BR&E; Visitation Volunteers FAQ

Commonly Asked Visitation Volunteer Recruitment Questions/Answers.

What are Visitation Teams Responsible for?

Being a Visitation Team Volunteer will involve:

  1. Committing to attend a two-hour training session on either May 16th or 17th.
  2. Matching up with a Task Force Member to form a Visitation Team. Each team will be asked to conduct 5 interviews with businesses. Each interview will likely last 2 hours resulting in a 10 – 12 hour time commitment.
  3. At the Training Session in May, teams will be provided with Visitation Packages and be asked to sign up for the 5 Businesses they would like to interview. The Teams will schedule and conduct their Visitation Interviews during the month of June.
  4. After the interview has been conducted, the completed surveys will be returned to the BR&E Coordinator.
  5. If teams encounter a challenge meeting a scheduled visit, they should contact the Visitation Coordinator who will reassign the interview to another team.
  6. Following the end of June, all Visitation Volunteers will be invited to attend a debriefing session where the results of the initiative will be shared.
  7. There will be clear directions and guidance for volunteers and support from the Task Force members throughout the process.

What Businesses will be Visited?

While it is estimated that there are more than 600 businesses operating in Bridgewater, the Visitation Program will conduct interviews with at least 150 businesses from all sector. These businesses will be randomly selected to ensure that an adequate sampling is achieved. For the purposes of the Bridgewater BR&E Visitation Program, only businesses operating within 5 km radius of the centre of Bridgewater will be included in this program. Once the businesses have been selected, the Task Force will also identify the key person within the business that will be contacted regarding the interview. All information required to contact the business will be provided to the Visitation Teams.

What happens during a Visit?

The 150 businesses selected for the Visitation Program will have been notified in advance that a Visitation Team will be contacting them to arrange an interview. They will be sent a copy of the survey that will be used by the Visitation Team to collect the information we are seeking. The businesses are to be contacted by either yourself or your partner to schedule an interview during the month of June at time that best meets both your schedules. During the interview, as a team of two, one of you will be responsible to conduct the interview while the other will record the responses to the survey questions, on the survey form. Following the interview, the completed surveys are to be returned to the BR&E Coordinator within 2 days and a thank you letter will be sent to the Business itself. Red Flag or extremely time sensitive issues will be reported to the BR&E Coordinator within 24 hours. Volunteers will receive training regarding Red Flagging.

What is a BRE?

Business Retention and Expansion, often referred to as BR&E, is an economic development tool which is used to encourage the survival and growth of businesses within a community. The BR&E Visitation Program is a planning process that involves volunteers from the community who are interested in the economy of their community.

Who can be a Visitation Volunteer?

Anyone with an interest in the economic success of our community can be a Visitation Team Volunteer! We are looking for individuals who are able to:

  1. commit 2 hours in May to attend a Training Session and up to 12 hours over the month of June to conduct the Business Interviews;
  2. clearly state questions and carefully listen or be good at recording responses;
  3. lend credibility to the process.

Why a BRE Visitation Program in Bridgewater?

Earlier this year, the Bridgewater Development Association (BDA) facilitated the formation of a BR&E Task Force consisting of more than a dozen community leaders from all sectors to undertake a BR&E Visitation Program. It is anticipated that the program will enable our community, government and businesses to better understand, appreciate and more importantly, identify the challenges and threats facing our existing businesses.

Some of our key objectives include:

  1. To demonstrate to local businesses that the community appreciates their contribution to the local economy;
  2. To help existing businesses solve problems;
  3. To assist businesses in using programs aimed at helping them become more competitive;
  4. To enable the BDA to develop a strategic plan for long-range business retention and expansion activities;
  5. To build community capacity to sustain growth and development.

Why do we need Visitation Volunteers?

The BR&E Task Force has a goal to conduct interviews with 150 businesses in the Bridgewater area. Interviews are conducted by teams of 2 people, one Task Force Member and one additional volunteer. That means we are recruiting more than 60 volunteers!

Why would you want to be a Visitation Volunteer?

There are so many reasons to be a part of this initiative, including,

...BR&E Visits are fun!
...BR&E Visitation Program builds/reinforces professional and personal networks
...It is a learning experience – learn about the local economy, how it may develop
...The process brings the community together
...BR&E Visitation Program is do-able, 5 interviews per Team and it gets results!
...BR&E Visitation Program demonstrates that "we care about businesses"
...The program improves communications within the community
...BR&E Visitation Program solves problems
...BR&E helps businesses become more competitive
...BR&E Visitation generates an Action Plan to address issues/challenges