Charles County Economic Development Department is pleased to announce that Chief of Business Development Lucretia Freeman-Buster has been selected to serve as Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) Ambassador for the State of Maryland by the Board of Directors of BREI. As an ambassador, she will have a vested interest in business retention and expansion and serve as a direct contact for BREI in the State of Maryland.
“We are proud of Lucretia’s leadership in this program,” said Economic Development Department Director Darréll Brown. “The Economic Development Department’s business retention and expansion efforts have taken center-stage in the last year and her leadership is invaluable to the county and the State of Maryland.”
Freeman-Buster developed and continues to manage the Economic Development Department’s business development and engagement programs, which include working with businesses seeking to locate or relocate to Charles County, directing the Business Retention and Expansion Program (BRE), and coordinating the department’s business assistance services and team.
From August 2018 to May 2019, Charles County’s own Business Retention and Expansion team, led by Freeman-Buster collected feedback from 60 county businesses through personal, face-to-face interviews. Issues affecting Charles County and the local businesses were identified and an action plan was developed to achieve an agreed set of goals. The Charles County BRE Program is an on-going and coordinated community approach to assisting existing businesses. The program will build local awareness of issues that face businesses and build capacity for the Economic Development Department to address those issues. The goal is to retain and attract the types of businesses and talent that will create jobs and opportunities in the county.
BREI is the leading professional association for business retention and expansion, a fundamental strategy for economic sustainability and growth. The association represents professionals in the economic development field from across the globe in order to educate, train, and promote best practices for increasing economic activity and growth in both urban and rural areas.
BREI offers two Business Retention and Expansion certifications for its members, the BRE Coordinator and the BRE Professional. Freeman-Buster completed her certifications in April 2018, certifying that she has the knowledge and experience to lead economic development activities in her community. As an ambassador, she will assist with recruiting members, facilitation of local needs or questions, and developing local BREI-related activities.