Business retention and expansion

Helping local businesses succeed

"Menahga is a more positive place to live, work and play as a result of the partnership with Extension’s BRE program. Over 52 businesses were surveyed in our city of 1,300. Community stakeholders took the information from surveys and created working teams that brought more affordable housing, entertainment, an awareness of our business community, and opportunities for our youth. Menahga now has a concerted effort to help businesses grow and prosper."

— Liz Olson, Menahga business retention and expansion leadership team

Extension's business retention and expansion (BRE) program helps communities understand — and respond to — local business needs. This knowledge better informs your community decisions and helps businesses stay, grow and become more committed to your town.

Benefits to your community

Short-term, your community will:

  • Show local businesses you want them to succeed

  • Help local businesses solve immediate concerns

Long-term, your community will:

  • Create and carry out an economic development plan

  • Support businesses so they can better compete in the global economy

Ready to get started?

To consult with Extension on how to help your local businesses grow and succeed, contact a community economics educator.

Process for working with your community

Extension’s program takes a year or two to complete and follows a three-step process.

We can provide coaching and training to help your community through a business retention initiative.

Learn more about who — and what — is involved in each part of the program below.


Costs and financing

Extension's BRE program costs $7,000 - $15,000, depending on location and complexity of the program. Our fees help alleviate the costs to Extension for providing technical assistance and research services. We absorb part of this cost to make the program affordable for Minnesota communities.

Communities have received help from a variety of sources, including private companies, foundations and industry organizations. We can help your community explore options to help finance the program.

Prefer a do-it-yourself option?

Not ready to invest a year or two going through our process? Take a course or use our online tools to get started on your own.

Consult with us

Community economics • Leadership and civic engagement • Tourism

Extension educators work in communities with partners throughout Minnesota. Contact us for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.

Find an educator

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