Small businesses and the tourism sector have been hit hard by the global coronavirus recession. A designated parliamentary secretary will ensure a focus on these industries as Alberta’s government implements its recovery plan.

 “Small businesses are the unsung heroes of our economy. Alberta has the largest number of small businesses in Canada, per capita. They are the heart and soul of Alberta’s famous entrepreneurial culture, but have been hit hard by the COVID-19 global downturn. That’s why Alberta’s government has provided targeted relief to small businesses, including restart grants, WCB premium relief, commercial tenant protection and much more. Tourism is also a critical industry, employing some 70,000 Albertans pre-COVID. MLA Long has been a relentless champion of tourism operators and small businesses, and will add more firepower to Minister Schweitzer’s leadership on economic recovery.”

Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta

I have complete confidence that Martin will bring his many talents and critical perspective as MLA of one of Alberta’s major tourism destinations to his role as parliamentary secretary for tourism and small business, and I am pleased that we will be working together to help our job-creating small businesses recover and grow.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“As an MLA, I have the honour of representing a region with some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. Our tourism sector and small businesses have been through a lot recently and have shown incredible resiliency. I will work with business owners and tourism operators to chart a course worthy of their efforts and ambitious enough to bring tourism and small business opportunities in Alberta to unprecedented heights.”

Martin Long, MLA for West Yellowhead

The Investment and Growth Strategy is part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan – an ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs, now. By building schools, roads, and other core infrastructure, we are benefiting our communities by putting Albertans back to work. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for economic growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the COVID-19 curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow back our businesses, and thrive as a province.

Quick facts  

  • In June 2020, there were 167,627 small businesses in Alberta, which is equivalent to 39 small businesses for every 1,000 people in Alberta, ahead of the Canadian average of 33.
  • Small businesses in Alberta make up 95.5 per cent of all the businesses in Alberta.
  • In June 2020, there were 485,382 peopled employed by Alberta small businesses in the private sector, which accounts for about 32 per cent of private employment in the province.  
  • Tourism in Alberta contributes an estimated $8.9 billion in expenditures.
  • The tourism industry is supported by about 22,000 businesses employing 127,000 Albertans.
  • Tourism’s direct contribution is $1.2 billion in tax revenue to the provincial government.
  • In 2017, Alberta hosted about 37 million domestic and international person-visits.
  • Calgary and Edmonton international airports hosted about 25 million passengers in 2017.
Alberta's Recovery Plan