If you are interested in encouraging economic development in your community, this booklet is for you. Whether you are a professional economic developer, a chamber of commerce official or member, a local government official, an education official, or an interested citizen who wants to see your area become more economically resilient, you will be interested in this approach to economic development. It's called the Business Retention and Expansion Visitation (BR&E Visitation) program.

This booklet will help you understand this local development strategy, its benefits and costs, and what you and others need to do to have a successful local program. This booklet will help you decide whether or not to adopt this strategy, and, if you do, how to do it. This booklet and the accompanying video can help you see the possibilities for your own community. The final results depend upon you and your community.

To help you decide if this approach fits your community, we cover the following questions:

  • Why are existing businesses important in local economic development?
  • What is the BR&E Visitation program?
  • What are the BR&E Visitation objectives and process?
  • What roles do local citizens and leaders play in the program?
  • What are the benefits to a community and to the volunteers in program?
  • What are the costs of the program?
  • What assistance is provided by universities, state agencies, and others?
  • How can you learn more about this program?