The Rural Alberta Business Centre (RABC) in Cold Lake has received a Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program grant to expand its business incubator program to other communities. The grant is set up for initiatives that promote long-term economic growth; such as the business incubator program. The RABC received $16,550 in a matching grant and is looking at expanding the program into more communities.
“We applied specifically to take the incubator program, we’ve done in Cold Lake, to other communities. I’ve identified five communities that I thought may be open to the program; one being Bruderheim.” Kathryn Hotte, small business advisor at the RABC, says she worked along side Alberta HUB to discover new locations. Prior to the grant the program had seen expansion in St. Paul. There is a incubator program running out of the Portage College. “The idea is to take what we have here and expand it.”
The incubator program offers new businesses support and space to get going. Business receive a reduce cost on rent for an office space and support in various areas of business; including building a business plan, marketing, product/service development. The RABC also partners with businesses in the communities, who provide services to the incubator businesses at reduced or no cost; including lawyers, advertising, bookkeeping. The businesses are also able to utilize the RABC workshops at a reduce or no cost.
“In our incubator they can be here for up-to a year and then we help them find space to move out,” the goal is to help launch the businesses and create successful long-term companies. Some of the successful businesses that have graduated the RABC incubator program include Blue Sun Healing and Cindy Couture Photography. “It’s an application based program. There is reduced rent, but it is a program – we always say that because it’s not just cheap rent; it’s so much more!” The RABC is currently looking for two more businesses to join the program. If you’re interested contact Kathryn Hotte at 780-594-1090.
Information on the CARES Program
Financial support is available for Alberta’s communities, regions and municipalities for initiatives that help promote long-term economic growth. The CARES program will run from 2016 to 2018 and fund initiatives that create a measurable impact and align with one or more of the following program outcomes:
· improving local business environment and/or regional economic collaboration
· increasing support for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and succeed
· enhancing support for businesses and industries that provide diversification to a community or a region
· increasing investment that drives high-value job creation.