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Business Retention and Expansion

Knowing the condition of your local businesses is more important than ever. That’s why an effective business retention and expansion program is more than just collecting data, it’s about building relationships to help Arkansas communities win their share of plant consolidations and to assist businesses with the resources and connections they need to succeed.

Entergy’s Teamwork Arkansas is pleased to provide communities with a framework for their local business retention and expansion program. The following five-steps and accompanying guidebook can help your community launch a comprehensive program that focuses on one of Arkansas’ most valuable assets – its existing industries:

1. Get Organized
· Identify a champion
· Determine roles/responsibilities
· Establish goals & timelines
· Identify key partners & local resources

2. Gather Background Information
· Identify your Most Valuable Customers
· Research company & industry info
· Develop a communication tool (survey)
· Create a database to house info

3. Industry Relations & Direct Info Gathering
· Assess level of relationship – formal/informal?
· Practice successful on-site visit
· Meet with company executive & gather info
· Always follow-up on what you committed!

4. Solve Problems & Identify Opportunities
· Enter info in a database
· Review data & analyze risk factors
· Facilitate problem resolution or seize opportunities with key partners
· Set reasonable expectations. Always follow-up!

5. Maintain Program & Public Relations
· Communicate & celebrate successes
· Meet regularly based on goals & timelines
· Re-evaluate goals – BR&E is an on-going process

For more information on how to get started, contact Sherry McDonnell, PCED, Program Manager for Community Development, at (501) 377-5882.