Business Retention & Expansion
The City BR&E Program is designed to serve as an advocate for existing businesses. The BR&E Program, housed within City Hall, allows staff to give voice to business related issues not only during policy development but also during construction, expansion, and renovation projects.
The BR&E Office works with local and regional economic development partners to collaboratively address the existing and future workforce needs and skills. ECoNA, Coconino County Career Center, Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, NACET, and the SBDC are primary regional partners in joining efforts to address skill development programs to meet the changing needs of our workforce.
The working BR&E Program Tool Box includes the following:
- Market and retail analysis
- Trend analysis
- Working partnership and sponsor of NACET
- Connecting businesses to City Hall and business leaders
- Planning and design review
- Site selection
- Workforce development
The BR&E Program employs the Tool box to accomplish the following:
- Enhance the business to business network within the region
- Connect businesses to local, state, and national resources
- Provide detailed consumer based demographic reporting critical for site selection, marketing planning and audience targeting
- Visit with businesses regularly to learn of challenges and successes to doing business in Flagstaff
- Introduce City leadership and elected officials to businesses
One recent example of the BR&E Office connecting state resources to local business occurred when the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) announced a rural economic development grant program for primary sector industries. Staff met with Machine Solutions, Inc. (MSI), a local medical device manufacturer interested in expanding. Ultimately, the BR&E Office submitted an application to the ACA on behalf of MSI, which was awarded. The successful grant program allowed MSI to create an Aftermarket Service Group which included the hiring of five new positions completely focused on providing service to their products after the sale; a great success for MSI and the community at large. In past years, other similar successful projects were completed with T-Gen North and Joy Cone Company.
While connecting businesses to resources does not always result in grant awards, providing the opportunity for business expansion is the goal. BR&E staff has connected hundreds of local businesses to various grant opportunities over the years. A recent example came out of the ACA Innovation Challenge. Staff contacted a local technology entrepreneur through a local economic development partner to discuss the program. A team of almost a dozen professionals developed to assist this entrepreneur to submit an application. Although the venture was not awarded, the effort advanced the development of a promising local entrepreneur.