Application status: Closed – Applications are not currently being accepted.
Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
The Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program funds initiatives led by Alberta municipalities, communities and regions that enhance local economic conditions and leverage regional resources to build capacity for sustainable economic development.
Municipalities, communities and organizations interested in getting grants through the CARES program are encouraged to apply through an online application process.
Full program details can be found in the CARES program guidelines.
Entities eligible for funding under the CARES program include:
- incorporated federal or provincial (Alberta) non-profit organizations, associations or societies whose primary purpose is for economic development
- municipalities (cities, towns, villages, summer villages, municipal districts, specialized municipalities, improvement districts, special areas)
- Métis settlements and First Nations
- formal and project-based partnerships between combinations of the above entities
For-profit organizations can partner with an eligible entity to complete an eligible project.
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
Particular attention will be paid to projects with a tourism, investment attraction or innovation focus.
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, Métis Settlements and Rural Alberta Business Centres 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 2 years to execute.
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.
Dates for upcoming intakes will be shared when finalized.
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, 479 KB).
Step 1. Create a user account
A link to the online application portal is made available here during active intakes.
When logging into the online application portal for the first time, applicants will be prompted to create a My Alberta Digital ID (MADI) user account with a secure login name and password. Once the account has been created, applicants will gain access to the online application portal, which hosts live application forms and templates available for submission.
For the purpose of the CARES program, applicants are only required to register for a basic MADI account using a valid email (applicants are not required to register for a Verified Account, and do not need to verify their account with a valid driver's licence or identification card).
For any questions about setting up a MADI account, or the online application portal, email email@example.com.
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.
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
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.
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:
- Successful Applicants - Intake 1 (October 1 to November 30, 2016) (PDF, 219 KB)
- Successful Applicants - Intake 2 (April 1 to May 31, 2017) (PDF, 241 KB)
- Successful Applicants - Intake 3 (October 1 to November 30, 2017) (PDF, 99 KB)
- Successful Applicants - Summer 2018 Intake (June 1 to June 30, 2018) (PDF, 377 KB)
- Successful Applicants - Fall 2018 Intake (October 1 to October 31, 2018) (PDF, 443 KB)
- Successful Applicants - Winter 2019 Intake (November 1 to December 2, 2019) (PDF, 141 KB)
Connect with the CARES program: