All posts by Rian Omollo

REGISTRATION OPEN: MAY 6TH BR+E COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE WEBINAR

A recent survey of rural economic development practitioners across Canada revealed that business outreach and enhanced BR+E programs are two key avenues being explored to aid economic recovery. Business engagement and the use of business-level data to guide strategic planning have historically been core components of effective economic development practice. The current pandemic has reinforced the need to ensure that business needs are identified and addressed in an effective and efficient manner.

Join other BR+E practitioners on Thursday, May 6, 2021 for a panel discussion on a variety of approaches and outcomes relating to three theme areas:

  • Using Focus Groups for Business Engagement – Simcoe County
  • Springing to BR+E Actions during a Pandemic – Wellington County
  • The Art of and Science of Collaboration for BR+E – Dufferin County & the Town of Orangeville

Presentations by panelists representing the communities listed above will be followed by a discussion and Q&A segment.

To register for the event, follow this link

OMAFRA provides economic development tools, training and technical guidance to rural Ontario communities. Follow this link for more information on the OMAFRA BR+E program.

Register Now: Spring 2021 BR+E Coordinator Training

Do you want to learn how to engage the business community so you can strengthen your local economy? Consider attending the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA) three-part Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) training in April:

  • Thursday, April 8th 10:30am – 12pm
  • Thursday, April 15th 10:30am – 12pm
  • Thursday, April 22nd 10:30am – 12pm

As communities explore ways to support local businesses and foster post-pandemic growth, a BR+E project can assist by:

  • prioritizing business engagement
  • identifying key challenges and opportunities
  • provide insights into how to develop long-term goals and actions

BR+E fundamentals (spanning all four stages of the OMAFRA BR+E process) will be covered during the three training blocks.

Register for the BR+E training. More information about the OMAFRA BR+E program.


Findings From the 2020 OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Surveys

BR+E continues to take center stage for many communities across Ontario as they navigate through shifting local economic conditions. Data gathered through BR+E interviews and surveys can provide a window into the challenges and opportunities faced by many businesses. This precedes effective, targeted actions and strategies to facilitate the growth and success of local businesses.

While a typical BR+E survey is extensive and provides several opportunities for probing and in-depth discussion, the current economic climate may call for a different approach. Some communities would prefer a streamlined set of questions to quickly identify and address major issues and facilitate business growth. The OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Survey contains 15 questions under the following topics:

  • General Information
  • Workforce
  • Resources and Supports
  • Looking ahead

Below are some highlights from data collected between April 2020 and December 2020 by communities using the OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Survey:

Continue reading Findings From the 2020 OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Surveys

Data Tools and Analysis for Economic Recovery

Join OMAFRA economic development staff and subject matter experts on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 (2 pm – 3:15 pm EST) for a free webinar exploring data tools and analysis for economic recovery.

Local economic development initiatives and policies should be driven by evidence-based decision-making. Access to current data is therefore crucial as communities address current challenges while planning for resilience and prosperity in a post-pandemic world. Some examples of suitable data sets and analysis are:

Continue reading Data Tools and Analysis for Economic Recovery

8 Key Takeaways for Economic Developers from the 2020 Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) Conference

The 2020 BREI Conference took place during the week of June 15, 2020 and featured a variety of presenters from across North America. Academics and practitioners presented on emerging BR+E practices and guided discussions centered around the role of BR+E as an economic recovery tool. Below are 8 key takeaways from the conference:

Continue reading 8 Key Takeaways for Economic Developers from the 2020 Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) Conference