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Extension > Community > Business Retention & Expansion > BR&E Course

BR&E Course

Business retention and expansion in your community
New course offers in-person and online training in BR&E strategies

The Business Retention and Expansion in Your Community course for 2015 will be held January 12 - March 3. Registration will open soon. Please refer to this webpage for upcoming information.

A healthy, vibrant local economy depends largely on the strength of existing businesses. Community leaders can help local businesses survive and grow. But how do you do that?

University of Minnesota Extension has taught business retention and expansion strategies to communities since 1996. Now, a redesigned course about the fundamentals of BR&E is available in a convenient blended format that combines in-person and online learning. The course is designed for economic and community development professionals, community leaders, and others who want to conduct a community-led BR&E effort. The 2013 and 2014 classes received strong evaluations and resulted in BR&E programs in several communities.

What happens when you take a community-based approach? Read about the success in Marshall, MN.

This BR&E Course development was funded in part by the Initiative Foundation, a regional foundation in Central Minnesota.

Past sponsors include: Initiative Foundation, West Central Initiative, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Grow Minnesota!, and Economic Development Association of Minnesota.

Results from course to date
Several communities across Minnesota have launched major outreach efforts to local businesses after participating in the course.

And the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension launched a statewide BR&E program for New Hampshire based on the Minnesota model.

Course cost and schedule
The BR&E course begins online January 12. An in-person session is held January 20-21, 2015 in the Twin Cities (location TBD). The in-person session is conveniently held prior to the EDAM (Economic Development Association of Minnesota) Winter Conference (scheduled for January 22-23, 2015 in Brooklyn Park). The course also includes several online segments following the January meetings, and an in-person wrap-up will occur on March 3, 2014.

The cost of the course is $400 until December 19, 2014 ($500 after). There are also community team pricing options. Registration deadline is Monday, January 5, 2015. For more information, contact Michael Darger at darger@umn.edu or 612-625-6246.

Community Team Discount
Community-led BR&E is all about teamwork, so it makes sense to send a team to this training if possible. To encourage this, we offer discounts for team attendance. A community team of two can register together for $750, and a community team of three to five individuals can register together for $1,000. (The discount is only for groups from a town or city, county, school district, or other groups of contiguous communities.)

Questions and Registration
Watch this web page for updates. For more detailed information on the course, please see the BR&E Course Info Sheet.

View course testimonials.

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