Alberta small businesses contribute more GDP per capita than small businesses anywhere in the country. In addition to providing jobs, they inject about $100 billion a year into our economy.
Small business tax cut
Alberta’s small business corporate income tax rate will be reduced from 3% to 2% effective Jan 1, 2017, saving small business owners $185 million next year.
Alberta is now tied with Saskatchewan for the second-lowest provincial small business rate. While Manitoba’s small business rate is lower, Alberta small business owners pay less taxes when they take money out of their business for personal use.
Alberta’s corporate tax rate remains at 12%.
Alberta maintains the lowest overall tax regime in Canada, with no provincial sales tax, health premium or payroll tax. Albertans across all income ranges will continue to pay the lowest overall taxes when compared to other provinces.
In response to challenging economic times, we've increased ATB Financial's borrowing limits by $1.5 billion, enabling ATB to expand its support for small and medium-sized businesses.
ATB also partnered with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to create a $1 billion co-lending program to support Alberta small business.
In the first quarter of 2016-17, ATB authorized $754 million in loans to 3,132 small businesses, 171 more than the first quarter last year.
Small business incubators
Alberta is considered one of the most entrepreneurial jurisdictions in Canada with Albertans starting more than 40,000 new businesses in 2015.
Through the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program, we're providing $10 million to scale-up support for entrepreneurs and early-stage innovative companies through business incubation facilities across the province.
The Apex Incubator in Medicine Hat will receive more than $342,000 over 2 years to increase entrepreneurial capacity in southeastern Alberta.
The Spark! Business Incubator in Grande Prairie will receive $400,000 over 2 years to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in northwestern Alberta.
Several regional incubators are planned across the province through the Alberta Jobs Plan.
To help small- and medium-sized businesses commercialize new products and services, funding has been doubled for technology development programs through Alberta Innovates.
- Alberta Innovates Voucher Program
- Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Support
From 2011 to 2015, Alberta Innovates' technology commercialization programs resulted in:
- 53% increase in exports
- 246 prototypes, 184 commercialized products and 138 patents
- 400 jobs created
- $4.80 annual revenue growth per dollar invested
- $9.50 worth of new investment attracted per dollar invested
These programs will help businesses with marketing, planning, product development, testing and prototyping.
The Self-Employment Training Program provides up to 26 weeks of formal instruction on all aspects of business operation including business plan development, business counseling, coaching and guidance. At the end of the program, participants can expect to be operating their business on a full-time basis.
Training is available in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and other parts of the province.
In addition to new job creation and capital funding programs, we continue to offer a number of supports and services to help small and medium-sized businesses navigate Alberta’s business environment:
- Small Business Advisor Program: a service unique to Alberta that has provided one-on-one guidance to more than 2,000 small businesses since its launch in 2014.
- Small Business Resources website: resources, information and links to small business programs, projects and resources.
- Rural Alberta Business Centres: the centres provide advice and information services to rural entrepreneurs and small businesses through 4 sites located in Camrose, Cold Lake, Hanna and Rocky Mountain House.
- Regional Economic Development Alliances: supports tourism industry development, transportation infrastructure planning and investment attraction.
- Northern Alberta Development Council: explores opportunities and develops program and services to facilitate growth of Alberta's northern economies and communities.
Alberta Small Brewers Development Program
Over 40 small brewers in Alberta produce more than 250,000 hectolitres of beer annually. Since May 2015, approximately 23 new breweries have been licensed to operate in the province.
Grant funding is available to help Alberta's small- and medium-sized brewers invest in their businesses, enabling them to increase production capacity, launch new products, develop new markets, make important capital improvements and create jobs.
Partnering with stakeholders
We maintain a partnership with Western Economic Diversification to deliver services through Business Link, which provide access to webinars, business advisors and in-person, phone and email services.