Where better to learn about the advantages and challenges faced by local businesses than from the business owners themselves?
Through a series of consultations with key economic development stakeholders and local businesses, the Rural Development Institute identified business retention and expansion (BRE) as a key economic priority in the Columbia Basin Boundary region. As a result, the RDI began partnering with economic development commissions, local governments, Community Futures, and Chambers of Commerce to gather information from businesses. “The RDI’s mandate is to support informed decision making through provision of timely and relevant information and applied research,” says Dr. Terri MacDonald, the Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development and for Selkirk College and the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute. “With the valuable information collected through community-driven BRE projects, decision makers and economic development practitioners will be well positioned to provide support to our local businesses and take action to improve the overall business climate in our region.”
To streamline these projects, the RDI has acquired a license for the BC Business Counts program. Communities can utilize this license, which includes access to a BR+E web-based application (executive pulse) that supports analysis at the local, regional and provincial levels. In addition to providing communities with research and training support, the RDI engages in applied research focused on better understanding the capacity of our communities to address business needs and respond to emerging opportunities.