Through funding made available by the Rural Economic Development Fund (RED), The Renfrew BR+E program commenced in November 2017 and project milestones included; hiring a Business Retention and Expansion Coordinator, creating a Leadership Team to help guide the project, conducting business interviews/surveys, hosting a BR+E Retreat and compiling all project data into an Economic Development Action Plan.
A component of the BR+E project was to create a Community Profile for Renfrew, which was completed in March 2018 and presented to Council. The Community Profile has subsequently won a marketing award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada.
The Community Profile can be viewed here: http://renfrew.ca/public_docs/Renfrew-Community-Profile-2018/
The BR+E Action Plan is the main deliverable from the Renfrew Business Retention and Expansion project. Data was collected through a structured business survey and compiled to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for local business and community development. The project also included dialogue with 35 local business owners/managers and community stakeholders at a BR+E Retreat. Data from the surveys was combined with strategic discussions from the retreat to design an Economic Development Action Plan.
The Plan includes an overview of the Business Retention and Expansion process, a participant profile and a summary of results from the business interviews and BR+E Retreat. The report also includes an BR+E Action Plan Matrix that outlines the priorities set at the retreat and associated deliverables and timelines. The Plan was developed from locally derived information and statistics to help guide Council and staff in future economic development related decisions and programming.