Growing a diversified economy

Finding new opportunities, encouraging investment and getting our products to new markets.

Overview

As Alberta’s economy continues its upward trend, we’re working to promote diversification and support job creation across sectors where Alberta has a competitive advantage, and sectors that have the most growth potential.

Investment attraction activities focus on connecting companies with opportunities that create employment for Albertans, while bringing new technologies, products, services and capital to the province.

We’ve also allocated $25 million over 2 years to attract and support new businesses. This includes:

  • $10 million to help entrepreneurs and small or medium-sized businesses grow
  • $10 million to support the expansion of the food processing opportunities
  • $5 million to attract major new business investment or company headquarters to Alberta

Invest Alberta

Invest Alberta is your one-stop government connection to doing business in Alberta. Our team of investment professionals provide advice, information, contacts and assistance to support you in all areas of your investment project including:

  • starting a business in Alberta
  • navigating Alberta's regulatory environment
  • accessing business programs
  • providing guidance to capital access opportunities
  • analyzing and helping meet your labour requirements
  • working with municipal partners on site-specific opportunities
  • providing state-of-the-art industry data and analysis
  • helping you maximize the value of Alberta's world-class infrastructure

Alberta Investor Tax Credit

The Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) encourages investors to provide entrepreneurs with the capital they need to innovate and expand their business.

Investors can receive a 30% tax credit if they provide capital to Alberta small businesses doing:

  • research
  • development
  • commercialization of new technology, new products or new processes
  • interactive digital media development
  • video post-production
  • digital animation
  • tourism

The AITC will support up to 4,400 new jobs over 3 years and contribute up to $500 million to Alberta's GDP.

Applications are open and will remain open until the annual budget has been fully allocated.

Capital Investment Tax Credit

The Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) encourages companies to make timely capital investments that offer opportunities for economic growth.

Alberta-based manufacturing, processing or tourism companies that make a capital investment of at least $1 million can apply for a 10% tax credit on eligible capital expenditures, up to a maximum of $5 million.

The CITC will support approximately $700 million worth of investment and up to 4,600 direct and indirect jobs in Alberta.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application once the third intake period is announced.

Alberta Enterprise Corporation

As technology-based businesses look to launch and expand in Alberta, they'll need access to capital, support and expertise to get their ideas and products to market.

We allocated $75 million over 2 years to Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) to invest in venture capital funds that have a track record of success, strong global networks and a demonstrated commitment to our province. For every dollar AEC invests in venture capital funds, $4 is invested back into Alberta companies.

Alberta Investment Management Corporation

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) will invest a portion of the province’s Heritage Fund into businesses with strong growth potential.

As of October 2016, AIMCo has invested a total of $104.5 million in capital into 4 companies.

Community and Regional Economic Support

The Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program provides financial support for community initiatives that promote long-term economic growth, attract investment and improve local business environments.

Communities with limited resources and common interests are encouraged to collaborate on larger projects.

Approximately 600 communities, regions and municipalities in Alberta are eligible to apply for CARES funding. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 30, 2017.

Attracting headquarters and major investment

For both domestic and international companies, Alberta is a great place to do business. For example, Calgary is home to the highest concentration per capita of international headquarters in Canada. It also has one of the country’s youngest, most highly educated and skilled workforces. Working together to build on those strengths helps create and maintain jobs and diversify our economy.

We’re investing $5 million over two years to attract major firms to set up their head offices in the province. Through this program, $2 million has been provided to both Calgary Economic Development (CED) and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) to enhance and implement regional headquarters and investment attraction strategies. The remaining $1 million will be used by government to support ongoing investment attraction efforts.

Amazon HQ2 Leadership Team

Amazon, a publicly traded U.S. corporation, recently asked North American cities to submit bids to host Amazon's second world headquarters (HQ2). A leadership team of investment attraction experts was created to support bids from the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton.

Accessing new markets

We’re taking action to open new markets for Alberta goods and services in a number of ways. This includes through showing leadership on the environment, showing respect for indigenous peoples and working collaboratively with other governments across Canada and around the world.

Transporting products

A key challenge facing Alberta’s energy industry is the need to improve our access to new world markets, which means getting at least one new pipeline built to tidewater.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, which will carry bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific coast, will open up new markets for our energy products while creating tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of new investment. When the project was approved, the federal government directly cited the Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan as the key factor for approval.

We remain steadfastly committed to getting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion built, and to ensuring Alberta energy products find access to new markets.

Supporting businesses

We continue to work with local businesses to help them access opportunities outside the province.

Asia is widely considered to hold the highest potential for economic returns, and the placement of our international offices helps Alberta businesses succeed in those markets.

Alberta Culture and Tourism also offers international investment services, which link international capital sources with established Alberta companies seeking joint-venture tourism investment, such as resort development.

Alberta Export Expansion Package

The Alberta Export Expansion Package (AEEP) introduces 3 new programs to prepare Alberta companies for success in new international markets.

  • Export Support Fund will reimburse eligible companies up to $20,000 for costs of exporting to new international markets
  • Global Buyers and Investors Program will help export-ready companies connect with international buyers by bringing business delegations to the province
  • Export Readiness Program will familiarize companies with the ins and outs of exporting and enhance their readiness for the export market. This includes the Export Readiness Micro-Voucher Program, which will provide businesses with up to $10,000 for the development of a targeted international market strategy focused on one country.

Petrochemicals Diversification Program

We're working with partners to create new jobs and diversify the energy industry by adding value to Alberta’s resources and processing them into new end products.

The Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP) was created to encourage companies to invest in methane and propane upgrading by providing up to $500 million in royalty credits incentives.

Three new facilities, in 2 projects, have been approved to be built in Alberta, representing a capital investment worth $6 billion. The projects will generate up to 4,200 jobs during construction and over 240 full-time jobs once operation begins.

Modernized Royalty Framework

The Modernized Royalty Framework harmonizes the way oil, gas and liquids drilled in the province are treated, which improves investment certainty. A new Drilling and Completion Cost Allowance creates an incentive for companies to lower operating costs, which will help spur innovation in the sector and optimize royalty returns for Albertans.

Renewable energy

Alberta has set a firm target to ensure 30% of electricity used in the province will come from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar by 2030.

To help achieve this, we're supporting 5,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity by soliciting investment through the Renewable Electricity Program. The program will support new or expanded Alberta-based renewable projects that are 5 megawatts or greater in size.

It's estimated that at least $10.5 billion in new investment will come into the provincial economy by 2030, creating 7,200 new jobs for Albertans as projects are built.

Agriculture and agri-food processing

The agriculture sector employs more than 86,000 people and generates exports of more than $9 billion annually. There is tremendous potential for the agriculture sector to expand into the global marketplace, and to grow the agri-food processing industry through innovative new processes or creating of new materials.

Alberta’s food and beverage processing industries represent the province’s second largest manufacturing sector, employing 26,000 people with annual sales of more than $14.6 billion.

The expanded Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator and the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc is the largest of its kind in North America.

Since 2011, the food processing facility has supported 10 new companies that have generated $60 million in investment in Alberta and created more than 500 direct and indirect jobs. The team of food scientists, engineers and technologists provides entrepreneurs with access to the expertise and resources they need to develop their product ideas and bring their production process to a commercial scale.

Cultural industries

Alberta's cultural industries create jobs, attract talent and investment, secure export markets and build creative capital that affects every sector of the economy.

Alberta's cultural industries, including film, television and publishing industries, employed more than 5,600 people and contributed $584 million to the province's GDP in 2015.

The Alberta Foundation of the Arts funds, encourages and supports the development of arts in Alberta, while maintaining and expanding the AFA art collection as a resource for all Albertans.

The Alberta Media Fund provides support to organizations and individuals involved in cultural industries, which including screen-based media production, book and magazine publishing and sound recordings. Between 2015 and 2016, 90 film and television productions spent more than $157 million in Alberta.

Tourism

Tourism is one of the leading industries in the province. We're committed to growing the industry and maximizing the opportunities tourism creates in every region of the province. The tourism industry:

  • employs more than 127,000 Albertans
  • generates more than $2.9 billion in GDP
  • contributes $1.67 billion in provincial and local tax revenues

The Tourism Entrepreneurship Program provides tools and services to help entrepreneurs start new tourism businesses and help existing tourism entrepreneurs to innovate, expand or refresh their operations.