Why it exists and how it works

Business Retention and Expansion Program

Have you ever wondered what a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Manager does, or the strategy behind it? The Chamber’s economic development efforts operate with a philosophy that 80% of new job growth comes from an area’s existing businesses, which fundamentally is why its BRE program exists.

Salm PartnersThe Greater Green Bay Chamber's BRE program helps foster a vibrant economy by listening to feedback and understanding the needs of existing local businesses throughout Brown County. It’s a proactive approach to economic development designed to better understand the challenges and opportunities businesses in our community face, and connect them with what they need to succeed. BRE also focuses on gathering feedback and insights on the overall business climate, which is aggregated and analyzed to identify trends.

In economic development, we most often see firms growing in three ways:

  • Growth/expansion of existing firms (business expansion and retention)
  • Creation of new firms (entrepreneurial development)
  • Attraction of external firms to the market area (business recruitment)

To advance the organization’s mission in this area, I have a goal to meet with approximately 160 businesses each year across Brown County. Approximately 92 percent of participants indicate that Greater Green Bay is a good or excellent place to do business, and 36.4 percent of businesses report that expansion plans could occur in the near future. 

What does all this mean? Ultimately, it means the Chamber is busy strengthening relationships within the local business community EVERY DAY!

Listen to the full episode
Recently, I sat down with Jason Hutcheson of Develop This! Podcast, the No. 1 podcast for economic and community development
professionals, to discuss his day-to-day role on the Chamber team in helping tell the story of Greater Green Bay and what is Green Bay
made, a recent award from Mid-America EDC, and more!

Listen to the full interview here.


Want to learn more about BRE or the Greater Green Bay Chamber? Connect with me on LinkedIn or email me!

Topics: Economic Development