Business Retention and Expansion Program

Research shows EXISTING businesses create 60% to 80% of all new jobs.

Communities that actively implement an on-going BR&E program focusing on the retention and expansion of local businesses will:

  • Improve the business climate of the community
  • Help to make local businesses remain competitive
  • Increase employment
  • Stabilize the local economy

The Ohio Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Program provides the resources, training, and tools to develop the capacity of the community to better understand its economy. In addition to enhanced community capacity to address critical community issues, other outcomes of such community engagement include a streamlined BR&E process that enables local leaders to focus on planning, action and results; a database of local information; and a more robust local economy. Nearly nine out of ten members have rated the program as 'HIGH VALUE.'

The Ohio State University was involved in the original development and became an early adopter of BR&E principles and methodology. Since 1986, the Ohio Business Retention & Expansion Program has developed the capacity of community leaders via more than 140 BR&E programs in 77 Ohio counties.

For more information, contact co-leaders Nancy Bowen (Associate Professor & Extension Field Specialist in Community Economics) or David Civittolo (Associate Professor & Extension Field Specialist in Community Economics). Additional team members include:

  • Godwin Apaliyah, County Extension Educator (Fayette County)
  • Joe Lucente, Assistant Professor & Extension Educator (Ohio Sea Grant College Program - Lake Erie Watershed)
  • Myra Moss, Associate Professor & Extension Educator
  • Eric Romich, Assistant Professor & Extension Field Specialist for Energy Development

Our Mission

To serve as a resource for education, training, and research assistance to help communities identify and address opportunities and issues that impact their regional and local economies.

Our Objective

To provide the tools, training, and resources needed to develop the capacity of communities to analyze and monitor their regional and local economies and use this information as a basis for economic development action and planning.

BR&E Program Overview:

  • YouTube Video (6-minute video):