What Business Volunteer Visitors Do.

Your local Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Visitation program needs a few volunteers to help with the firm visits. As a volunteer, you will attend a two-hour orientation session, which will provide an overview of how the process works, and tips on how to conduct an effective interview with firm managers or owners.

During the orientation, your local BR&E Leadership Team will help you identify your Visitation Team member and select the firms you will visit. You or your team member should contact the firm owners or managers to set up and complete the interviews within two weeks of your orientation session. Together, you and your team member will visit two to four firms. One team member will ask questions while the other records the answers on the survey form provided by the Leadership Team. Each visit typically takes one hour.

Why Business Volunteer Visitors contribute time to BREV programs.

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 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?"