Our department recently had the opportunity to participate in a study about business retention and expansion (BRE) programs across the U.S., done by the state of Virginia.
Our current director of existing industry and regional recruitment, Jennifer Nelson, participated in a series of interviews about our BRE program, state partnerships and overall support for existing industry.
After a review of BRE activities in all 50 states, only 13 states, including Georgia, were selected for further review. Here’s a list of the top 8 factors that set the top 13 states apart from the rest.
We are pleased to find out that the department’s efforts were among the top programs identified. In reading the report, our state has similar programs to those mentioned in other states.
One finding in particular noted the importance of a single operational unit that includes commerce, international trade, tourism, arts, entertainment, workforce and innovation. Georgia was recognized for its exemplary integrated approach to the state’s economic development efforts.
The report sums up with the following:
Business retention and expansion programs are emerging with a new, more impactful model for state economic development agencies. They stand alongside business attraction, new business formation and workforce development as a vital strategy for achieving economic development objectives.