Lanark County, in partnership with Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), is delivering a Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project that aims to build and strengthen local business across Lanark County.
The BR+E project is an action-oriented, community-based and volunteer-driven process that includes confidential face-to-face interviews/surveys with businesses to address any issues/opportunities for that business, as well as data collection and action planning.
Members of the project team include representatives from the county, local municipalities, service providers, partner organizations, educators, funding agencies, local chambers and business improvement areas.
“With over 30 partners on the project team, strong collaboration will ensure that business priorities and issues are addressed and that any actions identified will be relevant and timely to the needs of our business community,” says Stacie Lloyd, Regional Economic Development Officer, Valley Heartland CFDC.
“Project team members are very familiar with their communities and are ready to roll up their sleeves and participate in the BR+E to make this a ‘Made in Lanark County’ project,” says Teri Devine, BR+E Coordinator.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) also plays a significant role through guidance and training to support the project team.
“BR+E is a critical component of any economic development program, and Lanark County’s project is a great opportunity for businesses to get involved and have their say on how to best keep them in the community and help them grow,” says Katie Nolan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, OMAFRA.
The project team had its first meeting on Aug. 28 when members were provided training on the BR+E Program and participated in a comprehensive planning session to discuss and provide input into the many components and preparation for the project.
Next steps are to engage the community to participate in the project. This includes recruiting and training volunteers to visit businesses to conduct confidential interviews/surveys with senior management or owners and recruiting businesses to participate in an interview/survey with our volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering to conduct face-to-face confidential interviews/surveys with businesses or if your business would like to participate in an interview/survey, please contact Teri Devine, BR+E Coordinator, at 613-283-7002 ext. 111 or 613-207-5940 or by e- mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.valleycfdc.com/bre.