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Business Retention and Expansion Overview

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Business Retention and Expansion Overview

  1. 1. Karen Fischer & Stephen Morris Ontario East Municipal Conference September 2015 What is new with Business Retention + Expansion Program
  2. 2. Regional Economic Development Branch Core Purpose: • To develop and deliver leading edge economic development resources that support a thriving rural Ontario. 2
  3. 3. Regional Economic Development Branch Sessions at OEMC: • Economic Development Strategic Planning Wednesday September 16 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. • Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Thursday September 17 | 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. • Community Development for Tiny Places Thursday September 17 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. 3
  4. 4. Session Objectives • Overview of the revised Business Retention and Expansion Program • Highlight findings of the BR+E survey results from Eastern Ontario 2011-2015 • Share recent community examples 4
  5. 5. Please raise your hand if you have been involved in a Business Retention and Expansion project in your community? 5
  6. 6. Please write down your answer to the following question on the sticky note provided: What are the first words that come to mind when you think about business retention and expansion? 6
  7. 7. a Proven Economic Development Process 7  The BR+E program was introduced in 1998 to Ontario and over 230 communities have participated  Over 8,100 businesses have been interviewed as part of BR+E projects across the province
  8. 8. 8 If economic development strategies were a family, business retention and expansion (BRE) would be the hardworking, reliable, but largely unrecognized often overlooked sibling… Janet Ady Economic Development and Site Selection Consultant
  9. 9. What is ?  An action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development  Focuses on nurturing existing businesses  Helps communities to prioritize their efforts 9
  10. 10. What is ? Trained volunteers to conduct confidential interviews Data analysis and action planning to address issues and opportunities Ideally, it is incorporated into the community’s ongoing economic development strategy 10
  11. 11. 11 Why undertake a ? Existing businesses create more jobs  74% - 90% of new jobs  Investment attraction is expensive and difficult due to high volume of competition
  12. 12. 12 Existing businesses are already invested in the community  Existing businesses have a stake  Easier and less expensive for communities to retain than to attract Why undertake a ?
  13. 13. Why undertake a ? 13 Existing businesses can be ambassadors for the community  Can support business attraction efforts  Existing and growing businesses may be targets of other communities’ recruitment efforts so it is important that they feel supported. “A community’s best companies are your competitor’s best prospects” (Eric Canada).
  14. 14. Why undertake a ? 14 Can provide an early warning system  Assists communities in being proactive rather than reactive Improves the community’s self- awareness
  15. 15. Address immediate concerns Short-Term Goals of BR+E Build relationships with existing businesses Build capacity between organizations Identify positive & negative attributes Collect Data Create Strategic Action Plan 15
  16. 16. Long-Term Goals of BR+E Increase competitiveness Enable investment & job creation Foster the environment for business development 16
  17. 17. Is right for your Community? 17 New Seven Community Assessment Questions
  18. 18. 2013 Program Review Process 18 Collect & Analyze Develop Plans & Priorities Implement & Monitor Modify
  19. 19. Program Review Findings Successes to Build on:  Acting on Results  Monitoring outcomes of their action plans  Training  Staff support Challenges to Address:  Survey  Database system  Data Analysis & Reporting 19
  20. 20. New Coordinator Manual Step-by-step process with a greater emphasis on: • Project design • Performance measures • Data analysis • Priority setting
  21. 21. A Four Stage Process 21 STAGE I PREPARATION STAGE II COLLECT DATA & ANALYZE STAGE IV IMPLEMENT & MONITOR STAGE III DEVELOP GOALS & ACTION PLANS
  22. 22. BR+E Survey Review Question review principles: • Assist with strategic planning • Identify specific business growth or retention opportunities • Provide general business information Number of questions in the retention survey 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 2008 2015 110 66
  23. 23. A Comprehensive Survey 23 Business Information Business Climate Future Plans Business Development Workforce Community Development
  24. 24. Optional Sector Surveys 24 Tourism Manufacturing Agriculture Downtown Revitalization/ Retail Local Food
  25. 25. Executive Pulse System 25 Online Business Retention + Expansion data management system
  26. 26. Provincial BR+E Survey Results - Business Climate 26 N=3,121 N=3,072
  27. 27. 2011 to 2015 Eastern Ontario BR+E Survey Results
  28. 28. Context & Considerations • Results are compiled from each of the communities contributing data to the Executive Pulse system. • The results include 16 projects and 550 surveys undertaken between January 1, 2011 and August 1, 2015. • When comparing results there are several factors to keep in mind: • Scope of the projects e.g. Local Food or Downtown focus • Timeframe of the project and the economic conditions at that time 28
  29. 29. 29
  30. 30. Number of Eastern Ontario BR+E projects 30 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 4 9 1 1 4
  31. 31. Impression of the community as a place to do business 31 Poor 3% Fair 16% Good 54% Excellent 27% Number of respondents = 554
  32. 32. Change in attitude about doing business in the community (past 3 years) 32 More positive , 23% More negative, 16% No change , 61% N = 542
  33. 33. Future plans at this site (next 3 years) 33 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Close Downsize Relocate Expand Remain the Same 3% 5% 5% 42% 45% N = 584
  34. 34. Including owner(s), how many employees work at this location? 34 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 - 4 5 - 9 10 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 49 50 - 99 100+ 56% 19% 13% 4% 3% 2% 2% N = 556
  35. 35. How many years has your business been in operation in this community? 35 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Less than 1 year 1 to 3 years 4 to 10 years 11 to 25 years 26 to 35 years Over 35 years 2% 13% 23% 26% 10% 26% N = 556
  36. 36. 36 95% of owners are involved in the day-to-day operation of the business
  37. 37. 88% 37 of owners are residents of the community
  38. 38. 57% of businesses have a current business plan 38
  39. 39. The number of people employed in this business (past 3 years) 39 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Don't know Decreased Increased Remain the same 1% 13% 30% 57% N = 528
  40. 40. The Availability of Workers 40 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% No response Poor Fair Good Excellent 3% 23% 22% 41% 11%
  41. 41. How Businesses Rated the Quality of Life in Eastern Ontario 41 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% No response Poor Fair Good Excellent 0% 1% 4% 40% 55% N = 530
  42. 42. How businesses rated the support from… 42 Municipalities Other Businesses Residents 0% 20% 40% 60% Poor Fair Good Excellent 4% 17% 49% 30% 0% 20% 40% 60% No response Poor Fair Good Excellent 1% 8% 19% 56% 17% 0% 20% 40% 60% No response Poor Fair Good Excellent 1% 15% 25% 45% 13% N = 532
  43. 43. 1 in 10 43 businesses were aware of another business that may have been interested in locating in the community
  44. 44. BR+E Success Story  Regional Local Food BR+E project undertaken in 2012  Identified a need for value added food processing  2014-15 creation of a 15,000 sq. ft. facility. $1.1M investment 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. Resources and Support  Provincial Staff Advisors  Coordinator Training  Coordinator’s Manual  Business Surveys  Executive Pulse System  Provincial BR+E Survey Results 46
  47. 47. Coordinator Training Updated two-part training program • Part 1 – Preparing, Interviewing and Addressing Immediate Opportunities and Concerns (1.5 Days) • November 25 & 26th in Prince Edward County • Part 2– Data Analysis, Reporting and Implementing (1 Day)
  48. 48. For More Information  Visit our website to request a copy of the BR+E Coordinator’s Manual or to register for training http://ontario.ca/b34h  Talk to your Provincial Regional Advisor 48
  49. 49. Questions 49

Editor's Notes

  • This is part of our suite of programs
  • The BR+E program was introduced in 1998 to Ontario for use by rural communities

    Over 230 communities have participated since its launch

    Since 2009, over 3,100 businesses have been interviewed as part of 73 BR+E projects

    Later in the presentation I will highlight some of the recent BR+E projects
  • BRE plays a critical role in promoting both entrepreneurship and recruitment programs.
  • Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) is a structured action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development

    It is an approach to economic development that focuses on nurturing existing businesses as key drivers of ongoing economic health and vitality in a community.

    It promotes job and investment retention and growth
  • It is important to recognize that few communities can do everything they would like to support their existing businesses.
    The BR+E process helps communities prioritize their efforts for projects to address the community needs.

    Trained volunteers who visit businesses and conduct confidential interviews with the senior level management, owners or managers.

    Data analysis and action planning is undertaken to address issues and opportunities facing businesses
    Such activities can be conducted in a continuous format where the community cycles through all the stages and starts over again, or completes as a one-time approach
  • Depending on the characteristics of your community’s economy, studies have shown that anywhere from 74% to 90% of new jobs come from existing businesses

    Investment attraction is expensive and difficult as thousands of communities compete to secure the few hundred major foreign investments made in Canada each year
  • Existing businesses have a stake since they’re already invested in the community

    It is also easier and less expensive for a community to retain existing businesses than to attract new businesses to the community
  • Existing businesses can be ambassadors for the community, which supports business attraction efforts including the identification potential targets for attraction
    Existing and growing business may be targets of other communities recruitment efforts so it’s important that there is a dialogue & they feel supported.
    “A community’s best companies are your competitor’s best prospects” – (Canada, Eric)
  • Can provide an early warning system
    • Assists communities in being proactive rather than reactive, allowing them to also support businesses that are thinking of expanding
    • Businesses in every community close each year for a variety of reasons (e.g. retirement). Some of these closures could be averted if they were connected with the existing support resources

    Improves the community’s self-awareness
    • BR+E is a strategic planning process to improve the local business climate. The information gathered can be used for other purposes such as community planning, policy review or grant applications
    • BR+E can connect and inform businesses to existing resources and support programs that they may not have been aware of
  • (Left to right) – includes animation
    Build and improve relations with existing businesses

    Build capacity within the community and strengthen relationships between organizations

    Identify the positive and negative attributes of the community as a place to do business

    Identify and address immediate concerns and issues of individual businesses through an assessment and referral process

    Collect business and market data to support economic development planning

    Establish and implement a strategic action plan to support existing businesses
  • Left to right and includes animation


    Increase the competiveness of existing businesses

    Enable business development, investment and job creation

    Foster and enhance the environment for business development
  • 1.Are we able to clearly state why we want to conduct a BR+E project, and what we hope our
    community will achieve by undertaking this process?

    2. Is there a core group in the community who understand and believe in the BR+E concept,
    and who are willing to commit the time and energy needed to lead the project?

    3. Is there potential for a partnership between at least two local organizations such as municipal
    government, the Chamber of Commerce, educational institution, industry organization, Business
    Improvement Association, etc?

    4. Is there municipal support for the BR+E Project?

    5. Do we have the volunteer base with the ability, willingness and time to become active participants
    in the project?

    6. Do we have adequate financial and/or in kind support and resources to carry out a BR+E project?
  • Collected
  • Now approximately 50 pages in length

    Some previous appendices now integrated into the manual

  • There are four broad stages in the BR+E process which are:

    Preparation: Includes the organizing steps such as assessing community readiness, forming a leadership team, hiring or identifying a Coordinator to manage all activities, developing the project focus and work plan, recruiting and training volunteers and publicly launching the process

    Collect & Analyze: Include conducting structured business interviews using the BR+E survey, addressing immediate business issues and opportunities identified, and generating a preliminary analysis of the data

    Develop Goals and Action Plans: includes hosting a BR+E planning retreat to identify key findings from the survey and develop goals & action plans to address the results – includes the preparation of the final report and action plan, and communicating the results to the public and business community

    Implement & Monitor: Includes implementing the action plans & selecting performance measures to monitor and track progress & positive impacts that have occurred in the community related to the BR+E project

    These four stages are further broken down into 12 steps.

  • The main survey has 66 questions. Due to the logic in the survey the maximum number of questions any one business can answer is 56 and minimum is 38.

    The survey is divided into six sections:

    Business Information – business structure and number of employees
    Business Climate – Impressions of the community and factors for doing business
    Future Plans – the plans for the business over the next 18 months (e.g. remain the same, expand)
    Business Development – Industry outlook, use of technology, potential of import replacement
    Workforce – workforce and training
    Community Development – Community advantages/disadvantages, business supports.

  • The Executive Pulse system is an online data management system free for all rural communities in Ontario

    Executive Pulse is the most widely used database system for managing business retention and expansion projects in North America. It is a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use system that allows for data entry, some customized community questions, and extensive reporting capabilities.

    Version 6 of the system launch in 2014, benefits include:
    Faster
    Flexible layout
    Tabulate friendly
    New Reporting features
  • There is a provincial BR+E survey results that are available and can be used to benchmark the results of your community.

    Some of the interesting results include:

    38% of businesses surveyed stated they plan to expand
    71% of businesses considered the local business climate either good or excellent
    40% of business stated that they had difficulties hiring new employees
  • 71 prov good and excellent

    81% east
  • Slightly more small businesses
  • 86 prov
  • 73 prov
  • 67% prov
  • East 95

    Prov 92
  • Mun prov 47% east 58%

    Other businesses prov 68% and east 73%

    Residents prov 64% and east 79%
  • Provincial Staff Advisors that can provide coaching and advice throughout the BR+E project.

    Training for Coordinators to ensure they have a solid understanding of the BR+E process and the knowledge to effectively coordinate and implement projects.

    A coordinators manual (updated in 2015)

    comprehensive business retention survey and optional business sector questions

    Access to the online Executive Pulse data management system.

    A provincial roll-up of BR+E survey results.

    Other resources including: sample volunteer job descriptions, press releases, letters and meeting formats that can be easily customized.

  • Feel free to change , add your name or something else
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