Kawartha Lakes - Economic Development
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Business, Retention and Expansion

Ontario's Plan for Growing and Maintaining Rural Businesses

Rural communities need a robust economy to stay strong and vibrant. Businesses that create jobs are a key part of that robust economy. Research shows that most new jobs are created by existing businesses.

The government of Ontario offers an important program, called the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program. It helps rural communities identify actions that will help local businesses keep existing jobs and create new ones. It explains how to open the lines of communication between key partners, including:

  • Businesses
  • Local government
  • Agencies
  • Organizations
  • Community members.

BR+E  is a five step program that helps keep businesses in business.

The Ontario Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Program was recognized with an Award of Excellence at the Annual Business Retention and Expansion International Conference in Wichita, Kansas on June 5, 2008.

The Ontario BR+E Program is the winner for 2008 in the State or Province-wide Program Award category.


Maintaining and Growing a Business - Five Easy Steps

Keeping businesses healthy and helping them grow benefits everyone in your community.

Getting started takes five easy steps:

1. Form a leadership team.
2. Conduct a survey.
3. Review the results.
4. Respond to needs.
5. Present an action plan.

Step 1: Form a leadership team.
Four or five community members form a leadership team. The team holds information sessions to introduce BR+E to the community.

Step 2: Conduct a survey.
The leadership team trains local volunteer visitors to conduct confidential interviews with local businesses. Volunteer visitors use a survey to identify business needs and opportunities. A visitor can be anyone who has an active interest in business and economic development.

Step 3: Review the Results
The survey findings identify both the community's business needs and any potential development opportunities.

Survey results are reviewed by a local task force. The task force is made up of community leaders, who may include members of:

  • Economic development committees
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Local governments
  • Labour organizations
  • Area utilities
  • Educational institutions.

Step 4: Respond to needs.
The Task Force responds to the immediate needs of the local business people and conducts a detailed analysis of the survey data. This analysis becomes the basis of an action plan to improve the local economy.

Step 5: Present an action plan.
The task force holds a public meeting to review the findings and the action plan. Implementation teams are created to put the strategy in motion.

Other Information:

Contact Information:

Learn more by contacting
Carlie Arbour,
Economic Development Officer
180 Kent Street West, Lindsay ON K9V 2Y6
Telephone: 705-324-9411 extension 1396
Email: carbour@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca

Or visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/rural/indbre.htm

180 Kent St. W, Lindsay, OntarioK9V 2Y6
Phone 705-324-9411
Toll Free 1-866-397-6673

Link to City of Kawartha LakesLink to City of Kawartha Lakes Tourismlink to KLSBEC.ca