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More support for regional economies

The Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program will continue to help communities across the province create jobs and diversify their economies.

To build on the program’s momentum, Budget 2018 will extend CARES for two more years, with the next application intake opening on June 1 and closing June 30.

“We launched the CARES program two years ago so local leaders could build on their regional strengths and create new jobs as we work together to build an economic recovery that lasts. By extending the program, we will continue to help communities take on projects they might not have been able to alone.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

To date, three rounds of CARES grants have funded more than 170 community initiatives across the province. Funding helps pay for locally developed projects that promote long-term economic growth and diversification, particularly projects that communities and municipalities could not necessarily fund on their own.

Examples of community-led projects supported through past intakes include a small business incubator in Grande Prairie, networking and mentorship programming for women entrepreneurs in Edmonton, industrial park development on the Samson Cree Nation, employment training for new Canadians in Red Deer, local business marketing supports in Cochrane, an economic development strategy for the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone in Calgary, an unmanned aerial systems project in Foremost and dozens more initiatives around the province.

Based on feedback from previous intakes, the Alberta government has also introduced a series of program enhancements to make it easier for communities to apply, including:

  • Revising the program outcomes to encourage not-for-profits and municipalities to partner with private industry.
  • Reducing the amount of matching funding required by First Nations and Métis Settlements from 50 per cent to 25 per cent of the total project cost.
  • Shortening the application intake window from 60 days to 30 days.
  • Extending eligibility to national not-for-profit organizations, associations or societies that partner with a provincially registered entity and undertake an Alberta-based project.

Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available alberta.ca/community-regional-economic-support-program.


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