Business Retention and Expansion Project aims to assist local firms

Revelstoke is the focus of a new Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Project intended to help small business.
“Helping our existing businesses is the primary objective of the project. Other
communities have had very good results with BRE projects,” Judy Goodman, executive director of the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “Before considering this project we talked to community leaders in several other Columbia Basin and Boundary communities that have used this approach to business retention and expansion. They were very positive about the results,” said Goodman.
This project is being spearheaded by the Chamber, Community Futures and the City. The BRE Project, with the assistance of UBC co-op student Marc Rossi is designed to stimulate economic development and growth by assisting existing businesses.
Selkirk College’s Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (CBRDI) is supporting communities in BRE implementation through the provision of training for BRE researchers, implementation support materials (BRE manual, confidentiality forms and processes, etc.), access to the online regional e-pulse data management and referral system, and data analysis and report writing support.
“The RDI’s mandate is to support informed decision making through the provision of timely and relevant information and applied research.” said Dr. Terri MacDonald, RDI Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development. “With the valuable information collected through community-driven BRE projects in hand, decision makers and economic development practitioners in the region will be well positioned to provide targeted support to our local businesses and to take collection action to improve the overall business climate in our region.”
Community’s Futures Revelstoke’s Kevin Dorrius said confidentiality is a key aspect of the project.
“We do not publish information on individual businesses,” he said. “The project is very careful about this confidentiality issue.”
The information gathered through the project is compiled and analyzed by the BCRDI. The Local BRE steering committee reviews key findings and recommendations and set into motion a plan for follow-up action.
“One of the reasons for the popularity of the BRE project is that it not only supports long range planning for the community but also yields some short-range tangible results,” Dorrius said.
For more information please contact Marc Rossi at the Business and Visitor Information Centre at 250-837 5345 or on his cell at 250-307-8473. Alternatively you an send him an e-mail at