BR&E Strategies Program: Getting Started
The BR&E Strategies program has been used by over 60 Minnesota communities, including neighborhoods, cities, counties, groups of counties and communities of identity or common issue. Programs have focused on businesses in manufacturing; combinations of manufacturing, retail, and services; tourism; livestock; farming; and technology.
Although there is considerable flexibility in the type of BR&E program a community may select to do, a high level of local interest and involvement is necessary to ensure the program's success in a community.
The process takes about 2-3 years and involves commitment to business retention and expansion from your community members and professionals. But in the end, your community will be truly engaged in a business retention and expansion plan. Extension provides guidance and support. We will:
- Guide recruitment of your BR&E Leadership Team and Task Force.
- Adopt a survey of businesses to your local issues.
- Train volunteers who visit local businesses to conduct the interview.
- Help you respond quickly to business concerns that arise (aka "warning flags").
- Tabulate and analyze the results of the survey.
- Generate suggestions for local action from economic development experts.
- Deliver a comprehensive report built upon your community's unique situation.
- Facilitate a community meeting to help prioritize projects.
- Stay in touch as you implement the plan.
If you are interested in pursuing a University of Minnesota BR&E program, one of our Extension Educators will be happy to meet with you.
With a newly elected Mayor in the city this past year who made it clear an Economic Development Committee would be formed, I suggested the committee invite an economic developer from Region V Economic Development Commission to advise the Council on action steps. He immediately advised conducting the University of Minnesota BR&E study and convinced other Council members that retaining and expanding the existing businesses in the community was the only way to grow vs. "chasing smokestacks." - Maxine Norman, Menahga, Minnesota