British Columbia Economic Development Association - Event Information - British Columbia Economic Development Association

Event Name:
BRE: Building Strong and Resilient Business Communities


"As an elected official, I am very interested in the continued growth and economic development of our community. As part of that growth and economic development, the need for our existing businesses to remain a part of our community has never been greater. This course offers some very practical and doable solutions that can be implemented to support the needs of your local businesses. I would strongly encourage any elected official to take this course!"
“Thanks as always for your insight and expertise!!”

“This has been fantastic!  Thanks so much for the framework with BRE.  I love the In the Trenches pieces”
“Really great workshop - thanks everyone. Excited to start building out our BRE program in our city.”
“Thank you very much! This has been a very informative and motivating course! Extremely beneficial- I am excited to start building a BRE program for our small community!”

Business retention, and fostering the expansion of existing businesses, is the foundation of any sound economic development program. And it should be! Changes in the global, national and regional marketplace have increased pressure on firms to become more efficient to seek out and take advantage of profit opportunities and now COVID-19 has reshaped the business landscape. These are not normal times. Economic development must change with the environment and learn how to engage with local businesses to gather solid business and worker impact data to inform local leadership’s response and create resiliency in communities.

This course explores strategies to retain the existing economic base by making businesses and the communities that house them more competitive. Issues covered include how to apply a wide range of economic development resources, tools, and techniques to support local businesses through the creation of a successful business retention and expansion program. In addition to learning ways to engage with local business in an everyday environment you will also learn ways to do it during and after a disaster whether it is a fire, flood or even a pandemic.

The best way to manage a BRE program is by the community itself – not by consultants or hiring a polling firm. This course will teach you the who, why, what and ways to do BRE, provide you information on tools, and provide you with tips on running successful BRE programs.

Following the course you will be provided with a template to develop your own business engagement program. Once you have completed your plan, our team will evaluate and provide feedback.

Session 1: Core Principles of BRE and Building a Program
Monday, February 1st , 9:00 am - 11:30 am PST

These sessions will present the core components of a BRE program, how to understand and address business needs, and how to build and manage a BRE program.

Overview of Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) and Core Principles
• Introduction to BRE
• The importance of BRE
• BRE basics and core activities
• Elements of a BRE program
• What you need to know about your business community

Session 2: Core Principles of BRE and Building a Program (con’t.)
Thursday. February 4th, 9:00 am - 11:30 am PST

Creating and Managing a BRE Program
• What makes a successful BRE program
• Planning and structuring a BRE program
• Collecting and Managing Data
• Marketing a BRE program

Session 3: BRE Programs and Entrepreneurial Development
Monday, February 8th, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Programs to support BRE
• Overview of various initiatives that you can do to support BRE
• Northern Development Programs and Initiatives to support BRE
• Helping local businesses access Government Contracts

This session will discuss how BRE strategies can be used to support entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as the emerging role of e-Commerce in small business development.

BRE to Support Entrepreneurs, Gig Workers, and Home-Based Enterprises
• Types of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial ecosystem
• Key challenges faced by entrepreneurs, gig workers, and home businesses
• Support strategies and technical assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses

Session 4: BRE and Economic Disaster Recovery
Thursday, February11th, 9:00 am-12:00pm PST

This session will review BRE strategies and their implementation, examples of different BRE programs and strategies from around the country and discuss the role of BRE in recovery from and resilience to disasters.

Review of previous sessions

BRE in a Post-Disaster Economic Landscape
• Short and long-term challenges of disaster recovery
• The role of BRE post-disaster
• Examples of small businesses assistance programs
• Resilience and recovery strategies
• Economic Disaster Recovery Examples

Registration Fee:
BCEDA Members     $300.00 + GST
Non Members           $350.00 + GST

We encourage you to contact us if this course is of interest to you and if we can accommodate we will do that or will approach sponsors in your region to host the course.

Event Date:
2/1/2021 - 2/11/2021

Virtual Event

Event Registration:

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2/1/2021 - 2/11/2021