Extension Educator, Community Development, Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Existing businesses create and retain most of the jobs in local communities. They are a major contributor to any local government’s tax base and are the real economic engines of any local economy. A community may choose to conduct a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey to better understand its current local economic climate. The program is often led by a local coordinator who serves as a point of contact. However, the coordinator cannot accomplish the BRE survey alone. It is important to enlist a team of community volunteers to help accomplish this task. The team is known as the BRE task force and is recruited by the local BRE coordinator for the various skill sets they provide. The BRE program is a collaborative effort designed to help communities understand ways existing resources could be employed to bring about positive economic change (Davis, 2012). Consider this scenario: the BRE coordinator is the quarterback of the team. A quarterback alone cannot win the game without the help of team players. The role of the task force is like the offensive line, running backs, and wide receivers. The components work together to forge ahead and win. However, like team sports, the overall strength of the task force team is critical for success.