Business Expansion & Retention

Economic development is on the minds of many. Individuals are concerned about employment, companies are trying to stay competitive and local governments fear that a business closure will reduce their ability to provide necessary services to residents due to decreasing revenue. A proactive approach is needed to learn more about the needs and barriers of existing businesses in a community.  By better understanding the issues facing businesses, addressing such issues to ensure business survival and growth can be done more successfully. 

Advance, the Greater Green Bay Chamber’s Economic Development department’s Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program, is designed to capture businesses thoughts, ideas, concerns, future plans and insights into the local economy. The data collected is tremendously important, particularly to Brown County’s economic growth, because it’s collected locally, it’s accurate and it’s current.

The BEAR program requires time and effort to listen and respond quickly to businesses and the workforce.  These efforts can promote a pro-business climate and can develop the capacity of Advance to engage in meaningful and productive economic development efforts.  The BEAR program fosters improved relationships among local government, businesses and individuals.

Existing businesses are major contributors to the local government’s tax base and they provide jobs for local residents. Making sure that businesses are operating at optimum capacity becomes a main priority for economic development. Conducting a BEAR program provides local government and Advance with a specific understanding of the needs and wants of businesses. The following are among a few of the activities performed to accomplish this endeavor.  

  • Visits to local businesses
  • Interviews with senior level managers
  • Email, phone or fax surveys

These types of activities will be an ongoing, continuous effort. This approach will enable Advance to become a more integral part of our community’s everyday economic development work.

For more information, or to participate in this program, please contact our BEAR Specialist, Josh Bernhardt at 920.496.2108 or