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Retention and Expansion

Research continues to illustrate that the majority of new jobs created come from existing businesses. Business Retention and Expansion ( BR&E for short) is an economic development strategy that focuses on the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Up to 86% of new jobs are created by existing businesses in a community, rather than businesses attracted to a community*. Keeping an existing business in the community is usually easier than recruiting a new business. Therefore, Extension’s BR&E program has offerings that help community leaders and communities to work together to identify barriers local businesses face as they try to survive and grow. See the most current evidence of BR&E’s significance.

The BR&E process leads the community through three major steps – Research, Prioritize, Implement – ideas turn into action. View the BR&E Flow Chart (PDF).



For a detailed overview of the BR&E Strategies approach you could review this booklet (PDF) which is part of a 5-booklet BR&E Visitation Program training curriculum by George Morse and Scott Loveridge. They are available for purchase from NERCRD here

(source the University of Minnesota http://www1.extension.umn.edu/community/business-retention/about/)


The Internet provides new and innovative ways for economic development organizations to retain and expand local businesses. The presentation below includes successful case studies that break out of the old mold of traditional Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) and embrace effective new strategies to grow businesses and support entrepreneurs. Topics include:

• Self-serve business assistance
• BRE programs with limited or no staff
• Social media & video
• Online BRE tools, market analysis, & GIS
• Fighting fiction with fact
• Data your businesses need to grow