Retaining and expanding existing businesses has become an effective local economic development strategy in many communities. Although attracting new businesses from outside the community is a common economic development strategy, research indicates that about 80 percent of all changes in a community’s industrial base occur in its existing businesses in the community rather than in new businesses. Existing businesses in community account for a large of net change in local employment, and even more in rural area. Efforts to support and develop existing businesses may indicate to new businesses that the community is dedicated to assisting its business to become more competitive. This pro-business attitude can only add to the attractiveness of the community as an excellent environment for new businesses.
The Fayette County BR&E Program is an all-inclusive community approach to assist local firms in achieving their growth objectives and to improve the overall business environment in the community and its environs. Visiting existing businesses and learning about their concerns is the start of the process. The BR&E program builds awareness in the community of issues that face businesses and builds capacity for the community to address these issues. The BR&E program is co-sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension Service and the local Office of Economic Development. The program received formal approval of support from the local business community, and the Fayette Chamber of Commerce.
BRE Program Objectives
The objectives of the Fayette County BRE Program are:
- to demonstrate the community’s pro-business attitude and appreciation of the business economic contribution,
- to assist businesses in solving local problems and working with local governments,
- to assist businesses in using state and federal development programs,
- to develop a data base for local economic strategic planning to improve the community’s climate for growth and
- to establish an early-warning system for plant closures, allowing the community to prevent or ease such situations when possible.
Local businesses sectors involve in the BR&E program include the follows:
- Distribution and Logistics Centers
- Construction and
- Agri-businesses sector