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BR&E project moving along


The Business Retention & Expansion task force committee recently met with the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s new community development officer, Cassandra Parise, for a status update on the project.

“This was the first time I met with the task force, and the first time the task force has met since May, so there was a lot of discussion,” noted Parise.

“I am thankful I have such a great group of people working with me on this project.”

Parise reported that since the BR&E project was launched, 50 local business owners have completed the survey—giving their input on how to keep business alive and encourage economic growth in the Fort Frances area.

“There’s been an excellent response to the project so far. All the businesses have been extremely co-operative,” she enthused.

Parise said she is aiming for 100 businesses to take part in the survey.

She stressed the importance of ensuring the remaining 50 surveys are completed because the more survey data collected, the clearer the issues affecting the business community will be represented.

Since starting in November, Parise has continued to set up survey appointments but noted that, due to this busy time of year for merchants, she will cease until the new year.

Parise explained the survey does take about an hour to complete and is compromised of a series of standardized questions, many of which can be answered simply by checking off a box.

Others call for the participant to give more detailed input.

By taking part in the BR&E project, participants not only get to voice their concerns about retaining and expanding local business, but also will help set priorities on the future direction of local economic efforts.

Survey findings will be used to create a long-term action plan, which Parise hopes to reveal next September.

Any business in the Fort Frances area interested in participating in the BR&E

survey can contact Parise at 274-5773 or via e-mail at

The Business Retention and Expansion project is financially supported by the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, Rainy River Future Development Corp., and Town of Fort Frances.

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