The Kaslo BRE Final Report describes findings from the Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey conducted in the Village of Kaslo and area during 2014/2015. Dustin East, Project Comeback Coordinator from North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society (NKLCSS), acted as the community lead for the project. The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) provided training, data analysis and report writing support.
THE BRE CONCEPT
BRE is an action‐oriented and community‐based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities to learn about the concerns of, as well as opportunities for, local businesses and to set priorities for projects to address those needs. Ultimately, communities will have greater success in attracting new businesses if existing businesses are content with local economic conditions and community support. Business development and job creation are key factors in fostering healthy and vibrant communities— depending on the characteristics of a community’s economy, anywhere from 40 to 90 per cent of new jobs come from existing businesses.
Objectives specific to the Kaslo BRE project were as follows:
- Identify the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing local businesses in order that, where appropriate, local action can be taken to respond to the businesses’ needs or development opportunities;
- Learn of the future plans of the region’s local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation and /or retention and follow‐up where assistance can be provided;
- Demonstrate the community’s pro‐business attitude and develop an effective means of communication with local businesses;
- Encourage the business community’s active involvement in economic development.