The goal of Ottawa County’s BRE Program is to better understand local business concerns and connect them with the resources needed to grow. A healthy and vibrant local economy depends on the well-being of local businesses. The OCIC is committed to providing our businesses with support whether they’ve been in operation for 3 years or 30 years.


A BRE program involves a dialogue with local businesses to better understand their issues and concerns. Such efforts can show the community’s appreciation for business contributions and enable local leadership to identify economic development strategies informed by local business as well as inform the community at large about individual and community-wide business concerns. Communities that actively implement an on-going BRE program focusing on the retention and expansion of local businesses will:

– Improve the business climate of the community
– Help to make local businesses remain competitive
– Increase employment
– Stabilize the local economy

The Ohio State University was involved in the original development and became an early adopter of BRE principles and methodology. Since 1986, the Ohio Business Retention & Expansion Program has developed the capacity of community leaders via more than 140 BRE programs in 77 Ohio counties.


#1 Enhance and encourage cooperation between business leaders, government leaders, and education leaders to further the goals and purposes of the BRE initiative.
#2 Improve the quality and quantity of the local workforce to satisfy the current and anticipated future needs of local businesses.
#3 Connect local business leaders to programs, services, and other resources available through local, State, and Federal agencies.
#4 Connect the needs of local business to policymakers at the state and federal levels by participating in opportunities to relay collected information from the local BRE effort.

OCIC has developed a strategy and built a database of information that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each business that we meet with. Our key players and partners include elected officials, local chambers of commerce, Shores & Islands Ohio and Firelands Forward.


To learn more about the needs and barriers of our businesses, the OCIC takes a proactive approach by connecting with our businesses to find out what their specific needs are, what resources they need made available to them and learn about any additional concerns or requests that a business may have.

As we learn more about you and your business, we can determine the necessary resources and connections that will help your business continue to prosper.

2022 Business Visits


Schedule a business visit with the OCIC today!

The OCIC has met with a number of businesses to date and have heard and discussed..

funding opportunities

facility upgrades and potential expansion opportunities

workforce concerns and hiring needs

For more information, please contact Jessica Grzechowiak, Manager of Communications & Programs.