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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Business retention and expansion: in-person course

Event information


University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN


Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension
Business retention and expansion program lead
darger@umn.edu or 612-625-6246

Retaining local businesses

Take a two-day course on business retention and expansion (BRE) taught by industry professionals. You will learn how to conduct high-quality programs in your community or region.

  • The course includes presentations, video, individual and small group work, and plenty of discussion.

  • Highlights include practice visits to real businesses (and a mock planning session based on results), guest experts who provide BRE tips and stories, and a chance to get to know other economic developers and expand your network.

  • While there is no course paper or homework, you have the opportunity to think about the best BRE approach for your situation.

  • Optional certification from Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) is available to those who complete the course ($75).

The course is designed for economic and community development professionals and stakeholders, community leaders and others who want to conduct a community-led BRE effort.

More course details

Costs and discounts

Person/team Early bird Regular
Individual (per person) $500 $600
2 community members* $750 $900
3–5 community members* $1,000 $1,200
Lunch provided on both days.

*Community-led BRE is all about teamwork, so we encourage teams to attend training together. We offer team discounts for groups from a town or city, county, school district, or other groups of contiguous communities. It is available for either the online or in-person course.


Fall 2021 registration details are to be determined. If you like to attend this course, express your interest below.

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