Our rural communities’ growth

Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers.

It has been a privilege to see our rural communities’ growth and contribution to Alberta’s economy’s diversification. The momentum is amazing, so I am sharing that our government is providing $2.1 million in capacity building grants. The purpose of these grants is targeted to “initiatives that strengthen economic development capacity and promote sustainable growth and diversification in our rural communities.” Said Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation.

Organizations that have received one-time funding to build capacity within their communities are:

Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies

  • o $50,000 for the Rural Development Cluster Coaching Series that focuses on developing agri-tourism, creating rural partnerships and using regional approaches.

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

  • $195,000 to expand the NextStep to Success program, which offers Indigenous women entrepreneurs with mentorship, business training and guidance on developing small business supports.

Alberta Municipalities

  • $150,000 to support their members in accessing grant programs for municipalities.

Economic Developers Alberta

  • $130,000 for education and skills training, mentoring and creating networks that share best practices.

Rural Municipalities of Alberta

  • $150,000 for a rural-focused economic development officer course and a micro-grant program to support members in determining economic development opportunities within a municipality or region.

Young Agrarians

  • $100,000 for an on-farm apprenticeship program to develop hands-on skills and knowledge to run a rural farm business.

Alberta’s government has also committed $125,000 to each of the nine Regional Economic Development Alliances to support long-term economic prosperity in their respective regions

Also, $200,000 was allocated for the Public Library Grant for Skill Development in Rural Alberta. This one-time grant program will assist public library boards in smaller rural areas to strengthen their services and programs to support communities in becoming more resilient and sustainable. The Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan was released on Dec. 14, 2022, and focuses on:

  • Identifying and improving economic development-enabling infrastructure to support investment and growth in rural Alberta.
  • Advancing entrepreneurship capacity and a culture of innovation across rural Alberta.
  • Enabling skills development in rural communities to enhance workforce capacity today and for the future.
  • Enhancing rural Alberta’s reputation and capacity as a diverse tourism destination.
  • Enhancing rural economic development through regional and targeted capacity building

As always, we love to hear from you!

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About the author

Leela Aheer

Leela Aheer

Leela Aheer was elected to the Alberta Legislature in the riding of Chestermere-Rocky View. She currently resides in Chestermere and looks forward to using her roots in the community along with her experience in business, and her passion for her community to effectively advocate for her constituents in the Alberta Legislature.

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