The County of Wellington in Ontario, Canada, embarked on the BRE journey beginning in 2013. Two years later, the county has reaped significant rewards with the candle onthe cake represented by two BREI awards at the BREI Annual Conference in 2014..
However, their momentum did not end. In October of 2015, the county began interviews with 150 businesses in their 14 downtowns in addition to 15 foreign owned businesses. Most notably, they have created the first ever foreign owned business questionnaire, vetted by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Following the direction of BREI and using the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs toolkit, the interviews have enabled the county to build a rapport with over 300 businesses that have invested in their communities and proactively supported their growth.
From the interviews, they have:
- an understanding of the local business climate, what it’s like to do business in Wellington
- become aware of and improved municipal processes where possible
- been able to celebrate the growth of certain businesses we have assisted
- dealt with urgent issues identified in the interview process
- connected businesses with local suppliers they were previously unaware of
- shared best practices on our process with other communities considering a BR+E
- created a $175,000 County fund for member municipalities to apply for up to $25,000 to assist in their BR+E Action plan stemming from the interview results and
- provided exposure to local businesses via our interview thank you bags.