Small business programs
Government programs and initiatives in support of Alberta's economic engines.
As Alberta’s economy continues to recover from recession, it’s important that small businesses have the support they need to take advantage of the rebound. Small and medium-sized businesses contribute more GDP per capita than any other province, injecting about $100 billion a year into our economy.
That’s why we’re working to deliver programs that encourage investment, drive innovation and provide support for the engines of Alberta’s economy.
In addition to new job creation and capital funding programs, we support a number services to help small and medium-sized businesses navigate Alberta’s business environment:
- Business Link is an entrepreneurial hub that helps Albertans start their own business.
- Small Business Resources website provides information on small business programs and projects.
- Rural Alberta Business Centres provides advice and information on services for rural entrepreneurs and small businesses through 4 sites located in Camrose, Cold Lake, Hanna and Rocky Mountain House.
- Regional Economic Development Alliances support 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.
- Futurpreneur provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring young business owners aged 18-39.
- Alberta Women Entreprenuers provides support and guidance to help women achieve their business goals while contributing to the economic benefit of Alberta.
Get free one-on-one advice and referrals to business support programs with the help of a Business Link advisor.
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business or have a viable business idea? We fund self-employment training across the province to ensure budding entrepreneurs have the skills they need to succeed as business owners.
The Self-Employment Training Program provides up to 26 weeks of formal instruction on all aspects of business operation. Learn how to develop and implement a business plan. Get one-on-one coaching support from entrepreneurship experts. Receive ongoing support as you get your business off the ground. At the end of the program, you can expect to be operating your business on a full-time basis.
Training is available in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and other parts of the province. Call the Career Information Hotline at 1-800-661-3753 to learn more.
Get a loan
In response to challenging economic times, we increased ATB Financial's borrowing limits by $1.5 billion so they can expand their 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.
Visit ATB Business Banking Products to learn more.
Build your business
Entrepreneurs in the startup stage can increase their chances for success when they have access to business support services, education, financial advice, management assistance, networking resources and technical services. That’s where business incubators come in.
The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program is a two-year pilot project, delivered through Alberta Innovates, to fund entrepreneur development and support programs that focus on fostering business creativity, collaboration and synergy.
Entrepreneurs will have access to professional business development advisors who can help move ideas forward, navigate the greater innovation system supports and nurture the development of companies during the startup period.
Innovation and technology development programs through Alberta Innovates can help small- and medium-sized businesses commercialize new products and services. Businesses receive support with marketing, planning, product development, testing and prototyping:
- Alberta Innovates Voucher Program
- Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Support
Small brewers development
Grant funding is available to help Alberta's small- and medium-sized brewers invest in their business, enabling them to increase production capacity, launch new products, develop new markets, make important capital improvements and create jobs.
Small business tax cut
Alberta cut its small business corporate income tax rate from 3% to 2% in Jan 2017, saving small business owners an estimated $175 million in 2017-18.
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 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.