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Submit a BRE article to the Journal of Community Development Society

on Tue, 11/17/2015 - 21:37

BREI is a co-sponsor of the BRE special issue of Community Development (Journal of Community Development Society).  Therefore, BREI members are encouraged to submit an abstract for a paper. The special issue is planned for 2017 and will feature 7-8 articles to comprehensively cover BRE topics.  This is a unique opportunity for the world to learn about BRE in a deeper way.  For more information, or contact Michael Darger at 612-625-6246 or

Surface Equipment Corp. enjoys success with BRE strategies from Kilgore EDC

on Mon, 11/16/2015 - 21:31

Stephen McLemore is president of Surface Equipment Corporation of Kilgore, Texas.  BRE strategies have recently been used by Heather Jurenka and the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation to grow and expand the business.  McLemore writes, "The Kilgore Economic Development Corporation has been involved and extremely helpful in working with Surface Equipment Corporation as we continue to expand our business.  Recently, KEDC was able to work with the city of Kilgore to engineer and build a new road that would withstand the weight of our heavy haul vessels and packages.  Once the construction had started, shipping and receiving faced many logistical challenges. KEDC was able to work with the city and road contractor to expedite the construction progress.  Another area that KEDC has been immensely helpful was working with a local telecommunications vendor to extend fiber optics in this area.  As our business grew, slow internet speed was taking a toll on everyday tasks.  In the past, this area has had only one internet option and provider.  In desperation, we mentioned to Heather Jurenka, Business Retention Specialist at KEDC, our internet frustrations and within one month our internet problems were addressed and plans of action were in place.  We are extremely grateful for an Economic Development Corporation and a Business Retention Specialist that truly cares about the success of our company and other local businesses.  We appreciate all that they have done to help us continue our path of growth and excellence.”  

Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E): Creating Jobs, Building Community

on Fri, 10/23/2015 - 19:33

Surveys show that existing businesses create as many as 80 percent of all new jobs in a community.  When established businesses stagnate, fail, downsize, or relocate elsewhere, communities may also experience negative ripple effects that include a cascade of other business failures, utility rate hikes, and strains on social services, schools, and families. Conversely, research shows that a thriving local economy makes that community attractive to new business ventures considering setting up shop there.  It makes sense to pay close attention to keeping those businesses in town and encouraging them to expand locally.  That’s why Cooperative Extension pioneered what’s called the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) model of community economic development in the mid-1980s.


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BREI develops partnership with UM for BRE Coordinator certification

on Tue, 08/04/2015 - 21:44

Business Retention and Expansion International recently developed a new fast-track system to allow students at the University of Minnesota to receive the popular BRE Coordinator certification upon completion of the university’s BRE program.  Students who complete the BRE program are eligible to apply for BREI’s Coordinator certification through a newly developed private application portal just for UM students.  For more information, click on the following link or contact us at

University of Minnesota BRE Cohort

Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Celebrate Awards from Business Retention Expansion International

on Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:48

From left to right:  Sheri Shields, Manager Business Development and BRE program manager, Rick Rebadow, Executive Vice President, Gregg Cramer, Vice President Economic Development, Marcel van den Bosch, Coordinator, and Dennis West, Manager Business Services