Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Programs

  • In 1998, the Northeast Center published a series of five booklets, titled Implementing Local Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Programs (Loveridge and Morse, 1998). Designed to guide a community through business retention and expansion, the publication featured volunteers visiting local businesses. These materials are now out of print, but are hosted online by the University of Minnesota as valuable archival resource guides. Designed to be used as an ensemble, these five booklets are available here and accompanying videos are also available.
  • In 2012, Kathleen Tweeten (North Dakota State University Extension Service) and Alan Barefield (Mississippi State University Extension Service) updated this series, releasing their own publication, titled Business Retention and Expansion Visitation Fundamentals, which is hosted by the NDSU Center for Community Vitality.

Other Resources

  • Small business education resources from University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Independent Retail Assessment Program (by Alison Chisholm Hanham and Kerri M. Keech, 2003): This PDF publication provides an overview of a program aimed at helping small, independent retail businesses understand how they can do a better job of competing in today's marketplace. The IRAP sends anonymous shoppers to visit participating businesses and record their impressions about customer service, prices, products, location, etc. The retailers receive a report summarizing their strengths and weaknesses, and recommending ways to improve the shopping experience.