What do BR&E Task Force Members Do?

If your community decides to undertake a Business Retention and Expansion Visitation program (often simply called a BR&E Visitation program), it will need a local Task Force of twenty-five to thirty-five committed local leaders. If you decide to serve as a Task Force member, you will help set the overall policy of the BR&E Visitation program, visit two to four local businesses, assist in immediate follow-up to firms when necessary, and set priorities on future BR&E Visitation projects.

During the early part of your BR&E Visitation program, you will be expected to attend seven to eight Task Force meetings and to visit two to four firms. This requires a total of about twenty hours (or two to five hours per month depending on how fast your program progresses).

Before going on the firm visits, you will attend a two-hour orientation session that provides an overview of how the visitation process works and includes tips on how to effectively interview firm managers and owners.

Who will serve on the Task Force?

Individuals from the following five groups will serve on the Task Force:

  • Business Owners and Leaders
  • Local Government Officials
  • Local and Regional Development Staff
  • Education Officials
  • Other Community Leaders

Why do Citizens Volunteer for BR&E?

With your time spread so thin between your family and your work, why would you contribute time to a BR&E Visitation program? Citizens and local leaders who have participated in a BR&E Visitation program cite the following reasons they have been active in them:

  • BR&E demonstrates that "we CARE about business." Just visiting firms demonstrates that your community cares about its local businesses and appreciates their economic contributions to the area. It is surprising how many business leaders feel unappreciated and have not been personally told that the community values them.
  • BR&E is FUN! We guarantee you will have fun!! Everybody says, "This is fun!" after completing their first firm visit. You will enjoy socializing with other key community leaders and participating in and influencing important community decisions.
  • BR&E builds NETWORKS. You can build networks with both other local businesses and leaders and with regional and state economic development professionals. These contacts can often help your business or future development efforts.
  • BR&E is a LEARNING experience. You will learn about your local economies' strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of local businesses and gain insights on how your community is likely to develop in the future. You will learn about new options for working with existing firms and ways you can shape your local destiny.
  • BR&E brings the community TOGETHER. In many communities, citizens and local leaders are thinking about their future, but they are not working together to impact the future. The BR&E Visitation program brings your community together. Business persons, local government officials, education officials, professional developers and interested citizens all work together for the benefit of existing local businesses and their community.
  • BR&E is DO-ABLE, and it gets RESULTS. Citizens just like you and your neighbors have done this program in all sizes and types of communities. BR&E Visitation projects have been completed in rural, suburban, and urban areas and are getting results. Naturally, it is more rewarding to work on projects that are both feasible and achieve results.
  • BR&E is RISK FREE. When done correctly, the BR&E Visitation program is safe. As one Task Force member and small firm owner said, "I just can't see any risk in getting involved in this. How can you possibly lose?"