Alberta Announces New Funding for Community and Regional Economic Development

September 9, 2016

Community and Regional Economic Support program (CARES)New support to create jobs, attract investment, diversify local economies

As part of the Alberta Jobs Plan, the provincial government is giving support to municipalities and organizations to work together on economic development projects that diversify and grow local economies. 

Through the new Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program, communities in every corner of the province will have access to $30 million over two years. The money will 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.

Money is being distributed in several ways, including:

  • Up to $26.45 million for communities, regions, municipalities and other eligible organizations;
  • $2.2 million for Regional Economic Development Alliances to enhance existing initiatives;
  • $600,000 for four Rural Alberta Business Centres to support 2016-17 operations; and
  • $750,000 for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to support the Back to Business Resource Centre and business recovery expos in Fort McMurray.

“Business and community leaders across the province helped us create the Alberta Jobs Plan. This new support will put homegrown projects and economic development plans into action and help ensure Alberta’s cities and towns continue to be Canada’s best places to do business.”
– Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Municipalities, communities and organizations can apply for grants through the CARES program online starting Oct. 1 for projects that:

  • Improve the local business environment and regional economic collaboration;
  • Provide more support for entrepreneurs to grow and succeed;
  • Support industries with a strong potential to diversify; and
  • Attract investment that drives high-value job creation.

Grant funding through the CARES program is available through two streams:

  • A community economic development stream which focuses on building local economic development capacity; and
  • A regional economic development stream which focuses on promoting collaborative regional development with impacts beyond any individual community.

“This support from the Province will go a long way towards enabling communities and regions to undertake economic development initiatives that will assist local entrepreneurs and established businesses in accessing new partnerships and markets that will help them grow their business.”
– Jay Slemp, Chair, Palliser Economic Partnership

The CARES Program will have three grant application intake periods, with the first one beginning on Oct. 1, 2016 and ending Nov. 30, 2016. For more information on program eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit the CARES program webpage.

Originally published by the Government of Alberta on September 7, 2016

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