Dozens of communities across the province are creating jobs and diversifying their economies with new support from the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program.
Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous announced the approval of 50 initiatives during the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association annual convention in Calgary this morning. Of those 50 initiatives, three will benefit the Lakeland municipalities will benefit, as well as one local organization:
- St. Paul County – Collaborative Economic Development Strategic Planning Project
- St. Paul – Feasibility Study for an integrated commercial-scale greenhouse
- M.D. of Bonnyville – Regional GIS Program (Geographic Information System)
- Alberta HUB Rural Alberta Business Centre – RABC Incubator Program
Recipients are using the funding to help spearhead locally established economic development initiatives in several broad categories, including:
- Economic development through business expansion and retention programs.
- Investment attraction and marketing.
- Strategic planning, such as feasibility studies, business analysis and strategies.
- Small and medium-sized business capacity building, such as workshops, training and coaching programs.
“Every region of Alberta strengthens the overall diversity of our provincial economy in industries like energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism and others. Local leaders know best how to build on their communities’ economic strengths. That’s why we will continue supporting them in projects like these to help ensure Alberta’s cities and towns continue to be Canada’s best places to do business.”
The projects receiving funding today are from the second round of the CARES program. They include:
- A small business incubator focused on supporting entrepreneurs looking to start a social enterprise in Calgary.
- An Indigenous pipeline-monitoring program in Edmonton.
- An entrepreneur mentorship program in Canmore.
- A training program for small Alberta businesses entering the organic growing sector.
“What we appreciate about the CARES program is that it supports municipalities that are taking an active role in creating a more favourable economic environment within their communities. Whether it’s taking steps to improve the local business environment, or increasing support for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized business, these projects will lead to more jobs and a more economically diverse and prosperous community.”
Through the CARES program, communities in every corner of the province can apply for funding to help pay for locally developed projects that promote long-term economic growth and diversification, particularly projects that communities and municipalities could not necessarily fund on their own.
The 50 newly approved projects are receiving more than $4 million in funding. This adds to the 61 projects throughout the province already receiving almost $5 million in support through the first intake of the CARES program.
The third intake for the program is now open and will run until Nov. 30, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at jobsplan.alberta.ca.