Business Retention & Expansion
Now, more than ever, it is important for economic developers in California to focus on keeping the businesses we have and helping them grow. With the negative perceptions about doing business in California and our business climate, attracting new business is not always the easiest form of economic development. And, as we’ve all heard before, “A bird in the hand, is better than two in the bush”.
Economic developers work hard to find new and innovative ways of working with their existing businesses. But there are some basics of business retention and expansion that a successful BRE program will have.
CALED’s Orange County Chapter Leadership delivers an excellent training on the subject: Business Retention and Expansion Workshop (BREW). Here are some of the basics they feel are important:
- Build a business database–collect information on your local businesses
- Be aware of market conditions–analyze and understand your community & businesses in it
- Build a support system–lean on your colleagues
- Foster relationships with internal partners–know the “go-to” people in your organization
- Foster relationships with key external partners–agencies, real estate professionals, and other ED stakeholders
- Get a toolbox–identify business incentives, Workforce Investment Act, know Federal/State designations, etc…
- Know your permit process–Is there are permit assistance team or fast-track program in place
- Make business calls–prioritize your contacts and visit your businesses
- Be prepared
- Sell yourself as a resource
- Call back on your major businesses–keep in touch with them
Thank you to the members of the Orange County Chapter for sharing their insight and expertise, especially Janet Coe, former Orange County Chapter Chair.