To respond to the business impacts of COVID-19 and maintain a proactive economic development program, the Red River Regional Council and collaborative economic development partners are launching a regional BR+E Program. A BR+E program focuses on the survival and growth of existing businesses. An estimated 40-80% of new growth comes from existing businesses – businesses that have already invested substantial resources into the community.
“COVID has presented an array of business challenges including safety, temporary closures, facility changes, furloughed staff, supply chain disruptions, new equipment purchases and more,” said Dawn Mandt, RRRC Executive Director. “Our goal is to identify and assist with individual needs, opportunities and economic trends that may need to be addressed.”
The BR+E begins with one-on-one hourlong interviews with business management and owners. There are two tiers of businesses to be interviewed. Tier 1 includes manufacturing and food processing companies. Tier 2 includes businesses that have been heavily impacted by COVID including healthcare, food services, retail, services, and hospitality. It is estimated these two tiers represent approximately 35% of the businesses in the region. The interviews will be held confidential while the data will be aggregated to identify possible trends within communities, counties or region.
The BR+E interviews began the week of September 21 and are expected to stretch into spring 2021. More information can be found at www.redriverrc.com or contact Dawn Mandt at 701-352-3550.
Region 4 includes Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh Counties. The program will focus on the areas of the region outside the City of Grand Forks at this time.
Collaborative partners include economic development organizations in Region 4 including: Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh County Job Development Authorities; Grafton and Park River Economic Development Committees; Grand Forks Region EDC; Minnkota Power Cooperative; Job Service North Dakota; Grafton and Cavalier Chambers of Commerce; and North Valley Career and Technology Center.