A Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) study is an action-oriented, community-based approach to economic development. The plan focuses on nurturing existing businesses, and prioritizing community efforts. BR+E fosters economic development by connecting with the business community to learn more about challenges and opportunities affecting growth and retention. Action plans are developed to address pertinent issues as part of a community’s economic development strategy.
In 2018, we focused our BR+E study on the Agri-business, Food Processing, Logistics, and Manufacturing business sectors. The priorities outlined in this report will help us shape economic development initiatives over the next few years, as we work to build thriving, resilient communities in Rural Oxford.
In 2011, the five townships in Rural Oxford joined together to complete their first BR+E. They collected similar information and prepared a list of economic priorities. That first report was a strong influence in the creation of the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation.
The BR+E program was introduced in 1998 by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and has been completed in over 250 communities to help address local business issues.