Economic development in communities does not happen because one person says that they are going to “do” economic development. It happens because many community players come to the table to work together to strengthen the local business economy. University of Minnesota Extension’s Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Strategies Program is here to help community leaders understand the needs and concerns of local businesses. By understanding and addressing common business concerns, the community ensures a healthier future for itself. The BR&E Strategies Program focuses on short term and long term objectives that help your community address issues today while planning for the future. Extension offers BR&E courses online and in person to help community development professionals and community leaders understand the principles of BR&E and the processes involved. This course will prepare you to lead a BR&E effort in your community and provide you with access to valuable resources. You can currently register for course offerings in 2017 by visiting http://z.umn.edu/1bjd! An in person class will begin on January 31 and the next online class will start on April 5. Register by January 13 to take advantage of this great program!