Continuing with our series of blogs on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) Program, this blog will outline the first two stages of the BR+E process.
The four stages of the BR+E process are:
- Collect and Analyze
- Develop Goals and Action Plans
- Implement and Monitor
BR+E Stage I – Preparation
Step 1: Assess Community Readiness
Community leaders should work with a Provincial Staff Advisor to determine if BR+E is the right project for the community, and assess the community’s readiness for the project.
Check out our previous post, 6 Reasons Why Your Community Should Undertake a BR+E to understand the advantages of a BR+E project. Continue reading Discover the Advantage of Thorough Preparation and Data Collection for a Successful BR+E
The most important thing a Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) project does is build capacity. BR+E is strategically designed to take existing community resources and employ’s its community businesses to help them come together with a plan for the future. 1
Whether you are an economic developer, a chamber of commerce, a local government official, or an interested citizen who wants to improve and ensure economic growth in your area, a BR+E project may be right for you.2 Continue reading 6 Reasons Why Your Community Should Undertake a BR+E Project
A recent report from the Government of Canada studied the characteristics and performance of newly established businesses. On average, 96,000 new businesses entered the Canadian economy every year (2002-2014), representing about 9.4% (annual rate) of all Canadian firms.
This study is important for economic development officers (EDOs) undertaking business retention activities as it highlights how the Canadian economy functions, particularly the natural churn that occurs as businesses start, mature, and decline. Based on this research, EDOs should be able to determine ways to help increase the survival rates of businesses in your communities.
Key findings from this study include: Continue reading New long-term Research on business start-up and closures in Canada
The results for the July 2016 – December 2017 roll up report are here! Over 1,100 businesses were surveyed across Ontario, and the key findings have been aggregated in an infographic. For clients with ongoing BR+E Projects, the roll up offers a benchmark to measure the success of their own BR+E Project against the Provincial average. In comparison, clients who are interested in starting a project can use the roll up report to help identify an area of focus for their project.
I was invited to present on Business Retention & Expansion at the recent International Economic Development Council annual conference in Toronto. The session explored common denominators for success and highlighted unique attributes of the Halifax Partnership, the Ontario and the British Columbia programs.
Continue reading Sharing of (somewhat) International Best Practices on BR+E
The Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program is a collaborative effort between government, community, and businesses that identifies opportunities to help businesses expand and, retain and create jobs. The program also encourages the implementation of agreed upon activities to achieve goals, and actions to improve the local business climate.
Three recent examples of completed BR+E projects are from the communities of:
- Lake Country,
- Orangeville, and;
- Almaguin Highlands.
Each of these projects identified key opportunities that could help promote business expansion and increase growth for businesses. Continue reading Recent Business Retention & Expansion Project Reports
The results for the 2015/16 roll up report are here! We surveyed 1,213 businesses across Ontario, and have aggregated the key findings in an infographic. For clients with ongoing BR+E Projects, the rollup offers a benchmark to measure the success of their own BR+E Project against the Provincial average. In comparison, clients who are interested in starting a project can use the roll up report to help identify an area of focus for their project.
To view the full presentation of the BR+E provincial survey results, see below:
OMAFRA’s Rick Berthiaume, Manager of the Economic Development Programs Unit and Information Services was invited to present on the evolution of Ontario’s BR+E Program at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference. The session was titled “BRE: 30 Years of Community Economic Impact”, and included other presentations from Ohio State University and University of Minnesota Extension. During his presentation, Rick highlighted several topics including the updated 4-Stage BR+E process, the new coordinator manual and best practices with a focus on data collection and analysis. Continue reading Ontario BR+E Presentation at the International Economic Development Council Conference
What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?
As an Economic Development Specialist, my
role is to promote and lead two of the Ministry’s programs: Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) and First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE). Most importantly, my role is to help municipalities and rural stakeholders access these programs. Continue reading Staff Profile: Robert Humphrey
Ontario’s Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) program received international recognition as an award winner for an innovative, effective and exemplary BR+E Program at the most recent Business Retention + Expansion International Conference (BREI), held in San Antonio, Texas on May 25th, 2016. This award recognizes Ontario’s achievements on a global scale. The provincial program was also a runner-up in the BR+E Project/Program Impact award category.
Continue reading Ontario’s BR+E Program Receives International Award