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East-central Alberta gets business expansion boost

The Alberta government is helping communities in east-central Alberta create jobs and diversify their local economies through the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program.

Communities in east-central Alberta will benefit from $84,278 in funding through the first CARES intake.

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Littlewood made the announcement on behalf of Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous.

“So much of Alberta’s economic strength and entrepreneurial drive is centered in our province’s smaller cities and towns. Every region of Alberta brings multiple strengths to our way of life, whether in energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism or other areas. This funding will help local leaders work together to grow and diversify our economy and make life better for Alberta families.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The funding includes:

  • $33,313 to the City of Fort Saskatchewan for a Community Economic Resilience Training Program
  • $20,000 to the City of Fort Saskatchewan for its 2017 Business Retention & Expansion International Conference
  • $30,965 to the Village of Holden for the Eastern Alberta Rural Enterprise Assistance and Coaching Hostel (REACH) II Program

The initiatives will encourage economic diversification by supporting early-stage business growth, expansion of the local business community and rural entrepreneurship.

“When our rural communities do well, Alberta does well.  We’re proud to partner with local leaders on the exciting and innovative initiatives they are undertaking, as we work to make life better for Alberta families by diversifying the economy and creating jobs.”

Jessica Littlewood, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

Following the first CARES application intake in 2016, the program evaluated 88 applications from regions and communities, representing approximately $10.5 million in requested grants. These projects are among many throughout the province receiving support through the first intake of the CARES program.

The second intake for the CARES program is now open and will run until May 31, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at

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