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Clarington Business Retention & Expansion Project

The economic well-being of the Clarington community is directly impacted by the successes and challenges facing Clarington’s business community. Recognizing this, positive action is being taken by the Clarington Board of Trade in cooperation with the support of the Municipality of Clarington, to identify and meet the needs of local businesses.

What is the Clarington BR&E Project?

The Clarington Business Retention and Expansion project is a community-wide effort that emphasizes personal business visits as a way to identify the needs of our existing businesses in the communities of Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono and rural areas of Clarington.

Specifically, the objectives of the project are to:

  1. Identify the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing local businesses in order that, where appropriate, local action can be taken to respond to the businesses’ needs or development opportunities.
  2. Learn of the future plans of the area’s local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation, and/or retention and assess where assistance can be provided.
  3. Connect businesses to existing resources and support programs that they may not have been aware of.
  4. Demonstrate the community’s desire to connect, listen, support and develop an effective, sustainable means of communication with local businesses.

Invitations requesting participation in this confidential survey will be mailed to the business community within the manufacturing, tourism, retail/personal & professional services, and agriculture sectors starting the third week of April. Surveys will be conducted by our BR+E Volunteer Team between May and July 2023.

A final project report that presents the high-level findings with action plan recommendations will be developed and made available following the data collection period. The BR+E report will indicate the future plans/needs of local businesses and how businesses view the community as a place to do business and will be used to plan future economic development activities for the Municipality of Clarington.

Why Undertake a BR&E Project?

Existing businesses create more jobs and are already invested in the community

It’s important to leverage the fact that existing businesses are already established and invested in the community. Studies have shown that anywhere between 74% and 90% of new jobs within a community come from existing businesses. Furthermore, it is much easier and less expensive for a community to retain existing businesses than to attract new businesses to the community.

BR&E Projects can create opportunities to support and provide an early warning system

Assists communities in being proactive rather than reactive, allowing them to also support businesses that are thinking of expanding.

Businesses in every community close each year for a variety of reasons. Some of these closures could be averted if businesses were connected with existing support resources.

Who is Leading the Clarington BR&E Project?

The project is led by the Clarington Board of Trade who is the local organization dedicated to supporting business. They have a similar function as a chamber of commerce, with the following team members:

  • Sheila Hall, Executive Director
  • Bonnie Wrightman, Manager of Business Development
  • Erika Mask, Communications & Program Lead

Project support provided by the following community stakeholders:

  • Sarah Parish, Municipality of Clarington
  • Andrew Poray, Municipality of Clarington
  • Carlos Salazar, Municipality of Clarington
  • Carolyn Puterbough, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Anuraj Gill, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Bowmanville BIA
  • Newcastle BIA
  • Orono BIA

Past BR&E Project Reports

There have been a number of Business Retention & Expansion Projects conducted in Clarington lead by the Clarington Board of Trade. Each BR&E Project resulted in the development of action plans to address their findings and final project reports were created to present these action plans. See below for a list of downloadable links of final reports of past BR&E Project conducted in The Clarington community.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is your chance to voice your opinions and needs to and contribute to the development of community-led services and programs that will positively impact the local business community and economy. Think of it like a census of business.

This is also your chance to request direct support from the Clarington Board of Trade and the Municipality of Clarington Economic Development Team on urgent concerns or opportunities your business is facing. Often, businesses aren’t aware of the services that are available to them, and taking part in this project is a great way to learn about how these services can benefit you. If you’re facing a serious and urgent business concern or opportunities, please inform your Volunteer Surveyor so they can share it with the Clarington Board of Trade Team.

The main survey is approximately 85 questions long, though due to the logic and routing of the questions, you’ll likely answer between 45-65 questions.

The main survey can be completed in as little as 30 minutes.

To ensure sufficient data is captured through survey responses to influence the direction the Clarington Board of Trade and Municipality of Clarington takes in determining future strategies and services to respond to the needs of existing businesses.

The Clarington Board of Trade will compile the survey responses with other completed surveys, after which individual survey responses become completely anonymous.

A final project report that presents the high-level findings with action plan recommendations will be developed and made available following the data collection period. The BR+E report will indicate the future plans/needs of local businesses and how businesses view the community as a place to do business and will be used to plan future economic development activities for the Municipality of Clarington.

While Clarington is rich with diversity in business, this year (2023), we are focussing on questions pertaining to the personal/professional services, retail, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors.

For more information on the Ontario Business Retention & Expansion Program, visit the Government of Ontario website here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/business-retention-and-expansion-program

How Can We Help?

Feel free to reach out to Bonnie Wrightman at the Clarington Board of Trade, with any questions, or to book your survey!