This is not the first BR+E study in rural Oxford. In 2011, the five townships joined together to collect similar information and prepare a list of economic priorities. That report was the a strong influence in the creation of the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation that now serves the business community in rural Oxford.
Introduced in 1998 by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the business retention and expansion program (BR+E) is a community based economic development tool intended to foster local businesses and economy. Rural Oxford joins more than 250 communities who have already participated.
An action oriented and community-based approach to economic development, the BR+E plan focuses on nurturing existing businesses, and prioritizing community efforts. BR+E fosters economic development by learning more about challenges and opportunities to retaining and growing businesses and developing action plans to address these concerns as part of the community’s economic development strategy. Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation (ROEDC) focused this 2018 BR+E on the Agri-business, Food Processing, Logistics, and Manufacturing business sectors across Rural Oxford.
Conducting a BR+E study gives us the opportunity to check in with our business community on a wide range of pertinent issues. With this systematic approach to gathering information, we end up with data that is relevant to our entire business community.
This report will be the basis for our programs and activities over the next three to four years. The priorities outlined in this report will be the focus of our economic development initiatives as we work to build a thriving, resilient community.
We invite you to read the outcomes of the 2018 report. This document will shape the programs and services delivered by the Rural Oxford EDC over the coming years.