BR&E Strategies Program: Benefits
BR&E benefits both the community as a whole and those who volunteer to serve in the program. A successful program can produce both short-term and long-term benefits in many different areas.
- Bring communities together.
In many communities, citizens and local leaders think about their future, but are not working together to influence that future. BR&E programs can bring the community together. Business persons, local government officials, education officials, professional economic developers, and interested citizens all work together for the benefit of existing local businesses and their community.
People say "This is fun" after completing their first business visit. You will enjoy socializing with other key community leaders and participating in important community decisions.
- Demonstrate that "We care about local businesses."
It is surprising how many business leaders feel unappreciated. They often do not hear that the community values them. Just visiting them demonstrates that your community cares and appreciates the economic contribution businesses make.
- Generate results.
People just like you and your neighbors have done this program in all sizes and types of communities. BR&E programs have been completed in rural, suburban and urban areas and are getting results. Naturally, success makes the experience rewarding.
- Build networks.
You can build relationships with local businesses and leaders and with regional and state economic development professionals, as well as University of Minnesota staff. These contacts can help your community in the future.
- Learning opportunity.
You will learn about your local economy's strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of local businesses. You will learn about new options for working with existing firms and ways you can shape your local destiny.
- Low-risk community initiative.
When done correctly, the BR&E program is safe. As one Task Force member and owner of a small firm said, "I just can't see any risk in getting involved in this. How can you possibly lose?"