In the fall of 2014, the RDI undertook a survey of Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Project Leads, BRE business participants, and government representatives in BRE communities. The results indicated that a community’s capacity to deliver economic development programming was the most critical pre-condition to successful implementation of a BRE process. In response to this message, a companion questionnaire was administered that was designed to measure the capacity of a community to deliver economic development programming.
The RDI used the results of the capacity assessment questionnaire to create Community Capacity Indices. These indices are shared with the communities and are designed to be used as a metric to measure change in capacity over time. The index is based on a self-assessment of: capacity for strategic planning and action, strength and commitment of leadership (both elected officials and community leaders), strength of network connections (within and outside of the region), and the level of engagement within the community.