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EDA The State of BR|E: Key Trends and Best Practices in Business Retention and Expansion Webinar

Pro Learning Laboratory

Friday, February 26, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (MST)

EDA The State of BR|E: Key Trends and Best Practices...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Individual Ended $79.00 $2.97
Non-Member Individual Ended $89.00 $3.22
Small Group - 2 to 5 Participants Ended $153.00 $4.82
Large Group - Over 5 Participants Ended $225.00 $6.62

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Event Details


EDA The State of BR|E Key Trends and Best Practices

     February 26th, 2016

     3:00 PM AT / 2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 12:00 PM MT / 11:00 AM PT

As a core building block of economic development, business retention and expansion programs are highly valued by professionals and community leadership. It is just a good business practice.

However, many are unsure if their program is as good as it can be. In fact, in a recent survey almost half indicated they were reevaluating their BR|E program. Only 25.7 % were confident in their current program design. Still others are going back to the drawing board.


Evaluate      46.3

Restructure  24.3

No Change   25.7


These statistics do not suggest exuberant confidence.

It is very important to evaluate your BR|E program periodically.The only problem is, compared to what? This webinar - and the two studies (10 years apart) it is based on - will help answer that question.

Rural/Urban, Local/Regonal, if you are BR|E then, this webinar is for you. Our speakers have experience in all these settings. They will  drill down into what is happening now, what is changing and the best practices that can jump your BR|E program to the next level. They will look at BR|E from many perspectives.

Bring your questions. Bring your team. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore avenues to improve your business retention and expansion program. Your existing business base is your future. Manage it.

Participants will be given a chance to help shape the content in advance by providing questions or subjects to be discussed.



     Date: February 26th, 2016


     Time: 3:00 PM AT / 2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 12:00 PM MT / 11:00 AM PT


     Run Time: 90 Minutes; 60 Min. presentations; 30 Min Q&A with Discussion


     Off-Line Payment Form


     Frequently Asked Questions



Webinar Speakers


Michael Darger

Extension Specialist in Community Economics

University of Minnesota Extension

Michael has managed the Center for Community Vitality's Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Program since 1999. He provides BR&E consulting and applied research for mostly Minnesota communities in cooperation with Extension educators and specialists. He co-teaches a blended BR&E course annually for economic development professionals and stakeholders throughout the country. In Minnesota, he has helped lead award-winning BR&E programs for the communities of Menahga, Hugo and Faribault, Lyon and Swift counties, and the Midway-University neighborhood of St. Paul. He also co-led an award-winning BR&E program for Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

He is leading the development of a special BR&E issue of Community Development, the Journal of the Community Development Society. It will be the first ever academic journal devoted exclusively to the role that business retention and expansion plays in the field of economic development.

Before joining Extension, Michael spent 10 years in local economic development positions with both urban nonprofit organizations and county governments. He also has experience in commercial banking, corporate finance and marketing.

Reach Michael at or 612-625-6246. Connect on LinkedIn



Eric P. Canada 

   CEO, Blane, Canada Ltd.


Eric Canada is an acknowledged authority on business retention and expansion strategy and practices. His street-level BR|E experiene as a local and regional economic developer sparked his passion and shapes his results oriented approach. His career has allowed him to conduct and contribute research findings to advance the profession. Many are availble for free from the Blane, Canada Ltd. website. Eric has built and manages the largest active laboratory of business retention research in North America. He actively works with over 150 economic development organizations in the US and Canada on all aspects of program strategy, design, implementation, and problem solving.


Blane, Canada's Synchronist Suite software has set an unparalled standard of excellence for business retention management and analysis. It has established 147 key performance indicators or benchmarks for evaluating company and community performance.


Eric is an advocate of sharing ideas, tips, and strategies for economic development through the Economic Development Marketing Letter, published research, and webinars. He is a founding principle of the ProLearning Lab.

Reach Eric at, or 630-462-9222. Connect on LinkedIn


Joe M. Raso, Moderator

   CEO, Blane, Canada Ltd.


Raso is an innovator in community and economic development. Under his leadership, the Iowa City Area Development Group was the first EDO to develop an entrepreneurial co-working space to support new company formation and existing business innovation. Raso understands how to maximize the value of business retention to position an organization as the source of business information and impact decision within and beyond the organization.

Raso co-led the development of:

  • First-in-the-nation foundational skills assessment program to support workforce development efforts
  • State of Iowa's first certified shovel ready sites program
  • Statewide utilization of a unified building, sites and community database system.

Raso’s organizations have received more than a dozen awards for business retention & expansion, targeted industry recruitment, marketing, and branding from: International Economic Development Council, Mid-American Economic Development Council, and Professional Developers of Iowa.

Reach Joe at, @joemraso, or 719-358-1595. Connect on LinkedIn

Have questions about EDA The State of BR|E: Key Trends and Best Practices in Business Retention and Expansion Webinar? Contact Pro Learning Laboratory


Friday, February 26, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (MST)

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Pro Learning Laboratory

This webinar is produced by Blane, Canada Ltd. and offered by economic development affiliates as a value added professional development opportunity for members. All Pro Learning Laboratory trainers are committed to providing high-quality content and expert instruction without commercial messages.

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