Application status: Closed – Applications not currently being accepted.
Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism


The Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program provides matching funding to not-for-profits, municipalities, First Nation communities and Métis Settlements to assist rural communities and organizations in the early stages of local and regional economic development.

Municipalities, communities and organizations interested in getting grants through the CARES program are encouraged to apply through an online application process.

Grant application process

Full program details can be found in the CARES program guidelines (PDF, 703 KB).

The CARES program funds 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 associations, businesses and industries that provide diversification to a community or a region
  • increasing industry and sector competitiveness to lay the foundation for investment and job creation

CARES program funding for economic development initiatives begins at $10,000.

Municipalities and not-for-profit organizations must be able to match the funding requested at a 1:1 matching ratio, or 50% of the total project cost.

First Nations and Métis Settlements must be able to match the funding requested at 25% of the total project cost.

Successful applicants will receive the grant up front so that their project can begin immediately. All projects must not take more than two years to execute.

Projects or initiatives that have private industry partnerships and have a positive impact beyond an individual community or organization will be given higher consideration during the evaluation process.

How to apply

The CARES program follows a competitive application process. Applicants are required to fill out and submit their applications through the online application portal accessible through this page during each intake.

There is currently no active application intake. Future application intake periods will be posted at a later date.

For more details on the type of information applicants are required to provide as part of their application, please refer to the sample application form (PDF, 644 KB).

Step 1. Create a user account

A link to the online application portal is made available here during active intakes.

As part of the submission, applicants will be required to provide:

  • background on project partners
  • letters showing current support for the project
  • a project summary including expected outcomes, objectives, milestones and timelines
  • measures of success
  • an overview of project risks
  • a budget including quotes

Step 2. Fill out and submit the application form

Fill out and submit the form electronically through the online application portal during an active application intake period.

Additional program details

For more information on the program including eligibility, scoring criteria, funding parameters and the application and review process, please refer to the CARES program guidelines (PDF, 703 KB).

Successful grant recipients

See documents below for information on successful grant recipients, including an overview of each project and the total amount of funding received:


To connect with the CARES program: