By Jami Gibson

Of all the services Whittaker Associates offers, one of my favorites on which to collaborate is BRE services. We’ve partnered with many EDOs and chambers of commerce over the years to provide assistance for communities’ retention and expansion efforts.

One reason I enjoy working in this area is because it’s vitally important. Too many times we’ve seen communities around the nation struggle after a major layoff or plant closing. Or a company decides to expand to another region, persuaded by the incentives they’re offered. The loss of work means the loss of jobs, and further, the loss of a community’s tax base. It has a ripple effect that can be felt area-wide. That is why a community’s BRE services are necessary to take a proactive approach to job retention and creation. Providing BRE services to your area businesses puts you in the driver’s seat. Don’t wait for a business to seek your aid. Actively pursue growing firms to ensure their expansion plans don’t leave your town. Similarly, seek out struggling companies to offer help before their operations disappear permanently.

Another reason BRE appeals to me is because I become very familiar with the areas in which we work. Through research, our staff and I become keenly aware of the economy, industry niches, and challenges of these communities. It helps us offer an outside perspective on the region’s business climate. It also is rewarding to match our clients with a company’s local executive decision-maker through our LinkedIn feature in WALTER. The connections are abundant when you’re working within a limited geography.

Lastly, BRE is easier than recruiting a new business to your area. EDOs see great results by focusing on helping local companies. Also, by ensuring the vitality of your local economy, businesses from outside your area will be more apt to want to locate in your region if your have a favorable business climate. A win-win situation!