In 1989, a group of economic development practitioners met to network and brainstorm about business retention and expansion (BR&E). This informal session was followed by several national meetings that led to the formation of Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI) in 1994.

BREI is the leading professional association for business retention and expansion, a fundamental strategy for economic sustainability and growth.  We represent professionals in the economic development field from across the globe in order to educate, train, and promote best practices for increasing economic activity and growth in both urban and rural areas.

We promote and train economic developers through a variety of workshops and conferences focused on both individual as well as broad-based skills. We also seek to increase collaboration among professionals and promote interdisciplinary development and networking in order to better learn from one another how to retain business and increase economic development.

We believe that economic development is a core need for any metropolitan area. Therefore, we are pleased to provide continuing education for professionals seeking to maintain certification and credentialing.