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James Dixon
Rural Economic Development Outreach Specialist

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Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR)

The Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program is designed to assist in growing new and existing rural businesses, influence rural job creation, and increase economic diversity in rural regions by enhancing the level of technical services provided. The BEAR initiative is available to rural county economic development offices, Tribes, Associations of Governments, Business Resource Centers (BRCs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and formal partnership consortiums directly involving these entities within the state for business training and skill development.

BEAR actively reaches out to rural businesses and makes the connection between the company and needed existing resources from all agencies, higher education, and other resources.

The office of Rural Development also hosts training seminars called “Train the Trainer”. These seminars are used to educate local BEAR representatives, elected officials, and other economic development stakeholders on the various resources found throughout the state.