Economic Development Department Implements New Program to Support Existing Businesses

Published Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Charles County Economic Development Department announces it is implementing a new Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) outreach program designed to support the growth of existing local businesses and further job creation in the county.

“Helping our existing businesses is the primary objective of the program,” said Economic Development Department Director Darréll A. Brown.  “Research suggests that up to 86 percent of economic growth is spurred by existing businesses, and we want to support them.”

As a part of the program, the Economic Development Department representatives will conduct business site visits to identify and address immediate concerns and learn more about business needs. Chief of Business Development Lucretia Freeman-Buster has added two consultants to the BRE team who will visit and conduct interviews with county businesses.

The Economic Development Department team will take feedback from these visits and identify common issues, formulate strategies, and develop an action plan to effectively address needs with tools and services to strengthen local businesses. All collected information will be confidential, and the department will not publish or share information gathered from individual businesses.  

“One of the reasons a community will do a BRE program is to not only boost long range planning for the community but also produce some short-range tangible results,” said Freeman-Buster.  The new program will also ultimately strengthen the Economic Development Department’s current business support programs.

Brown said, “Before considering this program, we talked to community leaders in several other economic development organizations in Maryland and other states that have used this approach to business retention and expansion. They were very positive about the results.”

The Economic Development Department plans to begin visits to Charles County businesses in late September 2018. For questions about this program, email Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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