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How to Support Local Businesses with Economic Development Resources

How to Support Local Businesses with Economic Development Resources

Getting the budget in place for a business retention and expansion (BR+E) project is a difficult task. Proving the value of the exercise to Council and spending the time to get all stakeholders on board can, in some cases, take years.

Over the course of two or three, even four years, a lot can change in the landscape of your business community. Some businesses may not be able to stay open for that long if they require timely support; other businesses will start during that time without initially being included in the BR+E project. It’s crucial to understand the impact of timeline on your efforts, and select the resource (listed below) that matches your desired schedule.

There are three different resources you can tap into to execute a BR+E project in line with your budget and desired timeline. In addition, BR+E strategies can be used to effectively communicate to Council the value of economic growth. After all, a BR+E project is exactly about how to support local businesses that need your assistance. 

How to Support Local Businesses with BR+E Resources

1. Run Your BR+E Project In-House

The first option for executing a BR+E project is conducting it using internal resources. The benefit of using your own team is that you control the process and parameters from start to finish. You can craft the survey for local businesses as you see fit and follow a timeline of your design.

The drawback of conducting a BR+E project in-house is that you will tie up your resources for an extended period of time. Your team members may need to take time away from other priorities to help execute the BR+E project, which could extend deadlines for multiple projects. In addition, you may be the only economic development officer in a rural community, which puts a lot of pressure on one set of shoulders.

2. Use the Ministry BR+E Resources Available

Use the Ministry BR+E Resources AvailableThere are also government resources to assist you in your BR+E efforts. For example, in Ontario the rural BR+E program provides guidance and training. You can download templates and guides online to save you time when creating your business survey and planning the project.

The process with government support takes two years to complete, which could help shorten the amount of time it would otherwise take to conduct your project in-house. Although the government assists with the project, you remain in full control of its execution.

3. Use the Triage BR+ETM Platform

Lastly, you could outsource your BR+E efforts for much less money than you might think. Our Triage BR+ETM platform is an affordable and reliable way of alleviating your team’s workload. 

The platform has been optimized to gather data from business owners effectively and quickly. You will get the results in as little as 10 weeks, allowing you to address identified issues much faster than any other method. In addition, you’ll be provided with an actionable plan that will allow you to hit the ground running.

Select the Best Economic Development Resource for Your Community

Based on the pros and cons of each resource, you can decide the best option for your community. Be sure to gather all the information before you decide, including downloading the available resources from the Ministry and booking a demo of Triage BR+ETM

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References:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/business-retention-and-expansion-program

https://blog.mdbinsight.com/prove-the-worth-of-rural-economic-development

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