Funding Will Help Alberta Rural Communities Diversify
The Alberta government is helping communities in rural Alberta create jobs and diversify their local economies through the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program. Three projects in rural Alberta will benefit from $467,525 in funding through the first CARES intake.
The funding will support business retention and expansion in the Town of Beaumont, and explore the development of hemp manufacturing clusters in the province.
Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson made the announcement today 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 in Alberta brings multiple strengths to our way of life, whether in energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism, or in other areas. This funding will help communities with common interests tackle economic development projects that they might not have been able to individually. Through these projects local leaders are working together to grow and diversify our economy, and make life better for Alberta families.”
The Town of Beaumont will receive $150,000 for its Beaumont Our Centre-ville Action Campaign. The initiative will include an update to the town’s central area redevelopment plan and niche market study, as well as the completion of a hotel viability study and business retention and expansion strategy.
The first and second phases of the project will also focus on creating local employment through business retention and expansion initiatives in existing areas and economic diversification and developing Beaumont’s newly annexed area.
The Town of Drayton Valley will receive $117,525 which will go toward developing hemp production and processing clusters in the province. The Conseil de développement économic de l’Alberta will receive $200,000 for its Northern Hemp Processing Initiative. The initiatives will pursue developing a hemp manufacturing supply chain in Drayton Valley, and explore the feasibility of a hemp processing plant in northern Alberta.
“When our rural communities do well, Alberta does well. And when Alberta does well, Canada does well. I’m proud of all the exciting and innovative initiatives in rural Alberta, and how our government is supporting these local projects as part of our work to improve the lives of Albertans by diversifying the economy and creating jobs. I am committed to championing rural communities and all that they do for our province.”
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 runs until May 31, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at jobsplan.alberta.ca.