BR+E survey deadline extended

After months of setting up interviews and sending out surveys, the local Business Retention & Expansion project has collected more than 80 surveys to date.
The deadline for surveys was Feb. 29 but to give time to reach its goal of 100 surveys, Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce community development officer Cassandra Parise has extended it to March 31.
As the majority of businesses surveyed fall into the retail/service sector, the task force is hoping to gather additional surveys over the next couple of weeks in the tourism and agricultural sectors.
Parise is approaching several businesses in these sectors to complete the survey and hopes to get at least 10 in each one.
Parise, along with the task force committee, would like to thank all businesses that participated in the survey.
“Their participation has been extremely important to the development of this project, and we are very pleased with the outcome we have received this far,” noted Parise.
To show their gratification, the task force is hosting a BR+E “mixer,” with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments for all participating businesses and community partners, on Thursday, April 10 from 5-7 p.m. at La Flambee.
Parise currently is sending out special invitations with further information.
Once all the surveys have been collected, Parise will start the next stage of the project: analysis of the results.
Parise said this involves processing the data that has been entered into the database, reviewing print-outs, and interpreting the results to identify themes, issues, or opportunities.
It is important this process be done in a systematic and thorough way as the results of the analysis are the basis for recommendation and the development of action plans.
Parise expects to be done with analysis of the BR+E project by the end of April.
Once the analysis is complete, Parise will start writing the preliminary report. This will be presented to the task force for review and finalization.
At the same time, action planning will start and this process will last over the summer months.
Action planning is a critical part of the process and will link the information Parise has gathered thus far with actions that the task force can see and implement.
The action plans will address the issues and further the goals of this community.
A summary of the survey results, and recommendations for future development efforts, will be announced at a public meeting at the end of the project, which is scheduled for October.