The most important community economic development strategy for most situations is Business Retention and Expansion (BRE). That is, paying attention and responding to the businesses already existing in the community.
For example, several studies have shown that most new jobs come from businesses already located in the community. UofM’s Department of Applied Economics and the Extension Center for Community Vitality have promulgated BRE programming across Minnesota since 1989. This collection of BRE material includes: applied research summary reports of community BRE plans, case studies, sample interview guides (aka surveys), vintage BRE manuals, and more (1990 through the present). The founder of the program, George Morse (emeritus), and Michael Darger, program director since 1999 (firstname.lastname@example.org) have contributed materials along with many reports/materials from Brigid Tuck, Patricia Love, Scott Loveridge, Monica Haynes and Gina Grensing (UMD), Dan Erkkila, and Theresa Heiland.
Extension's research is informed by the programs and partnerships we have with communities across the state. Learn more at extension.umn.edu.