Alberta launches $30M program to push regional economic development

The Alberta government has allocated $30M over 2 years to promote long-term economic growth and prosperity through the new Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program.

Allocation of funding.

  • $26.45M for communities, regions, municipalities and other eligible organizations.
  • $2.2M over 2 years for Regional Economic Development Alliances to enhance existing initiatives.
  • $600k for four Rural Alberta Business Centres to support 2016-17 operations.
  • $750k for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to support the Back to Business Resource Centre and business recovery expos in Fort McMurray.

Application process.

  • 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 the 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; and increasing investment that drives high-value job creation.
  • The fund will have two streams: the community economic development stream and the regional economic development stream.
  • Projects eligible for funding under the community economic development stream build local capacity and strengthen local approaches to improve economic conditions. These projects generally benefit residents of one community or municipality. Funding for community initiatives will begin at $10k, up to 50% of the project’s value.
  • Projects eligible for funding under the regional economic development stream are those that reflect a collaborative approach between communities and supportive partners to achieve a positive regional impact beyond an individual community or organization based on a shared economic vision for the future. Funding for regional initiatives will begin at $25k, up to 50% of the project’s value.
  • Municipalities, communities, and organizations interested in getting grants through the CARES program are encouraged to apply through an online application process starting Oct. 1.

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