Community Development Society

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Call for Papers for Edited Research Volume - Community Supported Enterprises

By Norm Walzer

Stagnant economies and population declines combined with an aging population including retiring business owners has seriously affected the ability of many rural areas to retain access to vital enterprises such as grocery stores, restaurants, and social services that affect social capital and the quality of life. In response, community leaders have organized groups of residents to pool their funds and invest in businesses they consider adding to essential to quality of life. These enterprises become self-supporting with residents donating time and efforts into related management activities. Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) have a social purpose and add to social capital but operate with a business model intended to be self-sustaining without continued financial contributions by local investors.

            While some successful CSEs have been documented and studied already (, more information about their motivations, purposes, and keys to success in both rural and urban neighborhoods is needed to systematically analyze their full potential. Especially important is to understand their applicability in other domestic and international locations. Key is to understand types of investors, desired outcomes, organizational structures, and successful management practices under different environments and social systems.

            To obtain a more complete picture of how CSEs developed, operate, and were effective in helping improve the potential of communities, Norman Walzer is organizing an edited research volume on these issues. Contributions should include analyses of important factors, rather than only describe case studies with limited ability to determine ways to generalize or apply successful experiences in other areas. The main topics of interest include (but not limited):

            a. conditions in which CSEs were organized;

            b. organization patterns, e.g. nonprofits, cooperatives, for profits;

            c. groups that have been involved in these enterprises;

            d. state and local assistance or direction for CSE efforts;

            e. reasons for successes and best practices; and

            f. implications for use of CSEs in other places.

            The chapters (not more than 30 double-space pages inclusive) will be refereed prior to acceptance. Authors interested in contributing chapters to this research volume should send an abstract (not more than 500 words) preferably before July 1, 2018 to:

                        Norman Walzer

                        Senior Research Scholar

                        NIU Center for Governmental Studies

                        148 N. Third Street

                        DeKalb, IL 60115


                       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Special Issue of Community Development - BRE - Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts
Business Retention & Expansion
Special Issue of Community Development
(Journal of the Community Development Society)

Guest Editors:
Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension 
Brent Hales, University of Minnesota Extension
Alan Barefield, Mississippi State University 
Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) has existed as a central activity and priority for economic development practitioners for more than a generation.  A wide variety of public and private
organizations in communities, regions and states/ provinces in North America and beyond have incorporated BRE programming into their community economic development programs.  A 2009
national survey found that 62% of cities and counties were doing BRE surveys with their businesses and 82% were partnering with chambers of commerce or others on BRE (N=709).[1]

Business Retention and  Expansion International (BREI) has existed as a BRE‐specific association for over 20 years in order to promote best practices and build capacity through quality educational opportunities.  The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) also offers BRE training and finds that “business retention programs have become the most popular economic development efforts of communities nation‐wide.”[2] 
There is an opportunity to explore the collective impact of BRE and share what has been learned about this important component of community economic development.
Despite its emergence as a pre‐eminent concern for community development practitioners, relatively little has been published in recent literature.  What innovation is happening in BRE visitation
programs?  How do other data gathering methods contribute to economic developers’ understanding of the businesses and economics in their sphere of influence?  What are the results at the community,
regional and state/provincial levels?  How does BRE intersect with economic development techniques and strategies?  
Seeking to build on advances in community economic development strategies, we are soliciting abstracts for papers to be published in a special issue of Community Development in 2017. The intent of
this special issue is to provide a collection of high quality articles on various aspects of using this approach to inform and induce economic development with a goal of helping readers to learn about
innovative procedures and approaches in conducting a BRE process.  While BRE might be regarded as relatively mature with regard to a developmental continuum, both scholars and practitioners can make
significant contributions to the literature by sharing research and practices from case studies, process evaluations, larger scale studies, and analysis of benchmarked data time series.
Submission of topics and abstracts is open and topics of special interest include, but are not limited to:

--Intersection between BRE and other economic development strategies: entrepreneurship, business recruitment, technology‐intensive, creative economy, etc.
--Public policy implications of BRE from local to state/provincial scale
--Measuring BRE results: metrics and methods                                                         
--Case studies of BRE results over time
--Benchmarking BRE data for trends and program development.
--Implications of face‐to‐face visitation vs. other primary data collection methods like focus groups, electronic surveying, mixed methods, and other techniques
--Accomplishing relationship building with businesses
--Quality data collection while using technology: considerations and tradeoffs
--Innovations and evolution in data collection from secondary sources
--Moving from BRE data analysis to systemic action
--Building broad‐based partnerships for BRE
--The process of BRE in its various forms (volunteer visitor, continuous, electronic survey, etc.).  What are the implications for urban, suburban, rural, regional, and state/provincial BRE programs
--Using volunteer visitors vs. professional economic developers for BRE program implementation
--BRE training and capacity building for economic development professionals, board members and volunteer participants.
--Retaining baby boomer businesses in communities as the boomers transition to retirement
The abstracts should be written for both practitioners and academics and provide generalizable results that can contribute to the body of knowledge on Business Retention and Expansion rather than,
for example, only reporting a case study. However local experiences can document the findings or test the results. The final accepted papers will be written in a professional style including literature review,
documented outcomes and references. The emphasis should focus on the manner in which the BRE effort was applied, essential ingredients in success, what has been learned from the process, and
outcomes and impacts achieved. 
Those interested in contributing to this special issue, please send an abstract, not longer than 500 words, outlining the topics addressed, organization and/or methodologies used, and how the paper
will contribute to the BRE topic to: Michael Darger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by January 29, 2016.
When submitting, include BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION ABSTRACT in the memo subject line. Authors will be notified by March 1, 2016 regarding invitations to prepare a full paper.
 Final paper submission will be expected by July 15, 2016 using standard Community Development format requirements.  Papers will be submitted through the usual refereeing process.  
It is expected that a BRE track in the 2016 CDS conference will be offered and authors are encouraged to submit their paper to the conference call as well.  However, conference submission is not
required.  An invitation to prepare a full paper for the Journal does not imply invitation to a presentation opportunity at the conference, nor vice versa.  However, both the Journal and the conference are
excellent opportunities to advance knowledge on BRE.


[1] Warner, Mildred and Zheng, Lingwen (2011).  Economic Development Strategies for Recessionary Times: Survey
Results from 2009.  ICMA Municipal Year Book 2011 (Washington, D.C.: ICMA, 2011), 33‐42.

[2] Retrieved from

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Special Issue of Community Development Focuses on Community Entrepreneurship Development

Due out later this fall, issue 5 of the 2015 volume of Community Development is focused on community entrepreneurship. Guest edited by Michael W-P Fortunato (Sam Houston State University) and Theodore R. Alter (The Pennsylvania State University), the issue contains a collection of nine articles including an invited essay by Thomas S. Lyons. Additionally, there are two themed book reviews for the special issue. (There are two additional general articles included in the issue as well).


In his essay, Lyons puts forth the following thesis, "... entrepreneurship as a mechanism for fostering community development matters because it can help us address economic inequality in our communities and in our nation. Of course, like anything else, this requires intentional focus and a strategic approach." I think this special issue represents the type of focus Lyons is requesting. It will serve as a critical resource for scholars and practitioners interested in the role of community entrepreneurship, and it will set the basis by which future applied scholarship in this field will be judged.

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Small Biz Survival blog

Becky McCray and her bloggers at Small Biz Survival always have interesting topics for entrepreneurs. 

The August 15 post called Coopetition at the Angels Camp Farmers Market by Shelby French tells how she uses “coopetition” using social media to promote many of the businesses that sell at her local farmers’ market.  If all of the vendors cooperate with publicity to promote the market instead of competing for customers, all will benefit. The more people that share the message with their Facebook and Twitter fans, the more people will get the message about the great things happening at the market.

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