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The BR+E project was first introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in 1997 based on best practice models from the US. Today, OMAFRA’s Regional Economic Development Teams continue to administer the program throughout southern Ontario rural communities. This is done by providing the following: qualified coordinator training, assistance in completing applications for Rural Economic Development program funding, resources to assist communities implement their BR+E projects, and overall program support.

The BR+E project is a volunteer-driven, community based economic development tool designed to enhance local businesses and economic prosperity. It is community based as it involves stakeholders from all sectors within the community, including government, business, non profit agencies and citizens, many of whom volunteer their time to contribute to the project.The program works to improve the competitiveness of local businesses by addressing their concerns and needs through a confidential interview process.


The interview process is a structured visitation program that includes a survey conducted by volunteers to identify issues and opportunities. The analysis of the survey results is used to develop a series of strategic actions that will assist to address the concerns indicated within the survey.


The overall goals of conducting a BR+E are as follows:

• Address urgent business issues
• Improve and grow the relationships between local businesses and the community
• Retention of businesses and jobs
• Improvement of business and community competitiveness

The five rural Oxford Townships are currently working on a Business Retention and Expansion program. The Public Launch was held Thursday September 29th, at Oxford Centre Hall, where the project was introduced to the community. For a copy of the presentation, please see the Reports section.


 

Updates and Newsletters 

Sept 29th, 2011   BR+E Public Launch

Oct 6th 2011       Volunteer Training Session 1

Nov 1st 2011       Newsletter, Issue 1

Dec 21 2011        Newsletter, Issue 2

Jan 31 2012        Newsletter, Issue 3