Updates to the Ontario Business Retention & Expansion Program Resources

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 actWorking Group Meetingon-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

      BR+E manual cover image
      Business Retention + Expansion Coordinator’s Manual.
    • 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.

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