The BEAR project is broken up into four key stages in which data is collected and interpreted, and requires ongoing community input and support to ensure implementation of the suggestions and continued improvement.
The four key stages are well underway and are as follows:
A. Planning stage
- Agreement about the scope and form of program and other community economic initiatives to gather information relating to local business life issues.
- Promotion of the program – Peter Kenyon will do a presentation on the Wednesday night explaining the project in detail; show some great examples of successful communities and businesses. The goal is to get as many business people and stakeholders to attend and learn about the program to encourage them to support it and participate in the interview/questionnaire.
- Recruitment and training of community volunteer interviewers – A huge advantage of the program as we can engage students, unemployed and retirees. Peter Kenyon spends a day training them with the skills and abilities to perform the interviews effectively.
B. Visitation stage
- Implementation of the systematic visits to local businesses using survey questionnaire.
- Immediate follow up regarding referrals and concerns.
C. Analysis stage
- Computer analysis of survey results
- Identification of “red flag” issues and opportunities
- Review of other information relating to local business life issues.
- Formulation of action plans to improve the community as a place to do business
D. Community feedback and action stage
- Sharing of program results and outcomes via the media and at business and community meetings.
- Implementation of action strategies – usually involves formation of task teams
- Ongoing review of action strategies to assess impact and solicit feedback.