The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, the City of O’Fallon, and the Village of Shiloh recognize that helping existing businesses survive and grow is a vital economic development strategy. The O’Fallon-Shiloh Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program was modeled after the University of Minnesota’s Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Program, and designed to assist local businesses in thriving and expanding in the O’Fallon-Shiloh Area (OSA). While attracting businesses from outside the community or encouraging new business start-ups are important components of any economic development strategy, research has shown that up to 86 percent of new jobs are created by businesses already in the community. University of Minnesota data from 2012 showed that there are four times as many new jobs created by existing businesses in a community than from either business attraction or entrepreneurship.
The O’Fallon-Shiloh BRE Program is a comprehensive and coordinated community approach to assist existing businesses. Visiting local businesses and learning their concerns is only one component of the process. The BRE Program builds awareness in the community of issues that face businesses and builds capacity for the community to address these issues. The program also assists local leaders and community members in working together to provide solutions to business concerns.
The O’Fallon-Shiloh BRE Program was designed to get a read of the “pulse” of the business community through four objectives:
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