Business retention and expansion (BRE) is regarded as the most practical and accessible method for economic development at the city, town, or neighborhood scale. This comprehensive volume centers on the belief that BRE is the top responsibility for a community economic development official. BRE is an asset-based approach designed to systematically strengthen the connection between businesses and the community while encouraging each business to continue operations and expand in the community. It focuses on the community’s existing businesses instead of those it doesn’t have.
This book illustrates many different facets of BRE, from big-picture and theory to lessons learned about BRE from practitioners and academics with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. The authors demonstrate diverse ways of reaching out and responding to existing businesses. They explore several topics related to or at the very heart of BRE including: business clusters, entrepreneurship, community outcomes, business assistance, transportation systems, energy efficiency, business succession, and defining BRE success. These include research, program evaluation, and case studies.
This book offers both theoretical and applied points of views, and will be of great interest to local practitioners, state/provincial officials, and students of economic development. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Community Development.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Business retention and expansion (BRE) today – research, application, and evaluation Michael Darger, Alan Barefield, and Brent D. Hales
2. Business retention and expansion and business clusters – A comprehensive approach to community development Xue Zhang and Mildred E. Warner
3. Coordination of entrepreneurial growth methods and business retention and expansion outreach Will Warren
4. Lessons learned from a generation of community-driven business retention and expansion programming Michael Darger, Brigid Tuck, and John Bennett
5. Grow Minnesota!: Using grassroots data to support business growth and retention in the state of Minnesota Sean O’Neil, Kathi Schaff, and Angela Riffe
6. Obtaining manufacturers’ perspectives in making regional transportation decisions Lee Munnich and Frank Douma
7. Increasing capacity of rural clients to access economic development programs: The Ontario BRE case study Catherine Oosterbaan and Stephen Morris
8. Energize job retention: Energy management strategies as a component of business retention and expansion programs Nancy Bowen-Ellzey and Eric Romich
9. The silver tsunami and rural small business retention: What can communities do? Elizabeth Templin, Scott Chazdon, Glenn Muske, Felipe Dyna Barroso, Lillian Osborne, and William Craig
10. Defining success in business retention and expansion: What do economic development organizations measure and why? Jonathan Q. Morgan and Crystal Morphis
Michael Darger is Extension Specialist in Community Economics and Director of Business Retention & Expansion at the University of Minnesota Extension, St. Paul, USA. He is a scholar-practitioner with previous experience in local economic development and business.
Alan Barefield is Extension Professor in Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University, USA. His specialty areas include Economic Development, Public Infrastructure Economics, Health Economics, and Economic Impact/Contribution.
Brent D. Hales is Senior Associate Dean of Extension at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA. His primary area of research is the adoption of innovation-based community development, economic development, and entrepreneurship.