BRUSSELS – Community Futures Huron is proud of its role in Huron County’s 2021 Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) project, which recently won the County of Huron Economic Development Team the Outstanding Multi Community With a Population 50,000 – 100,000 award from Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI).
BR&E projects are designed to strengthen the connection between businesses and the community while also encouraging each business to continue to grow individually. Through direct interactions, events, and research, these projects seek to gain insight into business practices, planned future actions, as well as grow understanding around the challenges of local business for the purpose of collectively growing the local business economy.
“We participated in this program with staffing and funding because we know how important it is to understand the needs and challenges of businesses so that we can respond with the appropriate supports and help them to grow,” said Paul Nichol, General Manager, Community Futures Huron, which has been helping entrepreneurs make their futures in Huron County since 1993. “We extend our congratulations to the Huron County Economic Development Department on achieving this award.”
In its announcement, BREI said the County adjusted its process in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with surveys completed by business respondents remotely, requiring extensive marketing and communication to ensure the purpose of the project was effectively conveyed, while providing sufficient instructions on how to complete and return the survey. It noted the project adjusted to respond to volunteer and business owner concerns about face-to-face interviews. The BR&E team created mail out surveys and distributed them to 3,360 businesses across the county. Volunteers were trained to conduct phone calls to follow up on the mailed surveys.
Its BR&E survey had a 21% response rate, which is higher than the typical response rate for Ontario communities.
BREI represents professionals in the economic development field from across the globe in order to educate, train, and promote best practices for increasing economic activity and growth in both urban and rural areas through the process of Business Retention and Expansion planning.
Learn more about Huron’s BR&E Project: https://www.huroncounty.ca/economic-development/bre/