 14. Does the community have a current, comprehensive economic strategy with an action plan? If a plan exists, it may contain a strategy to retain or expand existing businesses. If so, the plan can be used to support the proposal to have a BR+E project in the community. You may wish to take a copy of the economic strategy with you when you talk with the municipality, other organizations, and business leaders. If an economic plan does not exist, there may not be support for economic development. The need for a new project to improve the business climate may not be well understood, so more effort may be needed to sell the concept to community members. 15. Does the community have an overall vision of what it wants to be like in the future? As in question 14, having a community vision that includes a strong, vibrant business sector would be a compelling argument to support a BR+E project. The absence of statements about the business community in the existing vision may be evidence of little support for business. In this case, it may be difficult to start a project that is attempting to improve that area of the economy. If there is no overall community vision, the community may not be organized enough to plan and act. More effort may be required to gain support for a particular project that focuses on the business community, perhaps because priorities and long-term goals are not well known or understood. 16. Is the community taking actions to influence its future? If the community is already mobilized to influence its future, the key stakeholders and influencers in those activities must become involved in a proposal for aTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E BR+E project. They may have larger strategies that fit with a new project, or they may already have plans for something similar. Or they may have contrary priorities or concerns about the timing of a new project. In any case, consulting with them and involving them in the BR+E project will enhance the project and its likelihood of success. 17. Is economic development activity in the community well organized and managed? Answering this question will lead you to better understand who is involved in economic development activities, which organizations might have an interest in a BR+E project, and how the project should be carried out. If the economic- development processes in the community are already well established, a new project should try to fit in with those methods, ground rules, and frameworks rather than possibly going against them. 42 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 49. 18. Do community members know and understand the vision and the plan? If the plan is well known, and talked about in the media, among organizations, within the municipality and institutions, the proposal to start a BR+E project will be received with greater understanding. Community members will recognize its significance to the overall plan and its impact on the local economy. The amount of communication about the plan and the future of the community is a measure of the amount of support and commitment to growth and progress that is in the community.19. Is there regular communication among community groups to inform and involve each other? If organizations regularly discuss issues, projects, and common goals, and involve each other in community programs, an overall positive attitude towards collaboration exists in the community. Organizations that do not communicate probably don’t collaborate on community projects, and may, in fact, compete in their efforts. BR+E relies on a collaborative effort to be successful, and it cannot afford to compete with other organizations and their projects or programs.20. Do the leaders communicate progress to community organizations, volunteers, and citizens? If the community has a history of regular reports on community projects, it will be easier to continue this process during a BR+E process. BR+E is a long-term and complex project that requires ongoing commitment, ownership, and enthusiasm within the community. Regular reports will show community TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E members that the effort and investment is worthwhile, and their support will be easier to maintain. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 43
  • 50. Trained and Certified BR+E Consultants in Ontario Appendix 4 The following individuals attended BR+E Ontario Training Sessions in March and April, 2000. They then completed the Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) consultant certification process between March and June of the same year. This is an information listing only. Contact information is based on registration information and e-mail correspondence provided by the individuals prior to September 29, 2000. There is no guarantee of the availability of the BREI- certified consultant or the fee that he or she may charge. Central and Southern Ontario Arva Barrie Chatham Kloppenburg, Marnie Christiansen, Charly Burgess, Barbara P.O. Box 153 Acting Advisor, Ministry of Training, Economic Development Consultant, Arva, ON N0M 1C0 (home) Colleges and Universities Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and phone:519-667-9698 (home) Workplace Support Services Branch, Rural Affairs e-mail: marniekloppenburg@hotmail.com Business Training and Adjustment Services 445 Grand Avenue West, Box 726 35 Simcoe Street Chatham, ON N7M 5L8 Barrie, ON L4N 6T4 phone: 519-380-9995 phone: 705-735-2886 fax: 519-351-7852 fax: 705-737-5684 e-mail: bburgess@omafra.gov.on.ca e-mail: charly.christiansen @MSD.gov.on.caTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Chatham Fergus Guelph Collier, Gary Brusse, Lisa Ball, Brita EMG Coordinator, Chatham/Kent Business Community Access Program Regional 671 Edinburgh Road South and Community Development Corporation Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Guelph, ON N1G 4H6 111 Heritage Road Suite 202 Food and Rural Affairs phone: 519-823-4452 P.O. Box 681 Wellington Place, RR 1 Chatham, ON N7M 5K8 Fergus, ON N1M 2W3 phone: 519-354-9424 phone: 519-846-3403 fax: 519-354-5004 fax: 519-846-8178 e-mail: gary.collier@kent.net e-mail: lisa.brusse@omafra.gov.on.ca 44 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 51. Guelph Guelph GuelphBartolic, Cathy Busuttil, Linda Cunningham, R. JaneManager, Training Delivery and Director, Waterloo-Wellington Training & BR+E Program Consultant, Ontario MinistryInnovations, Ontario Agricultural Training Adjustment Board of Agriculture, Food and Rural AffairsInstitute 302 College Ave. W., Unit 22 3rd Floor South Tower, 1 Stone Road West450 Speedvale Ave. W. Suite 202, Guelph, ON N1G 4T6 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2Guelph, ON, N1H 7Y6 phone: 519-837-9592 phone: 519-826-3954phone: 519-763-3160 fax: 519-837-0766 fax: 519-826-3259fax: 519-763-9585 e-mail: lbusutti@uoguelph.ca e-mail: jane.cunninghame-mail: bartolic@oati.com @omafra.gov.on.caGuelph Guelph GuelphFlaming, Harold Kilburn, Janine Ragetlie, NormanCommunity Economic Development, Economic Development Consultant, Municipal Economic Development, OntarioOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and RuralRural Affairs Rural Affairs Affairs1 Stone Road West 1 Stone Road West 1 Stone Road WestGuelph, ON N1G 4Y2 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2 Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2phone: 519-826-3278 phone: 519-826-3137 phone: 519-826-3116fax: 613-826-3259 fax: 519-826-3259 fax: 519-826-3259e-mail: harold.flaming@omafra.gov.on.ca e-mail: jkilburn@omafra.gov.on.ca e-mail: norman.ragetlie @omafra.gov.on.caGuelph Hamilton KincardineWasteneys, Clare Thompson, Bill Cunningham, LauriCommunity Economic Analysis Lead, Advisor, Adjustment Advisory Program, Manager, Bruce Community DevelopmentOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Ministry of Training Colleges and Corporation.Rural Affairs Universities 281 Durham Street TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E1 Stone Road West 119 King Street West, 5th Floor Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Y7Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2 Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y7 phone: 519-396-8141phone: 519-826-3157 phone: 905-521-7583 fax: 519-396-8346fax:519-826-3259 fax: 905-521-7180 e-mail: brucecdc@primeline.nete-mail: clare.wasteneys@omafra.gov.on.caKincardine Lindsay LindsayFisher, Barb Coward, Judy Simpson, KathyChair, Bruce Community Development Economic Development Consultant, Client Account Officer, Ontario Ministry ofCorp. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs402 Highland Drive Rural Affairs 322 Kent Street WestKincardine, ON N2Z 1X7 322 Kent Street West Lindsay, ON K9V 2Z9phone: 519-396-2936 Lindsay, ON K9V 2Z9 phone: 705-324-6127fax: 519-396-3001 phone: 705-324-6125 fax: 705-324-1638e-mail: ten@primeline.net fax: 705-324-1638 e-mail: kathy.simpson@omafra.gov.on.ca e-mail: judy.coward@omafra.gov.on.ca BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 45
  • 52. London Mariposa Township Mount Forest Clark, Valerie Sherk, Lance Draper, H. Marshall Regional Information Coordinator, Ontario Chairperson, Mariposa Economic Marshall Services Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Business Association 120 Colcleugh Avenue Affairs phone: 705-953-9687 Mount Forest, ON N0G 2L1 667 Exeter Road fax: 705-953-9787 phone: 519-323-9963 London, ON N6E 1L3 e-mail: l_csherk@lindsaycomp.on.ca fax: 519-323-9023 phone: 519-873-4086 e-mail: bmdraper@wcl.on.ca fax: 519-873-4062 e-mail: valerie.clark@omafra.gov.on.ca Muncey Newmarket Owen Sound Brownlee, Brad Mortson, Kim Brine, Cheryl Business Consultant, Tecumseh Managing Director, Creative Community Economic Development Consultant, Development Corp. Ventures Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and R.R. #1 465 Davis Drive, Suite 122 Rural Affairs Muncey, On N0L 1Y0 Newmarket, ON L3Y 2P1 163 - 8th Street East phone: 519-289-2122 phone: 905-953-8226 Owen Sound, ON N4K 1K9 fax: 519-289-5550 fax: 905-953-1435 phone: 519-371-4717 e-mail: brad@tcdc.on.ca e-mail: ccventures@home.com fax: 519- e-mail: cheryl.brine@omafra.gov.on.ca Port Elgin Simcoe Toronto Roote, Jill Bell, Fran Kulczycki, Susan Business Consultant, Saugeen Shores Self- Community Development Officer, Simcoe Consultant, Ministry of Training, Colleges Help Office Community Development Corporation and Universities 515 Goderich Street 65 Queensway East 23rd Floor, Mowat Block, 900 Bay StreetTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Port Elgin, ON N0H 2C4 Simcoe, ON N3Y 4M5 Toronto, ON M7A 1L2 phone: 519-832-2008 phone: 519-429-3334 phone: 416-326-5402 fax: 519-832-2140 fax: 519-428-2230 fax: 416-326-5911 e-mail: rootej@town.saugeenshores.on.ca e-mail: fbell@scdc.on.ca e-mail: susan.kulczycki@edu.gov.on.ca Uxbridge Walkerton Woodstock Svelnis, Ingrid Lambdin, Virginia Ross, Nancy Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture, Administrator, BGHPGT Training Board Economic Development Consultant, Township of Uxbridge 200 McNab Street Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and 51 Toronto Street Walkerton, ON N0G 2V0 Rural Affairs Uxbridge, ON L9P 1T1 phone: 519-881-2725 Hwy. 57, Box 666 phone: 905-852-9181 fax: 519-881-3661 Woodstock, ON N4S 7Z5 fax: 905-852-9674 e-mail: board18@bmts.com phone: 519-537-2656 e-mail: uxbridgetwp@interhop.net fax: 519-537-5351 e-mail: nancy.ross@omafra.gov.on.ca 46 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 53. Eastern OntarioAlmonte Arnprior BellevilleLloyd, Stacie McLean, Susan ONeill, BonnieEconomic Development Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Economic Development Consultant,Town of Mississippi Mills Arnprior Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food andBox 400 105 Elgin Street Rural AffairsAlmonte, ON K8A 1A0 Arnprior, ON K7S 3H4 284 B Wallbridge/Loyalist Roadphone: 613-256-2064 phone: 613-623-4231 P.O. Box 610fax: 613-256-4887 fax: 613-623-8091 Belleville, Ontario K8N 5B3e-mail: slloyd@town.mississippi- e-mail: samclean@townarnprior.on.ca phone: 613-962-2655mills.on.ca fax:613-961-7998 e-mail: bonnie.oneill@omafra.gov.on.caCasselman Deep River KinburnParent, Pat (bilingual) Walden, John Sullivan, JeanEconomic Development Consultant, Planning and Development Director, Town 3155 Panmure Road, R.R. 2Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and of Deep River Kinburn, ON K0A 2H0Rural Affairs 100 Deep River Road phone: 613-839-1758958-B Route 500 West Deep River, ON K0J 1P0 fax: 613-839-0822Casselman, ON K0A 1M0 phone: 613-584-2000 e-mail: jsullivan@igs.netphone: 613-764-0495 fax: 613-584-3237fax: 613-764-0347 e-mail: jwalden@town.deepriver.on.cae-mail: pat.parent@omafra.gov.on.caMallorytown Napanee NepeanMaskell, John Blais, Paul McSweeney, EricEconomic Developers Council of Ontario Manager, Economic Development, County 69 Townsend Drive TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E90 Kerry Point Road of Lennox and Addington Nepean, ON K2J 2V3R.R. #2 97 Thomas Street East, P.O. Box 1000 613-825-2896Mallorytown, ON K0E 1R0 Napanee, ON K7R 3S9 613-825-2889phone: 613-923-1337 613-354-4883 emcsweeney@sympatico.cafax: 613-923-1338 613-354-3112e-mail: maskellj@web.net pblais@lennox-addington.on.caPembroke Pembroke PembrokeEllis, Susan Hutton, Jim Lapierre, TerryEconomic Development Officer, City of Economic Development Officer, Ottawa Economic Development Officer, County ofPembroke Valley Economic Development Department Renfrew1 Pembroke Street East County of Renfrew 9 International DrivePembroke, ON K8A 6X3 Pembroke, ON K8H 1R1 Pembroke, ON K8A 6W5phone: 613-735-6821 phone: 613-735-0091 phone: 613-735-0091fax: 613-735-3660 fax: 613-735-2492 fax: 613-735-2492e-mail: susanellis@webhart.net e-mail: jhutton@countyofrenfrew.on.ca e-mail: tlapierre@countyofrenfrew.on.ca BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 47
  • 54. Peterborough Port Hope Ottawa Pinkney, Jeff Mann, Gaby De Laat, Paul Business Development Consultant, Ministry Economic Development Officer, Town of Ministry of Training Colleges and of Economic Development and Trade Port Hope Universities 300 Water Street, 2nd Floor, South Tower P.O. Box 117 1355 Bank Street Peterborough, ON K9J 8M5 Port Hope, ON L1A 3V9 Ottawa, ON K1H 8K7 phone: 705-755-5984 phone: 905-885-4544 phone: 613-731-7100, Ext. 235 fax: 705-755-2631 fax: 905-885-7698 fax: 613-731-4160 e-mail: jeff.pinkney@edt.gov.on.ca e-mail: ecdev@town.porthope.on.ca e-mail: paul.delaat@msd.gov.on.ca Ottawa Trenton Nubel, Jim Henderson, JoAnne Manager, Government Energy Services, 20 Anna Court Enbridge Consumers Gas Trenton, ON K8V 5Y4 400 Coventry Road phone: 613-392-3839 Ottawa, ON K1A 2C7 phone: 613-748-6792 fax: 613-741-2378 e-mail: jim.nubel@cgc.enbridge.com Northern Ontario Atikokan Dryden Fort Frances Morelli, Francesco Walkey, Jennifer Gillon, Jane Northern Development Officer, Ministry of Business Analyst, Patricia Area Community Northern Development Officer, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Endeavours Inc. Northern Development and Mines 108 Saturn Avenue, Box 940 Box 668, 66 Keith Avenue, Unit 2 922 Scott Street Atikokan, ON P0T 1C0 Dryden, ON P8N 2Z3 Fort Frances, ON P9A 1J4TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E phone: 807-597-2702 phone: 807-221-3293 phone: 807-274-5320 fax: 807-597-6185 fax: 807-221-3294 fax: 807-274-4438 e-mail: francesco.morelli@ndm.gov.on.ca e-mail: pace_bus@dryden.net e-mail: jane.gillon@ndm.gov.on.ca Geraldton Geraldton Gore Bay Levesque, Guylene (bilingual) Tannahill, Marshall Taylor, Esther Northern Development Officer, Ministry of President Northern Development Officer, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Greenstone Economic Development Northern Development and Mines P.O. Box 69 Corporation P.O. Bag 9, 35 Meredith Street Geraldton, ON P0T 1M0 1409 Main Street, P.O. Box 1018 Gore Bay, ON P0P 1H0 phone: 807-854-0267 Geraldton, ON P0T 1M0 phone: 705-282-2043 fax: 807-854-0335 phone: 807-856-2273 fax: 705-282-2792 e-mail: guylene.levesque@ndm.gov.on.ca fax: 807-854-2474 e-mail: esther.taylor@ndm.gov.on.ca e-mail: gstone@cancom.net 48 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 55. Hearst Iroquois Falls New LiskeardCoulombe, Joanne (bilingual) Chevrier-Peever, Lynda Barton, JenniferNorthern Development Officer, Ministry of Northern Development Officer, Ministry of Northern Development Advisor, Ministry ofNorthern Development and Mines Northern Development and Mines Northern Development and MinesC.P. 1688 260 Main, Box 460 P.O. Box 68Hearst, ON P0L 1N0 Iroquois Falls, ON P0K 1G0 New Liskeard, ON P0J 1P0phone: 705-372-2210 phone: 705-232-4660 phone: 705-647-7379fax: 705-362-7011 fax: 705-232-6553 fax: 705-647-7993e-mail: joanne.coulombe@ndm.gov.on.ca e-mail: lynda.peever@ndm.gov.on.ca e-mail: jennifer.barton@ndm.gov.on.caNipigon North Bay North BayCollins, Levina Cox, Angela Poulin, Stephan (bilingual)Project Coordinator, Township of Nipigon, Economic Development Officer, City of Consultant, Ministry of Citizenship, CultureEconomic Development Office North Bay and RecreationBox 160 200 McIntyre Street East, P.O. Box 360 477 McKeown AvenueNipigon, ON P0T 2J0 North Bay, ON P1B 8H8 North Bay, ON P1B 9S9phone: 807-887-3188 phone: 705-474-0400 Ext. 425 phone: 705-494-4161fax: 807-887-3564 fax: 705-474-4493 fax: 705-494-4069e-mail: edoff@nipigon.lakeheadu.ca e-mail: angelac@mbox.city.north- e-mail: stephan.poulin@mczcr.gov.on.ca bay.on.caParry Sound Red Lake SudburyTaylor, Larry Ronnebeck, Randy Murdock, SharonNorthern Development Officer, Ministry of Northern Development Officer Executive Director, Sudbury LTABNorthern Development and Mines Box 950 111 Elm Street, Suite 1017 Bay Street Red Lake, ON P0V 2M0 Sudbury, ON P3C 1T3Parry Sound, ON P2A 1S4 phone: 807-727-1352 phone: 705-675-5822phone: 705-773-4217 fax: 807-727-2861 fax: 705-675-5918 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+Efax: 705-746-8828 e-mail: randy.ronnebeck @ndm.gov.on.ca e-mail: smurdock@smtab.on.cae-mail: larry.taylor@ndm.gov.on.caSudbury Sudbury Terrace BaySmith, Paulette (bilingual) Wood, Ian Long-Irwin, MaryAdvisor, Adjustment Advisory Program, Community Economic Development Officer, General Manager, Superior North CDCMinistry of Training, Colleges and Town of Walden, Sudbury Regional 17 Mill Road, P.O. Box 716Universities Development Corporation Terrace Bay, ON P0T 2W0450 Notre Dame Tom Davies Square, 200 Brady Street phone: 807-825-4505Sudbury, ON P3C 5K8 Sudbury, ON P3E 5K3 fax: 807-825-9664phone: 705-564-3030 Ext. 39 phone: 705-692-4990 e-mail: maryli@cancom.netfax: 705-564-3033 fax: 705-692-3225e-mail: paulette.smith@msd.gov.on.ca e-mail: ian.wood@city.sudbury.on.ca BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 49
  • 56. Thessalon Thunder Bay Timmins Trivers, David Wilson, Harold Keast, Kathy Agriculture and Rural Representative, Executive Director, Northwestern Ontario Industrial Development Officer, Timmins Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Development Network Economic Development Corporation Rural Affairs Suite 202, 200 Syndicate Avenue South 54 Spruce Street South P.O. Box 6, 254 Water Street Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1C9 Timmins, ON P4N 2M5 Thessalon, ON P0R 1L0 (home) phone: 807-623-4668 phone: 705-360-8480 phone: 705-842-0831 (home) fax: 807-623-3570 fax: 705-360-1394 phone: 1-800-461-6132 (Verner OMAFRA) e-mail: info@nodn.com e-mail: Kkeast@city.timmins.on.ca e-mail:dtrivers@omafra.gov.on.ca Timmins Timmins Wawa Le Clerc, Richard St. Amour, Cheryl (bilingual) Gleeson, Christopher (bilingual) Business Development Manager, Timmins Industrial Development Officer, Timmins Northern Development Officer, Ministry of and District Community Futures Corp. Economic Development Corp. Northern Development and Mines Suite 134, 38 Pine Street NO 54 Spruce Street Hwy. 101, P.O. Box 1370 Timmins, ON P4N 6K6 Timmins, ON P4N 2M5 Wawa, ON P0S 1K0 phone: 705-360-5800 phone: 705-360-8474 phone: 705-856-9516 fax: 705-360-5656 fax: 705-360-1394 fax: 705-856-7511 e-mail: richard@venturecentre.on.ca e-mail: cstamour@city.timmins.on.ca e-mail: chris.gleeson@ndm.gov.on.ca Wawa Hoffren, John Community Development Officer, Superior East CDC Box 500, 40 Broadway Avenue Wawa, ON P0S 1K0 phone: 705-856-2244TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E fax: 705-856-2120 e-mail: wawacdo@onlink.net 50 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 57. Leadership Team and Task Force Members Appendix 5Position Name Phone Number Fax Number Email addressLeadership TeamOverall Co-ordinatorVisitation Co-ordinatorRed-flag and ResourceCo-ordinatorMedia Co-ordinatorSurvey and Data AnalysisCo-ordinatorBR+E ConsultantTask Force TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 51
  • 58. BR+E Work Plan Appendix 6 BR+E Area: Date: BR+E Community: Date: Overall Co-ordinator: Phone: BR+E Consultant: Phone: Organizational Phase Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done? Meet with BR+E Consultant Assess community readiness Hold stakeholder meeting Recruit Leadership Team Recruit Task Force Obtain sponsor(s)TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Secure endorsements Arrange publicity/specify: introducing BR+E Preparation Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done? Organize Task Force meeting (orientation, training) Establish overall scope of project (objectives/design/policies) Develop Work Plan (including plan for monitoring and evaluation) Establish Resource Network Gather and organize business resources (e.g., fact sheets) Develop local questions for survey Select businesses Assign identification numbers to businesses Conduct practice visits (Leadership Team) Publicize BR+E project 52 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 59. Volunteer Recruitment andTraining Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done?Contact BR+E ConsultantDetermine number of Volunteer Visitors neededSelect Volunteer VisitorsSchedule Training Session(s)(place, date, and time)Notify Volunteer Visitors of trainingDivide volunteers into teams of twoAssign teams to businessesSend letters and surveys to businessesConduct volunteer trainingEnsure BR+E confidentiality contracts signedReassign Volunteer Visitors if necessary(e.g., unable to attend training, businessrequests change)Publicize news of BR+E projectConducting the Interviews Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done?Set tentative completion date for return of all TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+Esurveys:Date: ______________________Check volunteers’ progressReassign uncompleted surveys by:Date: ______________________Send letters of appreciation to volunteersArrange publicity: news of business visitsFollowup Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done?Followup on urgent business concernsHold Task Force meetingSend letters of appreciation and information tobusinessesRecord followup actionsArrange publicity: success stories and plannedactivities BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 53
  • 60. Data Analysis and Recommendations Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done? Contact Consultant Recruit and train volunteers to enter data Monitor data entry Prepare preliminary report Arrange Task Force Retreat Review survey results and identify major issues Develop recommendations to meet needs/ resolve issues Prioritize recommendations (nominal group process) Prepare Final Report Public Meeting Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done? Arrange Public Meeting Speakers at Meeting • Introduction/History • Survey Results • RecommendationsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Arrange publicity • Before meeting • After meeting Implementation Who Will Do This? When Will This Be Done? Establish Action Plan committees Action One __________________ Action Two __________________ Action Three _________________ Action Four __________________ Monitor Progress of actions/projects Co-ordinate quarterly Task Force Meetings Assess (evaluate) BR+E results/impact Arrange followup Public Meetings Publicize BR+E activities, successes 54 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 61. Overall Co-ordinator Job Description Appendix 7aJob Title • Overall Co-ordinatorPurpose • To co-ordinate the overall BR+E project and ensure it is designed, planned, organized, and carried through to implementation and evaluation of local action plansSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Primary contact for BR+E, and possibly the spokespersonand Responsibilities • Dedicated to BR+E, with sufficient time to manage and implement activities • Organize recruitment of Task Force members • Co-ordinate the Leadership Team and act as meeting chair • Co-ordinate the design planning of the project • Assist with recruitment of Volunteer Visitors • Assist with “red-flag” followup • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Host initial Public Meeting • Co-ordinate presentation of survey findings and recommendations at initial Public Meeting • Supervise the preparation of the Final Report • Measure results of the BR+E project against short- and long-term objectives • Ensure documentation of project results • Monitor action plans and implementation strategy • Followup after stage 4 of the BR+E process (e.g., quarterly meetings) • Consider involvement in implementing action plans TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Participate in followup Public Meetings • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality • Help other team membersResults Expected • Overall progress of project will be regularly monitored/tracked • Local action plans will be implemented in response to survey findings • Evaluation will occur to determine the extent to which actions/projects are achieving desired objectives and to reflect on the reasons for success and/or lack of successQualifications and Skills • Experience in co-ordinating community projects is desirableRequired • Skills in planning, organizing, designing, implementing, and evaluating • Management skills (running meetings, involving people, planning effective projects) • Strong communication skills • Conflict-resolution skills • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Experience in community economic development an assetTraining Required • Complete one or two practice business visits • Participate in BR+E training (orientation) BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 55
  • 62. Time Commitment • 100+ hours over 9–12 months • additional hours required during the implementation phase Relationships and • Primary contact with the BR+E Consultant Reporting • Chair of Leadership Team • Member of Leadership Team and Task Force Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 56 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 63. Visitation Co-ordinator Job Description Appendix 7bJob Title • Visitation Co-ordinatorPurpose • To co-ordinate the recruitment and training of Volunteer Visitors and to arrange for the business visits so that BR+E surveys can be completedSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Identify and recruit Volunteer Visitorsand Responsibilities • Identify and communicate with businesses to be visited • Co-ordinate practice business visits for Leadership Team members • Send introductory letters and BR+E surveys to businesses • Ensure that Volunteer Visitors divided into teams of two and assigned to visit businesses • Co-ordinate and host Volunteer Visitor training • Ensure confidentiality contracts are signed by all volunteers working on the project • Track progress of businesses visits and reschedule as required • Co-ordinate with Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator to mail thank-you letters to businesses with appropriate followup information and resources • Mail thank-you notes to volunteers • Assist with recruitment of Task Force members • Assist with “red-flag” followup • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality • Help other team membersResults Expected • Sufficient number of volunteers recruited and properly trained to conduct visits • Volunteer Visitors complete interviews with businesses within a three-week time frame • Adequate number of appropriate businesses will be surveyed • All businesses and Volunteer Visitors thanked for their participationQualifications and Skills • Ideally, a respected, known business leader/representative in the communityRequired • Volunteer management skills • Organizational skills • Communication skills • Recruitment skills • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Team playerTraining Required • Complete one or two practice business visits • Participate in BR+E training (orientation) BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 57
  • 64. Time Commitment • 45 hours over 6–9 months • Additional time if involved in implementation Relationships and • Report to Overall Co-ordinator Reporting • Member of Leadership Team • Member of Task Force Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 58 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 65. Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator Job Description Appendix 7cJob Title • Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinatorPurpose • To co-ordinate a quick response to any identified “red-flag” issue so that immediate business concerns are addressed and to co-ordinate the followup on all requests for additional information and resourcesSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Take lead role in establishing a Resource Networkand Responsibilities • Prepare and gather fact sheets about local programs and resources for businesses • Prepare and gather information to promptly assist businesses with “red-flag” issues • Accept or ensure someone is assigned to accept completed surveys from Volunteer Visitors • Ensure immediate followup on “red-flag” issues • Organize the “red-flag” review by the Task Force • Assign a Task Force member to handle each immediate business concern • Co-ordinate with Visitation Co-ordinator to mail thank-you letters to businesses with appropriate followup information and resources • Assist with recruitment of Task Force members and Volunteer Visitors • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Help other team membersResults Expected • Immediate response to “red-flag” issues of businesses • Provide requested information and resources to businesses in a timely fashionQualifications and Skills • Organizational skillsRequired • Ability to delegate responsibility • Able to meet deadlines • Familiarity with economic and business resources in the community • Contacts with key business resources in the community (public and private) • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Team playerTraining Required • Complete one or two practice business visits • Participate in BR+E training (orientation)Time Commitment • 45 hours over 6–9 months • Additional time if involved in implementationRelationships and • Reporting to Overall Co-ordinatorReporting • Member of Leadership Team • Member of Task Force BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 59
  • 66. Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 60 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 67. Media Co-ordinator Job Description Appendix 7dJob Title • Media Co-ordinatorPurpose • To ensure media coverage of the BR+E project, which will result in greater community awareness and commitment to the projectSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Establish contacts with the mediaand Responsibilities • Prepare background information sheets to provide quick responses for basic inquires about BR+E and local implementation • Ensure media coverage to introduce BR+E to the community • Prepare news releases for media as activities progress • Document and communicate project results to the media and other target groups (e.g., municipal representatives, other communities, etc.) • Ensure media coverage of Public Meetings before and after events • Assist with recruitment of Task Force members and Volunteer Visitors • Assist with “red-flag” followup • Participate in Task Force Retreat • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality • Help other team membersResults Expected • Media and other key groups will be kept informed of BR+E progress TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E throughout all stages of project • Media coverage will enhance community awareness and support for BR+E projectQualifications and Skills • Strong communication skills (writing and speaking)Required • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project. • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Knowledge of media contacts in community • Possible experience in media sector • Team playerTraining Required • Complete one or two practice business visits • Participate in BR+E training (orientation)Time Commitment • Additional time if involved in implementation • 45 hours over 6–9 monthsRelationships and • Reporting to Overall Co-ordinatorReporting • Member of Leadership Team • Member of Task Force BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 61
  • 68. Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 62 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 69. Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator Job Description Appendix 7eJob Title • Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinatorPurpose • To co-ordinate data analysis of BR+E survey, which will help identify issues and suggest strategies for retention and expansion of businessesSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Co-ordinate the survey preparation and data entryand Responsibilities • Prepare local questions for survey (if needed) in consultation with Task Force • Recruit and ensure training of Data-entry Volunteers • Ensure Data-entry Volunteers sign confidentiality contract • ensure survey data is entered accurately and in a timely manner • Supervise preparation of preliminary report • Co-ordinate analysis of survey responses • If needed, identify Consultant to help summarize results, identify themes, and suggest recommendations • Co-ordinate arrangements for the Task Force Retreat • Take part in the 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 • Assist with recruitment of Task Force members and Volunteer Visitors • Assist with “red-flag” followup • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentiality • Help other team membersResults Expected • Data-entry Volunteers will be properly trained to do their jobs • Task Force members will be able to identify possible action plans based on review of survey findingsQualifications and Skills • Familiarity with surveys (development and interpretation of findings)Required • Awareness of economic and business trends • Analytical skills • Group facilitation skills to lead Task Force in process of analyzing findings (alternatively, an outside facilitator can assist with this) • Computer skills (e.g., knowledge of Microsoft Access for data analysis and Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation of findings) • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Team playerTraining Required • Complete one or two practice business visits • Participate in BR+E training (orientation) BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 63
  • 70. Time Commitment • 45 hours over 6–9 months • Additional time if involved in implementation Relationships and • Reporting to Overall Co-ordinator Reporting • Member of Leadership Team • Member of Task Force Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 64 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 71. Task Force Member Job Description Appendix 7fJob title • Task Force memberPurpose • To work with a broad-based team of business leaders to support the BR+E project and ensure its successful completion in the communitySpecific Tasks, Duties, • Work with a team of 15–30 business leaders to support the BR+E project andand Responsibilities the Leadership Team • Assist in setting the overall scope, objectives, design, and policies for the project • Assist in recruiting sufficient volunteers to conduct the project • Assist in securing written endorsements from local organizations • Participate in volunteer training and visit 2–4 businesses • Participate in meetings to handle immediate concerns of local businesses (“red- flag” issues) and help in followup work • Review the research results • Participate in Task Force Retreat and help set priorities for short-term and long-term action plans • Assist, as appropriate, in planning the Public Meetings • Participate in initial Public Meeting • Assist in the implementation of plans • Attend quarterly progress reporting sessions for a year after adopting priority action plans • Sign confidentiality contract TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Maintain confidentiality • Help other team membersResults Expected • BR+E project will receive broad community support • There will be a sufficient number of volunteers to respond to businesses “red flags” and information requests • Business leaders will assist in development and implementation of action plansQualifications and Skills • Basic understanding of the local economyRequired • Broad range of experience, varies depending on community needs e.g. representatives of local economic development committees, Community Development Corporations, Chambers of Commerce, local government, relevant federal and provincial representatives, area utilities, community colleges, and other well-respected and influential community leaders • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Team playerTraining Required • Participate in BR+E training (orientation) • Participate in Volunteer Visitor training BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 65
  • 72. Time Commitment • 20–30 hours, primarily during stages two and three • Additional time may be required with involvement in the implementation stage Relationships and • Report to chair of Task Force Reporting • As required, may report to specific Leadership Team Member (e.g., Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator if assigned to follow up on a “red-flag” issue) Benefits and Rewards • Be involved in a highly successful project • Visibility in business community • Increased knowledge and understanding of businesses in community • Opportunity to make a difference to local economy • Participating in a project that will promote business development and job creation • Opportunity to meet and work with different people • Identify partners for new projectsTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 66 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 73. Volunteer Visitor Job Description Appendix 7gJob Title • Volunteer VisitorPurpose • To conduct the business visits for the BR+E project, collecting information that will help identify issues and suggest strategies for retention and expansion of existing businessesSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Conduct two to four interviews as assignedand Responsibilities • Work with an interview partner to conduct interviews; one person asking the questions (interviewer) and one person recording the responses (recorder). • Contact the businesses within one week of the training to set up an interview appointment • Conduct the interviews within three weeks of training • Return the completed surveys to __________________________________ • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentialityResults Expected • Within one week of training, assigned business owners/managers will be contacted to schedule interview times • Two to four interviews will be conducted within three weeks of training • Business information will be gathered • Completed surveys will be returned by predetermined date TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EQualifications and Skills • Enthusiasm and reliabilityRequired • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project • Good listening and recording skills • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Willingness to work within project timeframeTraining Required • Mandatory attendance at a training session, which will take approximately 2–3 hoursTime Commitment • Interviews will be conducted over a two-week period, probably in ___________(month) of __________ (year) • Each interview takes approximately 1–1 1/4 hours • Total time commitment of 6–10 hours, including training sessionRelationships and • Report any questions/concerns/comments re: the interview process toReporting Visitation Co-ordinator • Promptly report any urgent business issues to the Red-flag and Resource Co- ordinator • Information gained in the interview process is to be treated as confidential and solely for the use of the BR+E project; this commitment will also be explained to the interviewee • Return the completed surveys to ______________________________ BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 67
  • 74. Benefits and Rewards • Learn about local economy • Work together in the community • Achieve results • Receive recognition for volunteering at a community celebration meeting • Gain personal experience by participating in BR+E visitations • Build networksTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 68 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 75. Data-entry Volunteer Job Description Appendix 7hJob Title • Data-entry VolunteerPurpose • To enter survey responses in BR+E project database, which will permit analysis of dataSpecific Tasks, Duties, • Enter data for __ surveys in BR+E Microsoft Access databaseand Responsibilities • Participate at Public Meetings • Consider involvement in implementing action plans • Sign confidentiality contract • Maintain confidentialityResults Expected • Responses from ___ surveys will be entered in the databaseQualifications and Skills • Attention to details and accuracyrequired • Reliability • Professionalism, representing the community for the BR+E project. • Able to respect and exercise confidentiality • Willingness to work within project timeframe • Microsoft Access computer skills an assetTraining Required • Data-entry training session which will take approximately ___ hoursTime Commitment • Data entry will be conducted over a __-week period, probably in TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E _______(month) of __________ (year) • Each survey takes approximately ___ hours to enter • Total time commitment ____hours, including training sessionRelationships and • Report to the Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinatorReportingBenefits and Rewards • Learn about local economy • Work together in the community • Receive recognition for volunteering at a community celebration meeting • Gain personal experience by participating in BR+E project BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 69
  • 76. Sample Media Releases Appendix 8 NEWS RELEASE: ORGANIZATIONAL PHASE Instructions: Simply fill in names of local leaders, communities, etc. Revise as necessary. [sponsoring organization] is planning a community economic development project, according to [name], president of [sponsoring organization]. The project, the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project, is designed to stimulate economic development and growth by assisting existing businesses. “Helping our existing businesses is the primary objective of the project. Other communities have had very good results with BR+E projects,” said [sponsoring organization contact]. “Before considering this project we talked to community leaders in several other areas that have used this approach to business retention and expansion. They were very positive about the results,” said [member of Leadership Team]. For example, in [name of community] the BR+E project led to: [outline the specific example of success based on the telephone interviews]. Another example of the benefits of this approach was given by leaders in [name of community or area]. One of their successes was [outline the success]. Before a community can assist existing businesses it must identify the businesses needs, concerns, and problems. Through the BR+E project, local volunteers visit businesses and gather information. The local leaders running this program thenTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E try to solve the problems or better meet those needs identified by the businesses. “A key aspect of this project is confidentiality,” according to [Consultant], a BR+E Ontario Consultant. “We do not publish information on individual businesses. The project is very careful about this confidentiality issue.” The information gathered from the visits is compiled and analyzed. The local Co- ordinator and Task Force review this analysis and then write recommendations for future economic development initiatives for [name of community]. “One of the reasons for the popularity of the BR+E project is that it not only provides a long range plan for the community but also yields some short-range tangible results,” said [name of Consultant]. 70 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 77. NEWS RELEASE: PREPARATION PHASE Instructions: Simply fill in names of local leaders, communities, etc. Revise as necessary. [name of community or county] will be implementing a local economic development project early next year, according to [name], the projects local Co- ordinator. The Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project will be sponsored by the [name of organization sponsoring project]. ["Insert a quote from the sponsoring organization about its enthusiasm for the project or the potential benefits, such as creating jobs, keeping industry, and improving the business climate."] said [name and title of local leader]. The main objective of the BR+E project is to assist existing businesses within the community to become more competitive, according to [BR+E Consultant], who is providing guidance to the project. According to [surname of Consultant], helping businesses become more competitive increases the chances of those businesses staying in the community; hence, the name of the project. [name of Consultant] said that the focus of the project is on assisting existing businesses rather than attracting new ones because existing businesses account for about 70 percent of all new jobs. To assist existing businesses, [number] volunteers, who will be selectively recruited and briefed about the project during the next several months, will visit about [number] local [list sectors or types of businesses] businesses in [months] to gather information. The volunteers will use a survey to identify, among other TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E items, the businesses needs, concerns, and criticisms about the community. A local Task Force of community leaders reviews this information and will try to solve the problems. Other local leaders serving on the Leadership Team are: [names and titles of local leaders]. The Task Force includes the following community leaders: [names and titles of community leaders].BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 71
  • 78. NEWS RELEASE: TRAINING VOLUNTEERS [number of participants] community leaders met at the [name of meeting site] on [day of week or date] to prepare for the communitys economic future. The two- hour meeting was the formal kickoff of a local Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E] project sponsored by [name of sponsor(s)]. The [day of week] nights session was lead by [name of Consultant], a trained BR+E Ontario Consultant. “Existing businesses are the best sources of growth. We want to find out how we can help them grow in our community. We have an excellent team in place to work on this and expect excellent results,” said [Overall Co-ordinator], Co- ordinator of the local project. The project is designed to stimulate economic development by assisting existing businesses, according to [name and title]. [Surname only] pointed out that, to assist businesses, a community must first identify businesses needs and problems and then address those concerns to improve the local economic climate. The Volunteer Visitors will be visiting [number] of [list sectors or types of business] between now and [final target date]. During each visit, each team of two volunteers will use a survey to gather information about each business. The training session [period of day] was held to help prepare the volunteers for their interviews. [“Quote from a volunteer about what he/she learned from the training session, his/ her opinion of the project after the training, or his/her participation in the project,”] said [name], one of the Volunteer Visitors.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E During the training, volunteers viewed a BR+E video. They also asked questions of [name], Overall Co-ordinator of [community BR+E project]. They also reviewed the survey in detail. [Type of Co-ordinator] emphasized that the information gathered through the surveys will be strictly confidential. [“Quote from Overall Co-ordinator about his/her expectations of the program or the results and recommendations at the end”,] [name] said. 72 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 79. NEWS RELEASE: VISITING BUSINESSES Beginning this week, [number] community businesses will be given the opportunity to voice their opinions about the local economy as [sponsor] starts an economic development project. The [name of community/area] Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project officially begins this week as trained volunteers meet with local businesses to identify their needs and concerns, ask their opinions about government, and determine in what ways the local business climate can be improved. “The visits we are doing with local businesses have four purposes,” said [name of local leader]. “First we want to show our local businesses that we really appreciate the contributions they are making to our local community. Second, we want to see if they have any concerns, and, if so, if there are ways we can help. Third, we will be offering to help our local businesses take better advantage of business resources. Finally, we want the businesses to help us set priorities on future directions of local economic efforts.” [“Quote from the Overall Co-ordinator about the purpose of the interviews or the importance of the businesses co-operating to make the project successful,”] [name] said. BR+E has been implemented in hundreds of rural and urban communities across the United States. In Ontario it was introduced on a pilot basis in 1998. The results of BR+E Ontario pilot projects have been impressive: development of a more business-friendly attitude, new local investment, more jobs, fewer barriers to development and easier access to financing, to name a few. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 73
  • 80. NEWS RELEASE: FOLLOWUP Instructions: This news release is not fully developed because the issues raised by businesses will vary considerably. The president of [business] announced today that he will not relocate his plant to [other province or state], but will expand here, creating an estimated [number] jobs because of [cite reason]. A traffic light will be installed at the intersection of ________ and _________ as a result of a local development effort, according to [name]. (This might occur if a business complains that the intersection is hazardous for its truckers, which increases its insurance premiums.) A provincial government official spoke about labour-management relations at a seminar series that began last night at [place]. (This might occur if the Task Force, in response to a large number of businesses wanting more information about labour-management relations or some other topic, forms a series or breakfast forums featuring speakers from government, regional organizations, and the private sector.) These business assistance programs stemmed from feedback received when [number] local businesses were visited through the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E] project. The project was sponsored locally by [name of sponsor] and received assistance from [names of other sponsors or supporters of BR+E project].TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 74 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 81. NEWS RELEASE: PUBLIC MEETING Instructions: This news release is not fully developed because the final meeting varies considerably in format and content. Two leads seem obvious: either start with the number of people attending or with the most important or interesting finding or recommendation presented at the meeting. The remainder of the news release should describe the results and recommendations of the project and quote from the principal leaders as to the success of the project. More than [number] people attended the [community] Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E] meeting last night at [place], according to [name], [type of Co-ordinator] of the BR+E project and organizer of the event. More than [number] percent of the local businesses consider [community] to be an excellent or good place to do business, according to the results of a recent survey. [number] businesses in [community] want [list most important finding, why it is important, and what the Task Force recommends]. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 75
  • 82. Confidentiality Contract Appendix 9 I, __________________________________[name], understand the significance of confidentiality concerning the Business Retention and Expansion project in the community of ________________________________________. I promise to keep any information received in the course of my duties with this project confidential. I understand that the information collected from the businesses is to be treated as confidential and is not to be disclosed to others except in the context of the work for which it was collected. ____________________________ ________________________________ Signature Print NameTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E ____________________________ ________________________________ Witness Date 76 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 83. Guidelines for Sampling and Selecting Businesses Appendix 10 The process of sampling is simply the method by which businesses or respondents are selected to be included or invited to participate in the survey. Decisions must be made by the Leadership Team before any interviewing starts as to what the sample plan for the community will look like. 1. In order to make an appropriate selection it is important to know what the community’s business world looks like. In other words, a geographical border that defines the area from which you can pull a sample must be established. 2. Next, businesses within the area in terms of type and size of business are quantified. Statistics Canada employs a numerical coding system that categorizes all types of businesses. It is recommended that this North American Industry Classification System or NAICS be used. Survey question GB3 has been designed to reflect this coding system. (The NAICS has replaced the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) coding system.) It is also advised that businesses be categorized as small, medium, or large according to number of employees. 3. Next, develop an outline of the business universe; (Note: only a partial list of business types has been used in the sample below; a more complete list is shown in the table within Appendix 19, Guidelines for Using the BR+E TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Survey) TYPE COMPANY SIZE (Examples) Small Medium Large TOTAL Agriculture/farming # % # % # % # % Mines/minerals # % # % # % # % Forestry # % # % # % # % Manufacturing # % # % # % # % Food and Beverage # % # % # % # % Retail # % # % # % # % TOTAL # # # # 100% NOTE: Percentaging base for all cells should be the TOTAL NUMBER of businesses. 4. The chart above, once completed, will give a census of the businesses in the area or community (or at least of the types that have been selected to be included in the survey). This chart will guide how the completed interviews should be distributed across type and size of business. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 77
  • 84. 5. If it is not possible to get size–of-business information by type of business, each piece of information can be used independently to design the sample plan. The chart would then appear like this: TYPE TOTAL Agriculture/farming # % Mines/minerals # % Forestry # % Manufacturing # % Food and Beverage # % Retail # % TOTAL # 100% 6. Some communities or areas will have many types of business while others will have few. Given that most communities will complete 100 or fewer interviews it may not be possible to address each type, and it is advisable to combine any business types that may be similar and small in numbers. 7. The next step is to decide how many businesses are to be invited to participate from each of the business type and size groups. The following plan shows an example distribution of 60 interviews. The numbers across the bottom and in the far-right column are the most important. These numbers are determined by applying the distribution from your world to the total number of business interviews planned. TYPE COMPANY SIZETAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E (Examples) Small Medium Large TOTAL Agriculture/farming 18 30% 4 7% — — 22 37% Mines/minerals — — 1 2% 4 7% 5 8% Forestry — — — — 1 2% 1 2% Manufacturing — — 5 8% 4 7% 9 15% Food and Beverage 3 5% — — 1 2% 4 7% Retail 8 13% 6 10% 5 8% 19 32% TOTAL 29 48% 16 27% 15 26% 60 100% 8 Once a plan has been set, businesses should be selected (in as random a manner as possible) to complete the plan. 9. It is quite likely that as the appointment making and the interviewing process progresses some businesses will refuse or be unable to participate in the time set aside for interviewing. In each case care should be taken to replace the selected business with one that fills the same criteria in terms of size and type of business. 10. If the businesses are selected to reflect something very close to the distribution of businesses in the universe, when the results are consulted they can be reported as a group that roughly represents what the real world (your universe) looks like. 78 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 85. Sources of Information Appendix 11 Business Self-Help Offices and Enterprise Centres www.ontario-canada.com Central and Southern Ontario Brampton Huntsville Newcomers City Hall, 6th Floor 37 Main Street East 145 Front Street East 2 Wellington Street West 2nd Floor Suite 101 Brampton, Ontario Huntsville, Ontario Toronto, Ontario L6Y 4R2 P1H 1A1 M5A 1E3 905-874-2650 705-789-6693 416-415-2370 Brantford Kitchener Queen’s Park City Hall 200 King Street West 900 Bay Street 100 Wellington Square P.O. Box 1118 Main Floor, Macdonald Block Brantford, Ontario Kitchener, Ontario Toronto, Ontario N3T 2M3 N2G 4G7 416-325-6532 519-759-4150 x256 519-741-2604 Guelph London St. Catharines/Niagara 1 Stone Road West 1764 Oxford Street East City Hall Atrium London, Ontario 50 Church Street, 2nd Floor Guelph, Ontario N5V 3R6 St. Catharines, Ontario N1G 4Y2 519-659-2882 L2R 7C2 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 519-826-4701 905-688-5600 Halton Markdale Vaughan 1151 Bronte Road 181 Toronto Street South 330 Hwy. #7, Suite 809 Oakville, Ontario Markdale, Ontario Royal Bank Building L6M 3L1 N0C 1H0 Vaughan, Ontario 905-825-6123 x7729 519-986-2040 L6K 4M3 1-800-265-9162 905-738-7211 Hamilton-Wentworth Markham Windsor 7 Innovation Drive Markham Civic Centre 333 Riverside Drive West Suite 100 101 Town Centre Blvd. Suite 217 Hamilton, Ontario Markham, Ontario Windsor, Ontario L9J 1K3 L3R 9W3 N9A 5KA 905-689-2400 x225 905-475-4890 519-253-6900 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 79
  • 86. Eastern Ontario Cornwall Northumberland Renfrew 340 Pitt Street The Fleming Building 161 Raglan Street South P.O. Box 877 1005 William Street Renfrew, Ontario Cornwall, Ontario Suite 202 K7V 1R2 K6H 5T9 Cobourg, Ontario 613-432-6848 613-933-0074 K9A 5J4 905-372-9279 Hawkesbury Ottawa-Carleton Smiths Falls 114 Main Street 111 Lisgar Street 77 Beckwith Street North Hawkesbury, Ontario 1st Floor Smiths Falls, Ontario K6A 2H2 Ottawa, Ontario K7A 2B8 613-632-7057 K2P 2L7 613-283-4124 613-560-6081 x2706 Kingston Peterborough 181 Wellington Street 351 Charlotte Street Suite 200 Peterborough, Ontario Canada Trust Building K9J 2W1 Kingston, Ontario 705-745-9972 K7L 3E3 613-544-2725 Northern Ontario North Bay Sudbury Timiskaming 200 McIntyre Street East Tom Davies Square 467 Ferguson Avenue P.O. Box 360 200 Brady Street Bag MTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E North Bay, Ontario Sudbury, Ontario Haileybury, Ontario P1B 8H8 P3E 5K3 P0J 1K0 705-474-0400 705-688-7582 705-672-5155 1-800-465-6892 1-800-668-7582 1-800-361-2281 Sault Ste. Marie Thunder Bay Timmins 99 Foster Drive 200 Syndicate Avenue 54 Spruce Street South 3rd Floor Suite 102 Timmins, Ontario Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Thunder Bay, Ontario P4N 2M5 P6A 5X6 P7E 1C9 705-264-3400 705-759-5461 807-625-3972 1-800-461-2936 1-800-565-4507 1-800-668-9360 80 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 87. Canada Ontario Business Call Centre (COBCC) Access information on Business Programs and Services offered by the Ontario and Federal Governments Phone: 1-800-567-2345 416-954-4636 FaxBack Services: 1-800-240-4192 416-954-8555 E-mail: cobcc@cbsc.ic.gc.ca Online: http://www.cbsc.org/ Government of Canada Services and Support for Small Business An overview of federal government services and programs design to assist small business. Phone: 613-947-7466 Fax: 613-954-6436 Online: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/smeguide For copies: Distribution Services Communications Branch Industry Canada 205D, West Tower TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 235 Queen Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 81
  • 88. BR+E Local Question Guidelines Appendix 12 Creating and Formatting New Questions for Community Issues These guidelines are to assist communities in the development of questions that will address issues specific to the local community. These questions should be included at the very end of the survey, after the Local Community Section (LC). The database section for local community questions is called Community Questions (CQ). 1. Keep these questions to a minimum. The interview time should be 1 to 1¼ hours for the core survey questions and your community questions. Add no more than five questions in this section. The database has been developed to accept a limited number of locally developed community questions. 2. Establish an objective for the question(s). This should be more than just a topic and should indicate how the results will be used. An objective answers the question “What do I want to know and be able to do or decide after this question is answered?” If a question simply fills a “it–would-be-nice-to- know” role, it most likely should not be included. 3. Use only simple language when writing a question. Do not assume that all respondents are at the same level of understanding on an issue or topic. Be very careful that respondents will consistently understand the text; if there isTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E any doubt or confusion about what a word means, responses will differ. A good example of a confusable word is “community.” 4. Don’t try to get too much out of one question. Often, issues need to be approached step by step. 5. Do not try to shorten sentences, abbreviate, or leave out words when developing the question. It is best to take as much time as needed to ensure that the question is clear and everyone will understand it the same way. 6. Ensure that the responses (if specific ones are expected) relate well to the question being asked. For example, if asking, “Is market development an important issue for your business?” do not supply and expect responses to fit a rating scale of very important, somewhat important, not very important, not at all important. The question in the example requires a Yes or No response and not the scaled one desired. If you want business to rate an issue, use a second question. 7. Be sure that the type of responses you are looking for are clearly reflected in the question text. 82 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 89. 8. Whenever possible, try to provide a list of possible responses. This helps greatly with the usability of the responses as it groups similar ideas before the data is processed. Open-ended questions that require verbatim responses to be written down are labour intensive. These types of questions should be viewed as providing qualitative insight into how respondents are feeling about an issue. 9. Don’t expect respondents to be able to respond to very detailed questions (e.g., in the area of revenue dollars or employee statistics). Be reasonable in your requests. 10. Test the question(s). First by answering it to see if it makes sense and is appropriate. Second by imagining what the responses might be and how the project will use the information. If the responses can’t be imagined, or it isn’t clear how the information could be used, the question is not worth asking. Third, ask the question of someone else who is not involved in the BR+E project for an “outsider’s” opinion. 11. When testing question(s) possible responses may prompt further questions. Before posing the questions to business owners, it is important to have enough information to address your initial objectives. 12. Local community questions should be included at the very end of the survey, after the Local Community Section (LC). This would match the order of questions in the database and assist Data-entry Volunteers to enter data efficiently. The database section for local community questions is called Community Questions (CQ). TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 83
  • 90. List of Volunteer Visitors Appendix 13 Community _________________________________________ Visitation Co-ordinator ________________________________ Please type or print. Copy as many times as needed. Return worksheet to Overall Co-ordinator. Name of Volunteer Occupation Address/Phone NumberTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 84 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 91. Volunteer Visitation Team Assignments Appendix 14 Community ___________________________ Visitation Co-ordinator __________________ (Please type or print) Return worksheet to: ___________________________. Copy this page as many times as required. Volunteer Team Businesses to Visit 1. 1. 2. 3. 2. 1. 2. 3. 3. 1. 2. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 3. 4. 1. 2. 3. 5. 1. 2. 3. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 85
  • 92. Volunteer Visitors’ Training Invitation Appendix 15 Dear [Volunteer Name]: Thank you for agreeing to participate in [community name] Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project. Your participation in this project identifies your commitment to enhancing the economic growth of our community. As a Volunteer Visitor, you are an essential component of this project. The overall purpose of business retention and expansion is to assist our existing business community. To do this, we have asked local leaders, like you, to visit [number] businesses with a survey to gather information about their needs, concerns, and opinions of the town and area as a place to do business. This information provides a means to assist our existing businesses. In turn, this will help to improve our local business climate and economic development efforts. To tell you more about the project and your role in it, we are holding a training session for all [number] volunteers at [place, date, and time of session]. To be a Volunteer Visitor, you must attend the training session, which lasts 2–3 hours. We know you recognize the importance of confidentiality of the information that you will receive from the surveys. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality contract at the training. We greatly appreciate your co-operation in this community-wide effort. Your participation as a volunteer is critical to the success of the project.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Please RSVP by [date] to [name VISITATION COORDINATOR ] at [phone number]. If you have questions about the project, please feel free to call me. Sincerely, [Visitation Co-ordinator] 86 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 93. Volunteer Visitors’ Training Agenda Appendix 16 1. Introduction/welcome — Visitation Co-ordinator 2. General information about Business Retention and Expansion — Overall Co-ordinator 3. Review of packages — BR+E Consultant 4. Confidentiality Contracts — Visitation Co-ordinator 5. Survey/interviewing tips — BR+E Consultant 6. Video, Role playing 7. Report on practice visits — Leadership Team (Could also include a conference call with other communities who are or have been involved) 8. Scheduling business interviews; problems and timing — Visitation Co-ordinator 9. Returning surveys, identification of “red flags,” and the process TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E — Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator 10. Questions and answers — Visitation Co-ordinator/BR+E Consultant BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 87
  • 94. Tips for Preparing Volunteer Visitors’ Packages Appendix 17 To simplify the distribution of materials at the training session, prepare Volunteer Visitor packages ahead of time. Organize and label a package for each volunteer attending the training. Prepare a separate set of volunteer packages for each team of Volunteer Visitors to use at business interviews. Volunteer Visitor Packages Suggested Contents For Training Session For Business Interview • Copy of confidentiality contract • Volunteer Visitors’ training agenda (see Appendix 16) • Three blank surveys • List of those involved in BR+E project • survey for interviewer (e.g., sponsor, endorsing groups, Co-ordinators, • coded* survey for recorder Task Force members, etc.) • spare survey for business person to use during visit. • Name and contact numbers for Visitation Co- Remember to calculate these extra surveys when ordinator computing number of copies to prepare • Volunteer Visitor job description • Volunteer followup suggestions (see Appendix 7g) • Addressed envelope (for returning completed survey • Confidentiality contract (see Appendix 9) and followup suggestion sheet) • Guidelines for Volunteer Visitors • List of those involved in BR+E project (see Appendix 18) (e.g., sponsor, endorsing groups, Co-ordinators, TaskTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Volunteer followup suggestions Force members, etc.) (Appendix 20) • Names and numbers for business person to contact • Letter sent to businesses (see Appendix 24) with future questions or concerns • Their business assignments • Copies of local brochures, fact sheets to be distributed during visits • Sample survey • Pen * The coded survey lists the name of the business, address, phone number, business persons name, and title. This information can be typed on labels and attached to the survey. If labels are not available, the information can be hand written on the survey. Every page of the survey must have the business identification number on it to assist with data entry. 88 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 95. Guidelines for Volunteer Visitors Appendix 18 Schedule the interview Who schedules visit? You do. When? Call within a week of training session. Visit within 3 weeks of training. Who should be visited? Owner or operator of the business. How long does it take? 1–1 ¼ hours Where? Office or home of the person you are interviewing. Suggestions for Telephone Call “Good morning, this is [name]. Recently you received a letter from [name of Visitation Co-ordinator], the Visitation Co-ordinator for our Business Retention and Expansion project. This is a community-wide effort to see what can be done to improve the profitability of our local businesses. Part of the project involves volunteers like me visiting with business owners or managers to complete the survey included with the letter you received. My partner, [name] and I would like to schedule a visit with you next week. What would be a convenient time for you? TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Prior To the Visit/Interview • Familiarize yourself with the Volunteer Visitors package and its contents. • With your partner, decide who will be the interviewer and who will be the recorder. Introduce Yourself During the Business Visit • Express thanks for the business’s economic contributions to the community. • Provide a copy of the survey to the owner if he or she does not have one handy. • Briefly explain the purpose of the BR+E project. • Cover the two important survey ground rules: • Confidentiality • Skip-It Rule • Explain that all volunteers must sign Confidentiality Agreement at the beginning of the survey. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 89
  • 96. Tips for Interviewing • Ask every question exactly as worded. Repeat the question if necessary. • Listen carefully. • Never suggest responses. • Do not take offense to opinions. • Do not promise any solutions. • Probe — ask related questions and converse. For instance, if a business has a complaint about a local service, find out how this is affecting the business. Do not debate any responses; your job is to listen and record. • Do not press for a response. If the person is reluctant to respond, he or she may wish to “skip it.” • Do not disagree with the business owner — listen. If someone goes off on a tangent, listen and then mention that you are recording his or her concerns. Continue with the survey by acknowledging busy work schedules. If interruptions are a problem, suggest a quieter place or rescheduling. • Follow the survey carefully—ask all questions, make sure responses add up to 100 percent, follow instructions in the survey e.g., READ ALL, GO TO • Review the survey to be sure that it is complete. Tips for Recording • Record responses on a survey that has the business’s name and ID number. • List visitors/interviewers names on the cover.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Use a pen for responses on the survey (dark ink is preferable). • Print or write responses clearly. • Record extra comments in the margins or on the reverse of page. • Notes must tell full story. • Follow instructions in the survey. After Completing the Survey At the end of the visit/interview, thank the business person for his/her co- operation and time. Explain that there will be a project report and community meeting to announce the results. • Complete the “followup suggestions” sheet immediately after the interview while your recollections and impressions are still fresh. Be sure to write down any major concerns of the business, requests for help, and ideas for followup assistance. • Return the survey in a sealed envelope to the Red-flag and Resource Co- ordinator immediately, especially if there are urgent problems or concerns. • Keep the business’s responses strictly confidential. Do not discuss the responses with anyone except the Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator or the identified recipient. 90 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 97. Guidelines for Using the BR+E Survey Appendix 19 The following guidelines are meant to supply explanations and suggestions for certain items in the survey. It is suggested that these guidelines be reviewed and understood by those administering the survey before interviewing is started. General Approach • Interviewing is the core of the research process; if it is not done honestly and carefully the information gathered will be useless and misleading. • Consistency and standardization is the key to good data collection (interviewing). • The respondent’s identity must be secure and confidential; he or she needs to feel free to express honest opinions without any fear of reprisal. Interviewing Approach • All interviewers must have a chance to review the survey and an opportunity to ask questions. Practice interviews are a good exercise and a valuable way to identify problem areas. • It is a good idea for the interviewer and recorder to review the survey just before the interview takes place. This is especially important as the business- sector-specific sections that are included in a survey can vary from interview to interview. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • All interviewers must ask the same questions; this means reading the questions and, where appropriate, the responses exactly as written. • Do not change words or phrases in a question (even if you think it makes it clearer). • Read carefully so that no mistakes are made; do not leave out part of a question (even if you think the respondent has already answered it). • Do not try to be conversational. • Try to be very “matter of fact,” and don’t indicate emotion in your voice or expression. • Don’t put words in the respondent’s mouth by suggesting responses. • Do not insert your own ideas or otherwise bias the interview. Be careful not to encourage the respondent with your reactions to his responses. • Don’t respond to indicate approval or disapproval. In fact, it is suggested that an interviewer not even say “OK” or “Yes” after an response has been given, as this may be interpreted to mean the response is correct. • Ask questions in the order presented. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 91
  • 98. • Code numbers attached to each response are provided for data-handling ease only; the numbers are not to be read when responses are read. • The questions have been divided into sections, and each question within a section is labelled to indicate the section. Because of the length of the survey, sections should ease the interviewing process and allow some sections to be included only for those business sectors to which they apply. Business-sector sections have been placed together near the end of the survey. • There may be situations when a respondent refuses or declines to respond to a question. When this happens use the “Skip-It rule” (as noted on the front page) and leave the question blank. However, if the respondent finds he or she can’t respond because he or she doesn’t know (DK) or feels the question does not apply (NA) the recorder should note this. This tells us in the analysis whether the respondent chose not to respond, didn’t know, or the question was not applicable to the business. Knowing the difference is important to the analysis process. • Remember to read questions slowly; although the interview is long, it will be unproductive to rush a respondent. Reread any questions as necessary when the topic may seems unclear or complicated. • Some questions have a scale (very…, somewhat…, not very… and not at all…). These are always read at the beginning of a question and may need to be repeated during the question to keep the respondent on track. • It is the responsibility of the interviewer to be sure that the respondent understands the question and that the response reflects this. If the response is incomplete, the interviewer needs to ask for clarification or detail (in what wayTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E is it good?; what do you mean by that?). Interviewers should not allow general responses, but should probe for specifics. • Even if you think the questions are intrusive or personal, do not hesitate or act embarrassed as this may give the respondent reason to refuse to respond. • Be sure that interviewers understand the technical and descriptive terms used in some questions (Question GB18a is a good example of this). Instructions in Survey • Never suggest responses to the respondent (this is allowed only when there is a READ LIST instruction to the interviewer) • Never read responses if the instruction to interviewer is DO NOT READ LIST. • Always read responses in a READ LIST question and be sure to read all choices in the list before accepting a response. • Included in many questions are instructions that must be followed very carefully to ensure that questions are being asked correctly and in the proper order. Your instructions are printed in bold and uppercase. • To avoid asking questions that do not apply to certain situations, “GO TO ” instructions have been inserted to guide interviewers to the next appropriate 92 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 99. question for the respondent. In cases where there have been numerous “GO TO” instructions the note “ASK EVERYONE” can be found to help interviewers find their way to the next common point. It is important to pay attention to these instructions as they make the survey less tiresome for the respondent and produce cleaner data for analysis. • Instructions for many questions indicate “X ONE BOX” or “X AS MANY BOXES AS MENTIONED.” These tell the interviewer when only one response is appropriate and when more than one response is acceptable. • Read response lists only when the instructions with the question indicate to do so, otherwise it is expected that respondents are to provide responses spontaneously. • The instruction “SPECIFY” means to write in any other response the respondent may provide that is not on the list. If there is any doubt as to what response should be used, use the “SPECIFY” option. • Anything in a question that has been underlined or highlighted in bold or italics has been handled this way to help point out to the interviewer a point of emphasis or clarification from a previous or following question. Use this emphasis to help the respondent hear the difference or point. Recording Responses • If a respondent gives a response different from those on the list supplied, reread the list. If Other (SPECIFY) is included, record the response there. • For Question GB3, “What primary business activity is conducted by this company?”, it is important that you mark the box next to the correct business TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E type because the categories correspond to a standard coding system. The table at the end of this appendix, “Question GB3: North American Industry Classification System,” includes some more detail of what type of businesses are included in each category. The table also identifies the Statistics Canada documents where full listings and definitions can be found. • Boxes have been provided to record responses, and interviewers are requested to X all responses. This method has been found to produce less confusion for those responsible for data-entry procedures. • Write legibly or print to be sure that others can understand the responses. • Never use ditto marks or “same as above”; always rerecord the response. • Never summarize responses to open-ended questions; always write out in full. • Always record responses during the interview; don’t try to remember responses for later. This may require you to ask the respondent to slow down “because I want to get everything you have to say.” • Never leave abbreviations on a survey; go back and write out in long form after the interview if necessary.BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 93
  • 100. • When recording responses where lists have been provided with boxes, it is important to X the response(s) needed, keeping the mark within the box. It is not permitted to circle responses or the code to the box. • After the completion of each interview, the interviewer should take some time to review the survey and edit his or her work to clarify any responses written in or where extra notes were made so as to avoid any questions or confusion later. • For any question that asks for a specific measure (i.e. HR3-# of hours) where necessary, help the respondent to translate their response to the required measure. Local Decision In a number of places in the survey, a question may refer to within/ outside the community/area. Clearly respondents will want some point of reference or definition for these terms. While this may be different between parts of Ontario, it should be consistent within a BR+E project. These definitions should be established before interviewing starts.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 94 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 101. QUESTION GB3 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) References 2-Digit and 3-Digit CodesPrimary Business Activity NAICS Code1. Farming — crop and animal production 111,1122. Forestry and Logging 1133. Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry 1154. Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction 211, 2125. Support Activities for Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction 2136. Utilities 22 Includes: Electrical power, natural gas, water, sewage, etc.7. Construction Includes: Land development, building trades, contractors, etc. 238. Manufacturing — Food and Beverage 311, 312 Includes: Food processing, wineries, tobacco, etc.9. Manufacturing — Textile, Clothing, Leather 313–316 Includes: Carpets, fabrics, rope, shoes etc.10. Manufacturing — Wood, Paper, Petroleum, Chemical, Mineral 321–32711. Manufacturing — Primary, Fabricated Metals 331, 33212. Manufacturing — Machinery, Equipment, Electronics 333–336 Includes: Engines, pumps, computers, motor vehicles etc.13. Manufacturing — Furniture and Related Products 33714. Wholesale Trade 4115. Retail Trade 44, 45 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Includes: Car dealers, gas stations, grocery and department stores etc.16. Transportation, Warehousing, and Storage 48, 49 Includes: Bus companies, freight services, ports, couriers, etc.17. Information and Cultural Industries 51 Includes: Publishing, newspapers, sound recordings, broadcasting, data processing, etc.18. Finance and Insurance, Real Estate and Rental Services 52, 53 Includes: Banks, credit unions, insurance agents, car rental, video stores, etc.19. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 54 Includes: Accountants, lawyers, architects, environmental consultants, etc.20. Management of businesses, Administrative and Support Services 55, 56 Includes: Employment services, call centres, travel agencies, security services, etc.21. Education Services 6122. Health Care and Social Assistance 6223. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 71 Includes: Sports, theatres, museums, golf courses, etc.24. Accommodation and Food Services 72 Includes: Hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars, etc.25. Other—See Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 12-501-XPEThe full classification structure and coding for NAICS is available online at http://www.statcan.ca/english/Subjects/Standard/shortd.htm BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 95
  • 102. Volunteer Followup Suggestions Appendix 20 Remember, do not discuss the information obtained in the interview with anyone except your interview partner and the Red-flag and Resource Co- ordinator. Business Date of Review: ID:___________________________________ _____________________________________ 1. Rank the urgency of a followup on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most urgent. “Red-flag” issues require immediate attention (5) while a business with no concerns or requests could be ranked low (1). Urgency of followup: _____________________ 2. List any urgent issues that require immediate attention, such as relocation, closing, employee layoffs, or problems with expansion.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 3. List the key concerns or requests of the business. 96 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 103. Volunteer Thank-you letter Appendix 21 Volunteer Address Dear _____________: Thank you for your assistance with the ______________[community name] Business Retention and Expansion project. Your efforts as a [Volunteer Visitor, clerical support, providing supplies, etc.] have been extremely important to the overall success of this community-based economic development project. The information obtained from the surveys will be analyzed during the next few months, and followup assistance will be provided to many local businesses. Recommendations based on the survey results will be developed for use in local economic development strategies. A Public Meeting will be held in the next few months to announce the survey results and recommendations. I look forward to seeing you there. Again, thank you for your time and co-operation. Sincerely, TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E [name of Visitation Co-ordinator] BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 97
  • 104. "Red-flag" Worksheet Appendix 22 Note: Before using this worksheet, fill in the page and question numbers that refer to each issue. Business ID: ________________ Date of Review: _______________________ Which official or agency What is the problem? should look into it? How urgent is it? Which BR+E Task Force What is your suggestion for member should take charge of handling it? this issue?* MOVING/CLOSING Is the business moving or closing? When? Why? Can anything be done to change this?TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E See page ____, question___ EXPANSION Can the Task Force remove any local bottlenecks? See page ____, question___ PUBLIC SERVICES Can the Task Force help improve weaknesses? See page ____, question___ 98 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 105. Which official or agency What is the problem? should look into it? How urgent is it? Which BR+E Task Force What is your suggestion for member should take charge of handling it? this issue?*INFORMATION REQUESTSCan the Task Force steer the business tothe relevant agency or official?See page ____, question___LABOUR CONCERNSWho can assist on labour concerns?See page ____, question___ TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+EOTHER CONCERNSReview entire survey for “red flags” thatneed urgent attention.* While one Task Force member may make the initial contacts and monitor the assistance provided by other agencies and officials,the BR+E Task Force members do not need to do all the followup on their own. The most successful groups take full advantage offederal, provincial, and local agencies in their community. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 99
  • 106. "Red-flag" Followup Activity Appendix 23 Business ID:___________________________ Date of Review: _________________________________ Followup Date Completed Person Responsible Information sent to the business Telephone call to the business to either supply information or to discuss concerns Problem cited during interview is conveyed to local or provincial agency Referral made to: ______________________ Visit/consultation with the businessTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Additional Followup Type of Followup Date Person Responsible 100 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 107. Letter to Businesses Appendix 24 Manager/Owner/CEO Business Name Address Dear [name of business owner]: The economic well-being of our community is based upon our existing businesses. In recognition of this, positive action is being taken to identify and meet the needs of these businesses. The community of [name of community] is sponsoring such an economic development project in co-operation with the support of [list sponsoring agencies]. The [community name] Business Retention and Expansion project is a community-wide effort that emphasizes personal business visits as a way to identify the needs of our existing businesses. Specifically, the objectives of the project are to: 1. Identify the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing local businesses in order that, where appropriate, local action can be taken to respond to the businesses’ needs or development opportunities. 2. Learn of the future plans of the area’s local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation, and/or retention and assess where assistance can be TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E provided. 3. Demonstrate the community’s pro-business attitude and develop an effective means of communication with local businesses. 4. Have the community actively involved in economic development. The BR+E survey will indicate the future plans/needs of local businesses and how businesses view the community as a place to do business. In turn, this survey information will be used to plan future economic development activities. The Volunteer Visitors and I will review the completed surveys for any “red- flag” issues or requests for information. “Red-flag” issues are areas where BR+E team members may assist you with a concern or opportunity. I respectfully invite you to participate in the BR+E survey. Your input will be a valued addition to the project, and your responses to the survey questions will be kept confidential. All BR+E Volunteer Visitors and the entire Leadership Team sign a “Confidentiality Contract” and are committed to this principle. A summary of the survey results and recommendations for future development efforts will be announced at a Public Meeting at the end of the project. No business will be identified individually. BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 101
  • 108. Enclosed is a copy of the survey that will be used by the Volunteer Visitors during the business visit. The Volunteer Visitors, [name] and [name] have been assigned to survey your business. Should you have any concerns about them, please contact me by [date]. The volunteers will be contacting you in the next week to schedule an appointment for the BR+E visit. The interviews usually last approximately 1 to 1¼ hours. I would greatly appreciate your co-operation with this community effort. If you have any questions about this project, or are not comfortable with the volunteers chosen, please feel free to call me. I can be reached at [day-time phone number] during the day and [night-time phone number] during the evening. Sincerely, [name of Visitation Co-ordinator]TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 102 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 109. Business Thank-you letter Appendix 25 Owner/Manager/CEO Company Address Dear [name of business owner]: Thank you for meeting with the Volunteer Visitors for the [community name] Business Retention and Expansion project. Your participation has been instrumental to the success of this economic development project. The information gathered from the estimated [number] businesses being visited will be analyzed, and followup assistance will be provided to many local businesses. In addition, the survey data will be used to develop recommendations for local economic development strategies. All of the participants will be invited to a Public Meeting during which the survey results and recommendations will be presented. I look forward to seeing you at this event. [Optional for information requests] I have also enclosed basic information about [topic requested on survey] for your review. If you would like additional information, please feel free to call me at [phone number]. Again, thank you for your co-operation and time. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Sincerely, Visitation Co-ordinator BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 103
  • 110. BR+E Data Analysis Appendix 26 Data analysis involves processing the data that have been entered into the database, reviewing printouts from the database, and interpreting the results to identify themes, issues, or opportunities. It is important that this process be done in a systematic and thorough way, as the results of the analysis are the basis for recommendations and the development of action plans. This section provides general tips on interpreting results and examples of further followup analysis using the database or other available information about the community economy. When all the data from individual surveys has been entered into the database, it is possible to print reports showing the total results of responses. Results for each survey question are presented in tables that follow the same order of questions as in the survey. The Leadership Team and Task Force can use these reports to gain a better understanding of the current characteristics and future plans of businesses that participated in the survey. They can also use the reports to identify issues and needs that are important to local businesses as a whole. The challenge in analyzing the data from the survey is to know when a result is significant or not. For some questions, it may be clear that most businesses are concerned about a particular issue, are satisfied or unsatisfied with certain local services, or have a particular need. However, you may get results showing issues that are not clear and for which you would need to dig deeper using the database.TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Standard Report Formats The CD-ROM included with the BR+E Tool Kit incorporates a User Guide describing the steps involved in entering survey data and provides instructions for how to print out reports using the customized Access database. There are several reporting options based on different ways of sorting the survey results. • Community reports provide survey results for the respondents in a single community for a single project. If responses have been collected from businesses in several towns in a district, a separate report on each of these communities will likely be of interest as well as the totals for the larger area or “BR+E Area,” (e.g., the “BR+E Area” could be a county, and the “community” one of several towns in the county where surveys were done). Another option is to generate comparison reports that provide results for both geographic areas in the same document. • It is also possible to generate community reports that document the responses to qualitative questions. These are of two types: 104 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 111. 1. Qualitative Data — a summary of the survey responses to questions that do not have a defined set of responses (i.e., “write-in” questions). 2. Qualitative Comments — a list of the comments entered for all survey questions. • A third type of analysis is permitted by a “cross-tab” reporting option, which involves sorting by selected questions/responses. For example, one could see how many of the companies that are considering relocating (Question FP1) are also having trouble securing sufficient capital (Question FI2). (Note: For privacy reasons this function of the database is disabled whenever there are three or fewer respondents for a particular question/response.) The reports show the total number of respondents (businesses that responded to the questions), and for each question, the reports can show both the number and percentage of respondents who gave a particular response. Note that some questions have multiple responses (i.e., respondents are asked to check all the statements that apply to them) so the percentage figures can add up to more than 100%. Other questions have supplementary, followup questions that are responded to only by businesses who replied positively to the first. For these types of supplementary questions the percentage values are still presented in relation to the total number of respondents (and not as a percentage of the sub-set). It is always wise to keep in mind the size of your sample in relation to the total number of businesses in the community. A general guideline is that whenever you have fewer than 30 respondents, percentage values can be misleading. In such cases the actual count may be more meaningful. This caution becomes particularly important for qualitative questions where usually only a sub-set of TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E respondents may respond. For example, it would be better to communicate results by saying that 4 out of 20 respondents felt that access to capital was the most significant barrier to expansion than to say 20% felt that way. When the Data Analysis Co-ordinator distributes the results to BR+E Task Force members, this caution as to the low statistical validity of small samples should be pointed out. Also any graphs or slides that are prepared should be reviewed so that other community members are not prone to misinterpret results. General Questions To Guide Discussion • In reviewing the whole report, what are the results that stand out? • Are there any themes that emerge when you compare responses from different sections? • For example, questions in both the Future Plans section and the Human Resources section concern the availability of appropriately trained labour (Questions FP 5, 11, 13, and 15 and HR 6 and 9). Do the results for these questions consistently point in the same direction? • Similarly, the Information Assistance section (Question IA1) and the Local Community sections (LC 4 and LC 6a) both have questions related to theBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 105
  • 112. services and locational factors under the jurisdiction of the local municipality. Are the results comparable? • In planning any actions related to the themes that you have identified it will be necessary to consider what other information should be gathered related to the issue. Looking to the other members of the BR+E Resource Network for sources of information will help you answer the question: is this a localized issue? A problem also faced by other communities in the region? Is this a trend at a national or provincial level? • For example, if local labour availability appears to be a concern of many businesses, national agencies such as Human Resources Development Canada or provincial agencies such as the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities or Economic Development and Trade will likely have related data. The local issue may be related to lower local wage differences or could reflect a shortfall in training/education programs at a province- wide level. Also, local organizations working on existing programs that already address aspects of the issue may help identify gaps or suggest new partnerships that could lead local action planning. • Significant results may not be self-evident on first glance. Once you have reviewed the reports for overall themes or issues it is worthwhile to review responses to individual questions more thoroughly by asking such questions as: do the results differ depending on the sector the respondents are in? Do the results show differences depending on the size range of the businesses? • For example, if only two or three businesses out of 100 are planning to relocate (Question FP1) this may not seem significant. But if they are all in the same sector (Question GB3) or are large employers (Question GB5A),TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E there may be critical underlying reasons or large potential impacts on the local economy that need to be understood and addressed. • Also, if respondents are divided or polarized in their responses to a particular question this may indicate a possible area for deeper analysis. For example, in Question MA7 respondents rank factors for their “importance”; half may have ranked the energy-costs factor as very important and half as not at all important. You may wish to do further analysis to see if the way businesses responded to the question MA7 relates to the particular type of energy they use as identified in their response to question GB16a. • In reviewing the results of individual questions it is worthwhile to continually ask: what do we know about the local economy and businesses that would account for the results? Do the results confirm preexisting information or differ from what we expected? • For example, it may be well understood that sewer capacity for a particular local industrial park is at its limit until sewage treatment plant expansion can be financed. The impact on local business planning of this situation may be confirmed by the responses to Question FP 15. Thus the results of your survey may have as much value for reinforcing existing priorities or for 106 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 113. renewing commitment to solve such a long-standing issue as in revealing startling new findings. • On the other hand, if you have an unexpected result it may reflect a common misperception in your community. There may be others in your community who would be surprised or interested by the result of the survey — sharing this result could be a potential objective of a followup communication action. Comparison to Provincial Results Provincial results will be compiled from each of the communities contributing data to BR+E Ontario. Over time, the number of communities contributing data is expected to grow. In the future, comparison to provincial data will offer the opportunity to look at your community from another perspective — how it compares to provincial averages. This can be a powerful way to look at your own situation because it can highlight differences that you may wish to explore further as part of the Task Force Retreat/action planning. For example. The businesses in your survey have stated they think municipal bylaws are more of a disadvantage than businesses in other parts of Ontario (Question FP 15). The action plan might then include exploring with municipal officials the reasons for this — are there real differences in the local bylaws that might be re-evaluated? Are local businesses bad actors compared to businesses in other communities — do they lack knowledge of applicable standards? Have inspection/enforcement relationships with businesses caused dissatisfaction? TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Some cautions about comparisons If you analyze your results using this comparative format there are several limiting factors or possible problems to keep in mind. 1. Sectoral differences between your community and the province-wide results. Each of the communities participating in the program has planned its own survey method—tailored to its local situation. As a result, the sectors (e.g. tourism, mining, manufacturing, telecommunication) represented in the total provincial data may not be the same as the sectors that were included in your community’s survey. Other surveys may not even include a particular sector that is very important in your community. A common method of understanding the sectoral specialization of the local economy is the use of “location quotients,” which compare the proportion of employment in a particular sector of the local economy to the proportion of employment in that sector in the provincial economy. If some form of this kind of community economic analysis has been done, the Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator should be aware of it and consider how to share the information with the analysis team.BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 107
  • 114. 2. Sample differences between your community and provincial averages. Again, because each community contributing data plans its own survey method, the results must be interpreted carefully. For example, communities may choose to focus their effort on small and medium-sized businesses rather than large employers; survey results may vary according to the size of the business. 3. Provincial average. The provincial comparison, simply because it is an average, can hide very real differences between communities. Conclusion The general tips and examples given above are meant to provide a positive stimulus for effective data analysis. Obviously this short discussion is not a course in statistical analysis nor could it substitute for expertise in using database software. Ideally, some of the individuals on your BR+E team will have such relevant skills and abilities while others will contribute intimate and irreplaceable local knowledge. The real value of the data analysis step is the opportunity for fruitful and creative dialogue about the meaning and significance of the survey findings. This dialogue should not be intimidated by overly voluminous or sophisticated number crunching. Some of these survey findings will be relatively straightforward to followup, but do not be discouraged by the possibility that you will raise as manyTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E questions as you answer! 108 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 115. Agenda for Task Force Retreat Appendix 27 1. Introduction 2. Review local objectives for BR+E project 3. Review findings from preliminary report 4. Present Survey Results for strategy #1 • Task Force nominates options for action plans • All project ideas are recorded • Discuss pros and cons for each idea 5. Repeat above steps for strategy 2, 3, 4 6. Vote on all possible action plans • Limit each person to three votes • Discuss unclear results and let group decide on final priorities • Encourage selection of only three or four priority projects 7. Start action-planning process • Identify Task Force members or other qualified people to lead action plan projects • Task Force members sign up for priority projects TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Start detailing plans for implementation (see Action-Planning Worksheet) BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 109
  • 116. BR+E Action-planning Guidelines Appendix 28 These guidelines are to assist communities in the action-planning part of the BR+E process. Action planning is a critical part of the process. Action planning will link the information that you have gathered so far with actions that the community can see and implement. The action plans, if completed successfully, will address the issues and further the goals of your community. If you are doing the initial action planning as part of a Task Force Retreat (Step 10 of the BR+E process), it will be important for you to consider how to communicate the action plans with the larger community. If you want the community to share your commitment, the community needs to be involved in the action-planning process. While the Task Force can do some important initial work on proposing and priorizing strategic actions for the community, a larger, more representative group needs to be included when it comes time to accept those actions and determine the details, including the questions of who, when, and with what resources. As you enter the implementation stage of BR+E, your organization may evolve with groups and individuals taking on different roles than in the original Leadership Team and Task Force. The following questions will help to guide your thinking through the action- planning process. Before You BeginTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Has the planning group had an opportunity to review the findings of the preliminary report? Have they had a chance to analyze the report for themes and opportunities? Have those opportunities and themes been clearly stated? Has the group reviewed the goals and objectives that were created in the early stages of the BR+E process? Has other information concerning the scope and nature of key issues been gathered to help explain what is known about the causes and effects of problems? Has the group gathered sufficient information about other planning processes that are ongoing in the community? Does the group understand how these other processes relate to possible actions that might arise from BR+E? Generating Ideas for Action Plans Begin by generating as many ideas for actions as possible. Look at the issues, opportunities, and themes that have been generated during the data-analysis steps and brainstorm possible actions. Do not judge the ideas at this point. Allow the group to be creative. Ideas that on the surface seem foolish or unrealistic can be 110 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 117. the seeds for innovative solutions to the issues facing your community. Group members should be encouraged to build upon ideas that are suggested by others. Review the section on Facilitating Group Processes in the Working with People booklet for tips on brainstorming. This booklet is part of the BR+E Tool Kit. Prioritize the Ideas You will now probably have a list of actions that would require years of work and untold financial and human resources to complete. The next job is to review those ideas and select the ones that the community should take on first. The following questions can help the group to make this decision: • Which of these actions could be realistically carried out by our community given existing resources (volunteers and dollars)? • How does the cost of an action compare to the potential benefit for our community? Which of these actions would give our community the biggest “bang for the buck”? • Are there any “big wins” that would be relatively easy to accomplish? These might be good actions to start with. • Which actions would yield a tangible product for the community? Including some of these would provide early, visible results of the BR+E process. • Which actions can be accomplished quickly? Which are longer term? You may want to have some of each. • How would these actions impact on other projects or events or organizations in the community? Are those impacts positive or negative? TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Which actions would take advantage of strengths or resources that have already been identified in the community? • Which actions would require new resources to be developed in the community before they could be implemented? • Are there any actions that seem too complex or demanding to take on right now? Could they be broken down into smaller steps that would be less intimidating but that would set the stage for other actions at a later date? • Are there any actions that complement or build on other projects or processes that are already going on in the community? Do any of the ideas lend themselves to developing new partnerships in the community? • Are any of these actions beyond our sphere of influence? Are there other forces outside our community that need to take action before these ideas could be carried out? If so, is there anything that we could do locally to influence those outside forces to take action? Using these questions as a guide, develop a list of the top-priority actions that you feel that your community could undertake with currently available resources. Keep the full list as a reference for future action-planning stages.BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 111
  • 118. The Working with People booklet in your BR+E Tool Kit has tools that can be used in prioritizing. In the “Facilitating Group Processes” section you will find information on the Forcefield Analysis and Decision Grid. Detailed Action Planning Once you have a manageable list of possible actions it is time to develop more detailed plans. Refer to Appendix 29 for an Action-planning Worksheet. Use one sheet for each of the actions that you have identified on your priority list. The Action-planning Worksheet has six parts. Strategy (What?) This is the idea from your priority list. What is the thing that will happen or the product that will be developed when you have completed this action? What issue or opportunity or theme does it address? How does it further the objectives and goals that you developed in the early stages of the BR+E process? Steps — Actions to be taken (How?) What are the small tasks or activities that will be needed to carry out the strategy? Try to visualize the various things that will need to be done to get from where you are today to the completion of the action plan. List the steps in logical sequence as much as possible. Provide as much detail as you can here; it will make the rest of the task easier. Responsibility (Who?) Identify specific people or organizations that will take responsibility for each ofTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E the steps. Make sure that the workload is evenly distributed and that no one person is overloaded. Share the load. Are there others outside your group who could or should be involved? Who else has an interest in the completion of this action? Are there opportunities to collaborate with new groups here? Make sure that the people who are assigned the steps have the resources and the ability to carry them out. If training or fundraising is needed, build them into your steps. Resources (With What?) What is the cost of completing each step? Resources could be in dollars or in- kind contributions, e.g., donated paper, envelopes, building materials, photocopies, word processing services, delivery services, etc. Share the load—people or groups who do not wish to be involved in carrying out the action might be able to help with resourcing some of the steps. Think broadly! Data gathered during the BR+E visits may point to some resources in the community that have not been tapped before. 112 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 119. Time (When?) Be sure to set timelines that are realistic but challenging and that will keep the idea moving forward. Many people find that deadlines help motivate them. Timelines provide an easy way to check on the progress of an action plan. Keep in mind other events and activities that are happening in your community. Make sure that you are not planning major events that will directly compete with other well-established community events. Talk to other organizations to learn about their plans for the upcoming time period. Evaluation Method (How Will You Know that It Worked?) This part of the action plan is often overlooked but is important to help the community measure its success. It is important to consider the following questions: • How will you know if a particular action or project has been successful? (What would success look like?) • What information will you need to collect in order to determine whether the goals and objectives have been reached? You will need to decide the methods to use and the type of information to collect. Evaluation activities might include some or all of the following: • Measuring the resources (dollars, equipment, time) used to carry out the project. • Assessing the levels of participation and roles of people involved in carrying out the action plan. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E • Polling individuals on the benefit that the action has had for them. • Assessing the impact that the action/project has had on your community (e.g., what changes have resulted from the project?). Some of these are much easier to accomplish than others, but all will be easier to measure if, beforehand, you think about them and plan how and when you will collect the necessary information. The BR+E Evaluation Guidelines booklet in your BR+E Tool Kit has more information that can help you to evaluate actions. Co-ordination of Action Plans At some point, someone will need to step back and look at the big picture. If you have six proposed action plans, how do they mesh with one another? Are the same groups of people taking the lead on each? Are the resources all coming from one or two places? Are most of the actions concentrated into one or two months, or are they spread out over a longer period of time? Are there places where the plans could be co-ordinated? Is the total picture realistic? From a financial point of view? From a volunteer time commitment? Should the total time frame be extended, or should one of the actions be postponed? Have you involved everyone that needs to be involved?BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 113
  • 120. How can you widen the circle and include more groups or individuals? The more involved the community is in the actions, the more committed the community will be to the outcomes. Communication of Action Plans Communication beyond the Task Force Retreat is vital to the success of action plans. Initial communication will happen during Step 11 of the BR+E process (Public meeting to present findings and recommendations), but this must not be the only place where communication about the action plans occurs. Without communication to the community and involvement of the community in some part of the action-planning process, the chances of successful implementation will be greatly reduced. Communicate with as many people in as many different ways and at as many different times and places as you can. It is nearly impossible to communicate too much at this part of the process!TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 114 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 121. BR+E Action–planning Worksheet Appendix 29 Action-planning Worksheet Strategy (What?) Responsibility Resources Time Steps/Actions to be taken (How?) (Who?) (With What?) (When?) TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E Evaluation Method (How and when will you get the information you need to track the progress and assess the results of your actions?) Note: See BR+E Evaluation Guidelines Booklet BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 115
  • 122. Agenda for Initial Public Meeting Appendix 30 1. Introduce BR+E project (Overall Co-ordinator — 10 minutes) 2. Review the project’s purpose and history (Leadership Team — 5 minutes) 3. Give testimonials and/or project accomplishments* (Business representatives and/or Overall Co-ordinator — 10 minutes) 4. Present Action Plan One (Task Force member) 5. Present Action Plan Two (Task Force member) 6. Present Action Plan Three (Task Force member) 7. Invite community members to join a committee to implement the action plans (Task Force Member Lead for each Action) 8. Closing remarks (Overall Co-ordinator) *BR+E communities are encouraged to celebrate their successes and toTAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E recognize their volunteers. This section of the Public Meeting could be expanded into a special celebration. BR+E project accomplishments could be highlighted, and the volunteers who have contributed to the success of BR+E could be thanked (e.g., at a wine and cheese party). 116 BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 123. Final Report Appendix 31 Suggested format for Final BR+E Report • Organization name, project name, contact name, and number • Introductory paragraph (summary of BR+E project) • Purpose (goals and objectives of BR+E) • Community involvement (organizations, businesses, individuals; acknowledge contributions) • Project activities (summary of activities to date e.g., planning, training, interviews, followup, data analysis) • Results achieved (provide examples of results to date e.g., red-flag followup) • Presentation and analysis of key BR+E survey findings • Recommendations (identify action plans for community committees) • Work Plan (overview of plan to implement recommendations) • Conclusion TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 117
  • 124. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 118 Evaluation Guide Appendix 32 Use this framework as a guide to reflect and report on the actions and achievements resulting from BR+E. Reflect and report on successful and unsuccessful projects, as illustrated in the examples provided. Long-Term Results/ Issue or Problem Activity/Project Immediate Results/Outputs Outcomes Achieved Influencing Factors What is/was the issue or What specific actions or For each activity or project, what For each activity or group of activities/projects, What factors contributed problem (identified strategies were implemented? were the actual results or products what changes have occurred in the community as to the success of the through the BR+E Include: that were achieved? a result? Usually, this will apply only to actions or initiative? What factors survey) that the activity • Scope/objectives of Your results may relate to: projects that have been implemented for at least prevented the success of or project was designed activity one year. other initiatives? • # people trained in particular skill to address? • Time frame areas Changes may include: These factors may relate • Who was involved? • new positions created and # to: • increased supply of skilled labour suited to • Cost (money and time) people hired local business needs • participation Please note that you may • # and type of physical/ • change in business plans to relocate • leadership have more than one activity infrastructure changes (e.g., • increased collaboration between business and • analysis of issues or project that was signs, water/sewage, high-speed other sectors • planning implemented to address one telecommunication lines, etc.) • development of new organizations or programs • resources (funding, issue or problem. • # and type of committees/groups • improved infrastructure for business equipment, time) formed • new focus/goals for the community Consider what you have • # and type of new economic • unexpected spinoffs (e.g., new investment development initiatives/programs learned from your Note: In the event that a project is in progress experience that you can planned and implemented but hasn’t yet achieved any tangible outcomes, apply to future activities/ • level and type of new funding or services to support local business you can report on your progress towards achieving projects. certain outcomes. Example 1 Shortage of local skilled • Establishment of Working • Specific labour needs (skills, Two years later: • Prompt response to labour for two local Group (local business, positions, time) identified • Business owners have committed to remaining specific business needBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL manufacturers; business labour, HRDC, community through consultation with in community; one is expanding operations • Working group included owners planned to futures, youth, community business owners; report presented • First graduates (18) of new training program key stakeholders relocate by 1999 college) in June 1998 to community in November 1998 have secured full-time employment with the • Well-thought-out • WG led process to identify • proposal/plan developed in March two manufacturers proposal/plan for new local labour needs and 1999 for two local/satellite • 150 original jobs retained and 25 new jobs training program develop strategy to training programs to start in created with the expansion; long-term spinoff increase supply of labour September 1999; marketing plan jobs anticipated in service sector initiated
  • 125. Example 2 Lack of economic • Leadership Team • Full-time economic development Two years later: • Commitment by Council development focus/ developed/presented officer position created; person • Improved communications/relations between • E.D. Committee vision in the community (March 1998) proposal for hired in January 1999 business and other groups in the community; represented key creating an economic • 12-member economic continuing collaboration through Economic stakeholder groups in development officer development committee formed Development Committee the community position to lead in March/April 1999; members • Community vision established through focus • Clear mandate for development of a represent local business (retail, groups and analysis of community data/issues economic development community strategic agriculture, financial and (economic, demographic, environmental) officer and committee planning process, manufacturing), social services, • Recommendations for long-term economic • Broad community including formation of Council, youth, community-at- development strategy participation in economic development large • Four economic development projects initiated: strategic planning committee • Community Strategic Planning tourism strategy, targeted investment, process • Approval in July and job process initiated in May 1999 Business Ambassador Program, community description developed in economic analysis August 1998 • Cost: 4 two-hour meetings for Leadership Team (5 people); $100 for ad in papers Example 3 Low/declining visitor • Development of tourism • Tourism committee formed and • Continued lack of regional tourism strategy; • Low representation of levels at tourist strategy for community started developing a strategy, but low visitor rates key people from facilities in the area and surrounding region stopped meeting after three surrounding area on • Development of marketing months committee materials (Web site and • No material was developed • Inadequate planning brochures) to support the on how to develop the strategy and attract strategy (e.g., funding, visitors to the region players, tasks, process) • Lack of thorough analysis of problem and identification of alternative actionsBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL 119 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E
  • 126. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS IN RURAL ONTARIO / BR+E 120 Long-Term Results/Outcomes Issue or Problem Activity/Project Immediate Results/Outputs Achieved Influencing FactorsBUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION RESOURCE MANUAL
  • 127. GlossaryBR+E Consultant — a BREI-certified Consultant who is able to coach Resource Network — group of people from various agencies thatand assist a community in the implementation of a BR+E project. provide useful information or assistance to businesses.Confidentiality Contract — agreement signed by volunteers to Sponsoring Organization — an organization that is activelyrespect and exercise confidentiality. supporting and implementing the BR+E project with a combination of time, human and physical resources, and dollars.Followup Public Meeting — community meeting to present resultsof BR+E action plans. Survey and Data Analysis Co-ordinator — Leadership Team member who oversees data analysis and co-ordinates Task Force Retreat toInitial Public Meeting — community meeting to present BR+E review survey findings.project findings and recommend action plans. The Task Force — broad-based group of community leaders whoLeadership Team — executive committee of the Task Force that play a key role in setting the overall policies for the project,provides ongoing BR+E project management. responding to the business needs, and developing andMedia Co-ordinator — Leadership Team member responsible for implementing the strategic action plans.communicating the progress and results of the BR+E project to the Task Force Retreat — meeting to review survey findings and makepublic. recommendations for action plans.Overall Co-ordinator — Leadership Team member who oversees the Visitation Co-ordinator — Leadership team member who organizesentire BR+E project and serves as chair of the Leadership Team. Volunteer Visitation Teams and arranges business visits.Red-flag and Resource Co-ordinator — Leadership Team member Volunteer Visitation Teams — teams of volunteers who visit two towho organizes responses to urgent businesses concerns and four businesses and interview the owners or managers.requests for information.“Red-flag” Issues — urgent business issues, such as relocation,closing, employee layoffs or problems with expansion, that requireimmediate attention.
  • 128. Why You Should Volunteer for BR+EBR+E demonstrates that you care about business BR+E builds networks BR+E is a learning experience BR+E brings the community together BR+E gets results Disponible en français For more information contact: BR+E Ontario c/o Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 1 Stone Road West Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/rural/BRandE/BRandE.htm 09/00-en-manual-250 BRandE@omafra.gov.on.ca 1-888-4-OMAFRA 1-888-466-2372