The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs introduced the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program in 1998 to support economic development efforts of rural communities. BR+E is a structured acton-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development.
In 2013, the Regional Economic Development Branch began a review of the BR+E program, which involved a variety of input from over 25 organizations and a review of other state/provincial programs. The modifications to the program build on the past successes and address identified challenges.
The changes include:
- Updated Retention Survey – The number of questions in the main retention survey has been reduced by approximately 40% compared to the 2008 version (now 66 questions). The current retention survey questions focus on:
- assisting communities with strategic planning;
- identifying specific business development opportunities and challenges; and
- providing general business information.
- Updated Sectors Surveys including: agriculture, downtown revitalization/ retail, manufacturing and tourism.
- New local food sector survey
- Revised BR+E Coordinator’s Manual including a new four stage process.
- Updated Executive Pulse date management system.
- Updated BR+E Coordinator’s training.
This is the first in a series of posts regarding the updated Business Retention and Expansion program and the new Coordinator’s manual. For more information on the BR+E program or to download a copy of the revised BR+E Coordinator’s Manual visit our website.