Business to Bruce (BtoB) is a new program to support business development, business recruitment and business enhancement in Bruce County. The program focuses on inspiring, attracting and supporting business owners and entrepreneurs by engaging and mobilizing the local business communities and municipalities, while using County level resources to give the program reach and scale. The Business to Bruce Program identifies the tools best suited to helping local economic development teams achieve their goals for their respective communities. The program establishes and supports entrepreneurial networks in each community and identifies key process barriers to incoming businesses or business expansion. Additionally, it uses targeted business recommendations provided for each community to develop local tactical plans for attracting the right candidates. The Community Business Readiness Grant is to help communities develop the tools and resources for business attraction and expansion, a targeted recruitment and enhancement strategy, and marketing material for the community. This grant matches the municipality cash contribution of $15,000 for the year 2017.
- Organizational Audit: recruiting champions and stakeholders, providing baseline education, and dividing workload by strengths.
- Situational Audit: reviewing current state of business attraction readiness, review of all websites, past strategies, comparable initiatives in similar markets, destination development brands, conducting exclusive desktop research, and business needs analysis reports.
- Idea Generation: generating the ideas on the basis of community outlook and exploring the opportunities.
- Audience: identifying the target audience including both local and regional audiences that align with gaps and/or opportunities.
- Strategy Development: it is both internal (existing business, government, media) and external (prospects and influencers), and targeting business categories suitable for the community with action steps.
- Execution: developing tools to implement the program (investment packages, toolkits, advertising campaigns, etc.).
- Applicants must be a municipality within Bruce County. A community from the municipality will use the funds provided through the grant.
- The community must have a local Coordinating Committee (this can include already existing Business to Bruce, Explore the Bruce, and/or Spruce the Bruce sub-committees)
- A senior staff person of the municipality must be appointed to the local Coordinating Committee. He/she is the main local government contact for the committee
- There should be representation of local groups in the Coordinating Committee (for example, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions Club, BIA, and other public groups)
- The community must have at least one Business Ambassador. A Business Ambassador is a local business champion who nurtures and guides new and current entrepreneurs
- The community must have an already existing brand and community toolkit.
- The municipality must provide a cash contribution of $15,000 to match the grant amount
The Bruce County Planning and Development Department will review applications against the following criteria:
- date/timing of the application
- evidence of the applicant's ability to fulfill responsibilities related to the project
- evidence of the applicant’s ability to move the results of the project forward following the delivery of the strategy
- evidence of necessary resources in place to support this partnership
- evidence of a nurturing, supportive and welcoming business environment in the selected community ( at least one Business Ambassador)
- evidence that the project will be supported long-term
- community’s ability to support growth (i.e. infrastructure, vacant land available, etc.)
Applicants must contact the County of Bruce to start working on the Business to Bruce Program and access this grant.