BR&E Strategies Program: Community Players
Every local BR&E Strategies Program includes three major groups of volunteers. These groups visit businesses and make decisions about what should be done to help local businesses survive and expand.
- The Leadership Team (usually 4 or 5 persons) promotes the program to the community, coordinates task force meetings, and organizes immediate follow-up to the issues revealed in the survey results. The Leadership Team also arranges for the training of Business Visitation Teams.
- The Task Force is a group of local community leaders. It should include representatives of business, government, education, economic development organizations and other well-respected, influential community leaders. The Leadership Team is part of the Task Force.
- Business Visitation Teams — two persons per team — visit two to four businesses each. These teams are made up of Task Force and Leadership Team members, educators, business people, retirees, or other community members. The Task Force and Leadership Team decides the number and types of firms visited.
As a volunteer interviewer I enjoyed sitting face-to-face with many local business people and hearing their viewpoints and vision for economic growth in the city. Benefits of visiting the businesses have been voiced even in leadership meetings with comments such as "I didn't know there was a screen-printing business in the area for t-shirts...wow, this has made the process worthwhile just knowing this!" - Maxine Norman, Menahga, Minnesota
Community players are supported throughout the program by BR&E Consultants and BR&E applied researchers who assist the local leaders with the organization and technical research involved in the program.